Have you ever stopped to think that, while your mother might know a great deal about your health, there may be things you don’t know about hers? For example, has she ever broken her hip? Or does she (or anyone in your immediate family) have a history of breast or colon cancer? The fact is, if your mother or other immediate family members has or had any of these or certain other health conditions, you may be more likely to get the same disease (though it doesn’t mean you will definitely get it). By asking your mom the right questions, you can learn what you may need to get screened for and the necessary steps to help maintain or improve your health.
It’s understandable if there are some health topics that may be uncomfortable for you and your mom to talk about. But the more questions you ask, the more you may learn about medical issues that could impact you or your children. And if your mother has passed away or isn’t able to communicate due to a medical condition, talk with other family members—i.e., her brother or sister, her mother or her close friend. Then share what you do know with your doctor. This can help you and your doctor decide what steps to take to manage your health. So if you haven’t made the time to talk with your mother, now is a good time to start the conversation. The information in the table below can help guide you during your conversations with your mom.
Download the list of questions here.
Talk with your mother or other family members about these and any other questions you may have about her medical history. Then share what you learn with your doctor.
- 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Knowing is not enough—act on your family health history. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- 3. Cancer.net. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Accessed March 22, 2017.
- 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Does osteoporosis run in your family? Accessed April 10, 2017.
- 5. National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Accessed March 22, 2017.
- 6. Corwin EJ, Kohen R, Jarrett M, Stafford B. The heritability of postpartum depression. Biol Res Nurs. 2010;12(1):73-83.
- 7. MedlinePlus. Postpartum depression. Accessed March 22, 2017.
- 8. Steiner AZ, Baird DD, Kesner JS. Mother’s menopausal age is associated with her daughter’s early follicular phase urinary, follicle stimulating hormone level. Menopause. 2008;15(5):940-944.