At your first check-up, your doctor or midwife will take a general medical history and make note of any general findings. This means you will be examined and asked some questions about your health, medical history and life. This information is entered on page 5 of your maternity record (Mutterpass). Results of previous tests or screenings are also included.

The page starts with general information about you. This includes your weight before the start of pregnancy, age and height. The number of your previous pregnancies is noted next to the technical term Gravida. Pregnancies that ended prematurely are also counted here, for example if you suffered a miscarriage. The number of live births you have experienced is entered next to the word Para.

The majority of this page is taken up by an extensive list of questions about your health. The 26 points listed there must be worked through as your medical history is taken. The doctor, health care professional or midwife will determine if there are certain diseases in your family, such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure or genetic disorders. Any history you may have diseases of the heart, lungs or liver will also be noted. A note will also be made if your weight is particularly high or particularly low since your physical characteristics can be important for how the pregnancy develops. If you are shorter than average, this will be noted under a German term that translate to ‘short stature’. That means about 97% of people your age are taller than you. To help keep you and your baby safe, your doctor or midwife will also want to know if there have been any complications associated with other pregnancies. For example, you will be asked if you have ever had a miscarriage, abortion or premature birth. You will also be asked whether there were difficulties during a previous delivery or during the postpartum period. Other questions on the list relate to mental health problems and social pressures. These factors can also influence the course of your pregnancy.

It's important that you answer all these questions honestly. Depending on how you answer these 26 questions, your pregnancy may be classified as a high-risk pregnancy according to official German maternity guidelines (Mutterschaftsrichtlinien). But that's not bad or unusual. Many pregnancies theoretically fall into this category. In practice, however, your gynaecologist, your obstetrician and your midwife will weigh this decision very carefully. They will be able to assess your overall health and if in doubt, will consult with other people who are providing you with medical care. Above all, classifications like ‘high-risk pregnancy’ are associated with particularly attentive preventive care and treatment. It is also important for choosing where you will give birth.

Adipositas Overweight

Diabetes mellitus diabetes

Hypertonie Hypertension or high blood pressure

Mangelgeburt Low birth weight or a baby that is undersized

Komplikationen porst partum Incidents of note or illness after birth

Rhesus-Inkompatibilität Rh incompatibility, meaning the blood groups of mother and fetus are incompatible

Sectio Caesarean section

Skelettanomalie Skeletal anomaly, meaning physical characteristics do not conform to the usual norm

Sterilitätsbehandlung Sterility treatment, meaning medical treatment of a fertility disorder in you or your partner

Thrombose Thrombosis, meaning vascular blockage due to a blood clot

Uterusoperation Surgical procedure on the uterus

ZNS Central Nervous System