Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Glossary!

Abnormal Circumference – When ‘the bump’ is an unusual size for the gestation of the pregnancy.
Antenatal – before baby is born.
Apgar Score – Baby’s stats after birth.
Bloody Show – blood coming out at the beginning of labour.
Braxton Hicks – practice contractions – these don’t dilate the cervix.
Breech – natural birth where the baby is bum or feet first.
Catheter – a tube inserted to assist with fluids – such as to get urine out of a woman who’s had an epidural.
Cervix – where the baby comes out.
Colostrum – first breast milk – very nutritious for baby.
Contractions – where the muscles help to dilate the cervix.
Cesarean Section (C- Section) – getting the baby out via the abdomen, rather than vaginal birth.
C- Section (1) – emergency cesarean decision. Baby must be delivered within 15 mins of decision.
C – Section (2) – emergency cesarean decision . Baby must be delivered within 15 mins of decision.
Cradle Cap – A condition in which the back of baby’s head can become flattened because of how the baby sleeps all the time. (Can be cured by rotating sleeping positions.)
Dilation – cervix widening and rising to allow for the baby’s head to pass through for a vaginal birth.
Doppler – device used to monitor baby in the uterus.
Endometrium – Uterus lining
Epidural – Anesthetic that numbs from the waist down, inserted via the spine – the strongest form of pain relief.
Ectopic pregnancy – Where the egg is fertilized outside of the womb, or in the wrng spot. This often causes complications and usually ends in miscarriage.
Fetus – Baby before birth.
Fontanelle – The ‘soft spot’ on the baby’s head that usually disappears after 2 yrs old.
Forceps – Tongs used to help get the baby out.
Fourth Trimester – The three month period after baby is born.
Fundus – top of the uterus.
Fundal Height – A measurement used to estimate the gestational age of a fetus/baby.
Gestation – How many weeks the woman has been pregnant for.
ICI – Having a Syringe assist with conception.
IVF – Implanting fertilized sperm into a woman’s egg and placing it in the woman’s uterus.
Jaundice – When the baby turns yellow due to liver failure or complications.
Labour – The process of giving birth.
Meconium – Baby poo in labour – usually a sign of distress.
Mucous plug – Gunk that may fall out of the vagina before labour.
Neonatal – 0-28 days of the baby’s life.
Nitrous oxide – Laughing gas.
Oedema – Swelling of feet, ankles, and fingers.
Oxytocin – “Love” hormone released during sex and Labour.
Pelvic floor – the part of your pelvis holding everything in the body so it doesn’t fall out!
Perineum – Skin between vagina and Anus
Pitocin – Drug used to induce labour or speed up the process of placental delivery.
Placenta – The nutrition sack for baby whilst in the uterus.
Placenta Previa – When the placenta is low, often blocking the birth canal.
Postnatal Depression – Sadness following labour.
Postnatal – after birth
Primigravida – Woman who is pregnant for the first time.
Projected height – The estimated height that a baby will end up in adulthood, often taken shortly after birth.
Quickening – baby’s first felt movements in the uterus.
Sciatica – A nerve pain in the legs / hips that is quite common in pregnancy, caused by the softening of muscles and ligaments during pregnancy.
Sonogram – Ultrasound
Sphincter – Hole that likes to close up – such as the anus.
Spotting – bleeding a little bit from the vagina.
Stillbirth – when the baby is born deceased.
Umbilical Cord – feeding tube to the baby in the uterus.
Uterus – Where the baby lives while it’s a fetus.
VBAC – Vaginal birth after cesarean
Ventouse – Like a plunger, used to suck the baby out of the birth canal.
Water birth – Giving birth in a pool.
Waters – Protective stuff around the fetus.
Witch Hazel – a good skin cleanser. Some people recommend applying this to a cold or frozen pad after a vaginal birth, perhaps with a hint of peppermint.

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