Birth History

The past medical history section begins with the birth history. An opening with the mother such as ''How was your pregnancy?'' may be all that is needed to start this part of the medical history. Determine any maternal problems, medications taken, illnesses, bleeding, whether x-ray films were taken during the pregnancy, and whether the child was born ''on time.'' Ask the following questions:

''How old were you at the time of your child's delivery? How old was the baby's father?''

''How many times have you been pregnant? Have you had any miscarriages or children who died in infancy?'' If yes, ''Do you know the cause? Were any of your children born too early?'' ( contains an explanation of the shorthand notation for this information.)

*See www.reachoutandread.org (accessed June 26, 2008). ''Reach Out and Read'' is a national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy by giving new books to children in pediatric examination rooms.

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