Questions in a pregnancy health history
Has she had any problems with past pregnancies or births?
If a woman has had problems with past pregnancies or births, she may have
problems with this birth too.
Ask the mother to tell you the story I bled a lot with
of each of her past pregnancies and
births. Let her tell you everything:
the good and the bad. Then ask the
both children. I
was very weak for
many days after
following questions to learn more
about problems in past pregnancies
and what to be prepared for during
this one. If you can, write down what you
learn. (Many of these problems are
explained more fully in other parts of this
book. Turn to the page number listed to
learn more about the problem.)
Since you bled at
past births, we
should be ready in
case you bleed at
Was she tired or weak (anemic)?
Extreme tiredness or weakness in pregnancy is usually caused by anemia (lack of
iron in the blood). If she had anemia in another pregnancy, she is likely to have it
again in this pregnancy. Anemia causes problems in pregnancy and birth, but it
can be prevented by eating lots of foods with protein and iron in them and by
taking iron pills. (See page 116.)
Did she have high blood pressure?
If she had high blood pressure in a past pregnancy, she is likely to get it again.
High blood pressure (see page 124) can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
Did she have pre-eclampsia?
If a woman had pre-eclampsia in a past pregnancy, she is in danger of getting
pre-eclampsia again. Check her blood pressure and other signs of pre-eclampsia
regularly in this pregnancy. (See page 125.) Be prepared to get
medical help if pre-eclampsia develops.
D id she hav e fi ts (co nv ulsio ns)?
If she had convulsions in a past pregnancy or birth,
get medical advice. She probably had eclampsia
(see page 181). She is likely to get it again, and
she should give birth in a medical center or
Did she have diabetes (blood sugar disease)?
If she had diabetes in a past pregnancy, she is more likely to get it again. If
possible, she should be tested by a doctor or health worker. Diabetes in the mother
can lead to miscarriage or other problems with the mother or baby after birth.
(See page 115.)
A Book for Midwives (2010)