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Pregnancy Dictionary


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Inducedlabor is the act of feeding your baby the milk created just for him or her. A nursing baby suckles on the areola (pigmented part around the nipple) on the breast to get this milk.
Amnioticfluid The penetration of the egg by the sperm and the resulting fusion of genetic material that develops into an embryo.
Bloodyshow Intense back pain during labor, caused by a baby in a posterior presentation. (See Posterior presentation.)
Jaundice Early breastmilk, rich in nutrients and antibodies.
Hypertension Removal of the foreskin of the penis, performed for medical, religious or cosmetic reasons.
Lamaze The condition resulting from the spread of bacterial products (toxins) by the blood stream. During pregnancy, this may be used interchangeably with "eclampsia."
Hypoxia A method of childbirth education.
Postpartumdepression The use of drugs and/or procedures in an attempt to attempt to start labor.
Birthcenter The neck, or opening of the uterus, from which the baby emerges. During dilation, the opening of the __________ enlarges enough for the baby to emerge.
Doula Of or pertaining to the time during labor and birth, and immediately following delivery.
Fertilization The single cell formed by when a sperm fertilizes an egg.
Stillbirth Home-away-from-home place to birth, equipped to care for low risk women. Registered midwives, nurses, doula and volunteers usually staff a freestanding birth center, and many centers have an obstetrician on call for emergencies.
Perineum Blood pressure persistently greater than 140/90, diagnosed prior to onset of pregnancy or before the 20th week of gestation.
Breastfeeding An egg that has been fertilized by a sperm and that has undergone one or more divisions.
Circumcision Premature or ______________ labor is defined as labor occurring after 20 weeks and before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Braxtonhickscontractions A colorless liquid that surrounds and cushions the fetus in its mother's womb, protecting the baby from outside pressure and providing a clean environment for growth.
Vulva Pertaining to the baby's head. A _____________ presentation means the baby is head-down.
Hyperemesis An insufficient oxygen supply to the fetus.
Cephalic A surgical incision made to the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening.
Eclampsia Any defect present at birth, whether caused by mutant genes or by prenatal events that are not genetic.
Episiotomy Pelvic floor exercises, important to help strengthen the muscles used during pregnancy and childbirth and to prevent incontinence.
Neonatal The area between the vagina and the anus.
Cesarean Some women - up to an estimated 30 percent - feel very depressed after the birth of a child.
Fetus The unborn baby from the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth.
Fetalalcohosyndrome The successful union of a sperm and an ovum.
Clubfoot The special tissue that joins the mother to her fetus; it provides the fetus with oxygen, water, and nutrients (food) from the mother's blood and secretes the hormones necessary for successful pregnancy.
Surrogate A usually painless tightening of the uterus. Occasional uterine contractions occur throughout pregnancy, but have no effect on the cervix. Contractions during the ninth month still tend to be brief, irregular, and imperceptible to the mother, but they are more frequent and coordinated than earlier ones.
Epidural The two "soft spots" between cranial plates on the baby's head. They are gaps in the skull where bones have not yet fused.
Preterm Pink to reddish indentation like marks usually found around the legs and stomach that result from rapid weight gain and are very common in pregnancy.
Colostrum Professional labor assistant, usually a woman, who provides emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual support to the laboring mother.
Anemia At birth, the presentation of the fetal buttocks rather than the head, or other malpresentation.
Ectopicpregnancy A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants in a location outside the uterus: usually in the fallopian tube, the ovary, or the abdominal cavity.
Backlabor A regional anesthetic (painkiller) used during labor. By the use of a needle, a catheter (a narrow tube) is inserted, through which anesthesia is injected into the outer lining of the spinal cord (epidural space).
Toxemia Generally refers to childbirth without pain relief (anesthesia or analgesia); may alternatively be used to indicate a vaginal delivery rather than a cesarean birth.
Vagina One of the two female reproductive organs in which eggs are formed.
Ovary An infant delivered without signs of life after 20 or more weeks of gestation.
Birthdefect is a disorder characterized by growth retardation, facial abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunction (CNS). _______________ is caused by a woman's use of alcohol during pregnancy.
Fontanelle Menstrual period
Trimester A temporary type of diabetes known as ________________ develops in some pregnant women; the condition disappears when the pregnancy is over.
Stretchmarks is the delivery of a baby via an abdominal surgical incision.
Conception Three separate terms of pregnancy, each lasting approximately three months.
Cervix The female reproductive cell, also called an egg or ovum.
Naturalbirth The passage leading from the uterus to the outside of the female body.
Placenta The _________________ is a measurement of a newborn's response to birth and life outside the womb. Ratings are based on the following factors: Appearance (color); Pulse, Grimace (reflex), Activity and Respiration. A high score is 10 and the low end is 1.
Uterus During the first stage of labor, the cervix widens to 10 centimeters (about the size of a wide-mouthed jar), a process called _____________.
Dilation A brownish line appearing on the abdomen - starting at the belly button and continuing down to the pubic hair.
Perinatal A thick plug of mucus in the cervix that starts to come out as you near labor. Sometimes the loss of the plug is accompanied by some streaks of blood, or bloody show. Also see mucus plug.
Breech is a relatively common condition in newborn babies, marked by a yellowing of the skin and caused by the immature liver's inability to process excess red blood cells.
Zygote results from pregnancy-induced hypertension, a dangerous condition that may occur during pregnancy.
APGARscore A licensed ___________________ has completed training that allows her to care for women during their childbearing years and attend to low-risk pregnancies and births
Menses Low blood iron; hemoglobin level of less than 10.0 g/dL during pregnancy or a hematocrit of less than 30 percent during pregnancy.
Oocyte Severe pregnancy nausea and vomiting that may require hospitalization to control.
Midwife A woman who carries an embryo that was formed from the egg of another woman; the _______________ is expected to return the infant to its genetic parents.
Kegels The outer, visible female genitalia.
Gestationaldiabetes A hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ in which the fetus develops.
Lineanigra Relating to or affecting the first four weeks after birth.
Embryo Deformities of the foot, which is twisted out of shape or position.

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