Chapter 8: Prenatal checkups
Observe her general health
Healthy signs Mother looks, sounds, and feels healthy and happy.
Wa r nin g sig ns Mother looks, sounds, or feels unhealthy or unhappy.
While you are talking with the mother, notice
everything that you can about her general
health. For example:
• Does she have plenty of energy,
or is she tired and ill?
• Does she move easily,
or is she stiff and slow?
• Does she seem to think and talk clearly,
or is she confused?
• Does she have clear skin,
or does she have sores and rashes?
• Does she seem happy,
or is she sad?
If the mother’s general health seems poor, give her extra care, even if you do not
know exactly what is wrong. Pay attention if you have a feeling that something is
wrong, and remind her to tell you right away if things get worse. She may need
Ask if she has any nausea or vomiting
Healthy signs Mother has no nausea or vomiting, or mild nausea in the
first 3 or 4 months.
Wa r nin g s ig n s
• Mother has severe vomiting, or is unable to keep even water in her stomach.
• Mother can only urinate a little bit, or stops urinating, or her urine is
• Mother gains less than 1 kilo (2 pounds) in a month after the first 3 months.
Many women have nausea in the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy. This is
not usually dangerous. But if a woman vomits a lot, feels too sick to eat, or cannot
keep down even fluids, she will have problems. She and her baby may become
malnourished. The nausea may also be a sign that something else is wrong.
If the nausea is mild and in early pregnancy, see page 73 for some helpful
remedies to give the mother. If these remedies do not work, or if vomiting is
severe, get medical advice. There are medicines that help calm the stomach so she
A Book for Midwives (2010)