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ABDOMEN  look up translate image
The area of the body below the chest the cavity that includes the stomach, intestines, liver, and other organs. The uterus is located in the lowest part of the abdomen, the pelvis, although it pushes up as far as the chest as it expands throughout pregnancy.
ABORTION  look up translate image
The termination of a pregnancy through the expulsion of the fetus from the uterus.
ABORTION, SPONTANEOUS  look up translate image
Miscarriage that has not been induced artificially.
ABRUPTION  look up translate image
When the placenta begins to separate from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born. Symptoms of an abruption usually include bleeding and abdominal pain.
ABSCESS  look up translate image
A pus-filled cavity; an abscess in the breast of a nursing woman can result from untreated mastitis, or breast infection. Symptoms of an abscess include throbbing pain, swelling, tenderness, localized heat, and fever. Treatment includes antibiotics and possible surgical drainage.
ACTIVE LABOR  look up translate image
Part of the first stage of labor when the cervix dilates from three to seven centimeters. Active labor lasts an average of two to four hours. The contractions during active labor are strong, long (40 to 60 seconds each), and frequent (three to four minutes apart).
ACUPRESSURE  look up translate image
A form of complementary and alternative medicine that has roots in ancient Chinese medicine. It uses pressure from the fingers to heal and soothe aches and pains; during pregnancy, acupressure can be used to combat morning sickness, labor pain, and back pain.
ACUPUNCTURE  look up translate image
A form of complementary and alternative medicine. Thin needles are inserted in select locations of the body and stimulated and manipulated through the skin to help ease pain and balance the body's energy flow. In pregnancy, acupuncture can be used to combat morning sickness, labor pains, and back pains.
AFTERBIRTH  look up translate image
The placenta and other tissues associated with fetal development that are expelled after the birth of an infant.
AFTERPAINS  look up translate image
Cramping triggered by the contractions of the uterus in the postpartum phase as it shrinks and makes its normal descent back into the pelvis.
ALBUMIN  look up translate image
A protein which if found in the urine of a pregnant woman can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE  look up translate image
Teaching conscious control over posture and movement, this technique can be used in childbirth education to help women cope with labor pain.
ALPHA FETOPROTEIN  look up translate image
A substance produced by the fetus. High levels in a mother's blood can indicate a neural tube defect or multiple pregnancy.
ALPHA FETOPROTEIN (AFP)  look up translate image
A protein produced by a growing fetus that is present in amniotic fluid and, in smaller amounts, in the mother's blood.
ALPHA-FETOPROTEIN (AFP)  look up translate image
A protein produced by the fetus that can be detected in the mother's blood most accurately between weeks 15 and 18 of pregnancy.Alpha-fetoprotein test A blood test given to an expectant mother between weeks 15 and 18 of pregnancy to screen for an increased risk of the baby having a birth defect. High levels of AFP may be associated with a neural tube defect; low levels may be associated with Down syndrome. The test is used to decide whether more invasive testing, such as an amniocentesis, is necessary.
ALVEOLI  look up translate image
Tiny milk-producing sacs that are arranged in clusters throughout the breast. Each breast has hundreds of alveoli. Once the milk is produced, it's secreted into tube-shaped ducts that travel to the nipple.
AMENORRHEA  look up translate image
Absence of menstruation.
AMINO ACID  look up translate image
A building block of protein which is used by the body to build muscle and other tissue.
AMNIOCENTESIS  look up translate image
A prenatal test in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed for analysis.
AMNIOINFUSION  look up translate image
Injection of a sterile saline solution into the amniotic sac when there isn't enough amniotic fluid, when there is thick meconium staining, or to prevent the umbilical cord from being squeezed during delivery when the level of amniotic fluid is too low.
AMNIOTIC FLUID  look up translate image
The fluid that surrounds a developing fetus.
AMNIOTIC SAC  look up translate image
The bag in which the fetus and amniotic fluid are contained during pregnancy.
AMNIOTOMY  look up translate image
Artificial rupturing of the membranes (amniotic sac) by a doctor or midwife to help speed labor. Amniotomy is done with an instrument that looks like a long crochet hook with a sharp tip.
ANAL FISSURES  look up translate image
Cracks in the anus that can cause bleeding. Anal fissures can be accompanied by hemorrhoids or appear independently. Constipation causes and/or compounds them.
ANALGESIA  look up translate image
Any intervention that reduces the sensation of pain.
ANALGESIC  look up translate image
A medication that reduces the sensation of pain without loss of consciousness. Demerol is a commonly used analgesic during labor.
ANEMIA  look up translate image
A decrease in the number of red blood cells, usually due to a shortage of iron. The condition, detected through a blood test, causes such symptoms as fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, or fainting spells. Eating a diet rich in iron and taking an iron supplement during the second half of pregnancy is crucial to keep up with the increased need for red blood cells.
ANENCEPHALY  look up translate image
A severe congenital defect in which the fetus has no brain.
ANESTHESIA  look up translate image
Medically induced loss of sensation. General anesthesia involves the entire body; local anesthesia involves only a particular area.
ANESTHETIC  look up translate image
A medication that produces a loss of sensation, either partially or completely.
ANOMALY  look up translate image
Malformation or abnormality of a body part.
ANTENATAL  look up translate image
Before birth.
ANTEPARTAL  look up translate image
Occurring before childbirth, with reference to the mother.
ANTERIOR POSITION  look up translate image
When the baby faces the mother's spine in utero and/or during labor. This is the most common position for emerging babies.
ANTIBIOTIC  look up translate image
A drug used to combat infection.
ANTIBODY  look up translate image
A protein produced by the immune system to destroy foreign substances.
AORTA  look up translate image
The artery responsible for bringing blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Lying faceup during pregnancy can compress the aorta.
APGAR SCORE  look up translate image
A newborn baby's first test. Given one minute after a baby is born, then again five minutes later, the Apgar assesses the newborn's appearance (skin color), pulse, grimace (reflex), activity (muscle tone), and respiration. A perfect Apgar score is ten; typical Apgar scores are seven, eight, or nine.
APGAR SCORING SYSTEM  look up translate image
A method of evaluating a baby's health immediately after birth.
APGAR TEST  look up translate image
A quick assessment of baby's health at the time of birth based on Appearance (skin complexion), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace (reflex to stimulation), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration (breathing). Baby's APGAR score will range from 0 (poor) to 10 (normal).
APNEA  look up translate image
A temporary involuntary cessation of breathing.
AREOLA  look up translate image
The pink or brown area of skin around the nipple of the breast.
AROMATHERAPY  look up translate image
Scented oils that are used to heal body, mind, and spirit. Most experts advise caution when using aromatherapy during pregnancy, since some aromas in a concentrated form can be hazardous.
ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION  look up translate image
A process used to help a woman trying to conceive when natural methods fail. Sperm is inserted into the woman's uterus using a catheter.
ARTIFICIAL RUPTURE OF THE MEMBRANES  look up translate image
The bursting of the sac holding the amniotic fluid using an instrument resembling a crochet hook with a pointy tip. Practitioners often rupture the membranes to speed up a labor that has slowed.
ASPIRATE  look up translate image
To inhale liquid into the lungs, or to remove liquid from the lungs with a suction device.
ASPIRATION  look up translate image
Drawing a substance into or out of the air passages. After a baby is born, the practitioner will aspirate the baby's mouth and nose using a bulb syringe to remove accumulated fluids or mucus and to prevent the baby from inhaling meconium, if any is present.
ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY  look up translate image
Any procedure performed to help a woman become pregnant. See IVF and gamete intra-fallopian transfer.
AUGMENTATION OF LABOR  look up translate image
An intervention to help labor that has begun naturally to progress more rapidly. Often, Pitocin (a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin) is used to make contractions stronger or to rupture the membranes.
AUTOLOGOUS TRANSFUSION  look up translate image
A transfusion of a person's own blood. Sometimes, in anticipation of surgery, a woman may donate her own blood for use later.
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Common pregnancy & birth terms
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Created by admin
Created on 2011-05-22 02:54:30
Number of terms 666
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Sources
  • Pregnancy Glossary - A -- Pregnancy Glossary -- WhatToExpect.com
    www.whattoexpect.com
  • Glossary of Common Pregnancy and Birth Terms
    www.expectantmothersguide.com
    Overview of common words that an expectant mothers should be familiar with during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy Terms Glossary
    www.momswhothink.com
    Pregnancy terms in glossary form. Definitions of terms related to pregnancy, fetal development, and complications.
  • Pregnancy Terms Glossary A
    www.obfocus.com
    Pregnancy Terms Glossary A