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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Hutson

Prenatal Terminology


  • SI Joint

  • Pubic Symphysis

  • Pubic Symphysis Pain

  • Uterus

  • Cervix

  • Placenta

  • Amniotic Sac

  • Amniotic Fluid or Bags of Waters

  • Mucus Plug - a protective collection of mucus in the cervical canal

  • Uterine Ligaments (broad, round, uterosacral)

  • Dilation or Dilated

  • Effacement or Effaced

  • Rectis Abdominus

  • Diastasis Recti or Abdominal Separation

  • Linea Nigra- name used to describe the dark vertical line which often appears on the abdomen of pregnant women around the middle of pregnancy

  • Chloasma - temporary condition, typically caused by hormonal changes, in which large brown patches form on the skin, mainly on the face.

  • Perineum - protects the pelvic floor muscles and the blood vessels that supply the genitals and urinary tract

  • Pelvic Floor

  • Relaxin - hormone secreted by the placenta that causes the cervix to dilate and prepares the uterus for the action of oxytocin during labor

  • Umbilical Cord

  • Varicose Veins

Phenomena of Pregnancy

  • Bradley Method - emphasizes that birth is a natural process: mothers are encouraged to trust their body and focus on diet and exercise throughout pregnancy; and it teaches couples to manage labor through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach

  • Braxton Hicks Contractions or warm-up - contractions, also known as prodromal or false labor pains, are contractions of the uterus that typically are not felt until the second or third trimester of the pregnancy

  • Contractions

  • EDD or Estimated Due Date, Due Date

  • Engaged

  • High Risk

  • Hypno Birthing, Hypnobabies, Hypnosis for Childbirth

  • Lightening - at the end of the third trimester, the baby settles, or drops lower, into the mother's pelvis

  • Loss

  • Low Risk

  • Prenatal

  • Prenatal Exam

  • External Manual Version - procedure used to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying (transverse) position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins

  • In Vitro

  • IUI (Intrauterine insemination) - a type of artificial insemination, a procedure for treating infertility

  • Gestational Diabetes - form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women

  • Optimal Fetal Positioning

  • Placenta Previa - when the placenta covers the opening in the mother's cervix

  • Posterior (as in fetal positioning - occiput posterior aka sunny side up)

  • PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) - chronic hives-like rash that strikes some women during pregnancy

  • Two Vessel Cord or Single Umbilical Artery

  • Spotting - very light vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

  • Stretch Marks

  • Sweeping / Stripping Membranes - way to induce labor. It involves your doctor sweeping their (gloved) finger between the thin membranes of the amniotic sac in your uterus

Pregnancy & Birth Professionals

  • Doula - trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth, or non-reproductive experiences such as dying

  • Monitrice - an experienced guide who offers support and assistance to birthing couples

  • Childbirth Educator

  • Lactation Consultant - health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding

  • Midwife - CPM, DEM, LDEM, Home Birth Midwife, Lay Midwife

  • Certified Nurse - Midwife or CNM

  • Obstetrician, OBGYN

  • Labor & Delivery Nurse

  • Perinatologist - doctors who handle high-risk pregnancies

  • Prenatal Care Provider

Methods & Choices for Giving Birth

  • Abdominal Birth

  • Birth Partner

  • Birth Attendant

  • Anesthesia

  • Birth Center

  • Out of Hospital Birth

  • Home Birth

  • Hospital Birth

  • Natural Birth

  • Normal Birth

  • Unmedicated Birth

  • Planned C-Section

  • Emergency C-Section

  • Repeat C-Section

  • VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)

  • Epidural

  • Episiotomy - also known as peritectomy, is a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall generally done by a midwife or obstetrician

  • Forceps

  • Vacuum Assisted Delivery

  • Spontaneous Labor - Labor that begins and progresses without pharmacological, mechanical, or operative intervention

  • Induction of Labor, Induced

  • Elective Induction - initiation of labor for convenience in a person with a term pregnancy who doesn't medically need the intervention

  • Augmentation of Labor - process of stimulating the uterus to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of contractions after the onset of spontaneous labor

  • AROM (Active Range of Motion)

  • Interventions

  • Fetal Monitoring

  • Fetal Heart Tones

  • Overdue

  • Pitocin - cause or strengthen labor contractions during childbirth, and control bleeding after childbirth

  • Surgical Birth

  • Vaginal Delivery

  • Water Birth

  • Free Birth or Unassisted Birth

Phenomena of Labor & Birth

  • Active Labor

  • Back Labor

  • Bloody Show - refers to vaginal discharge that occurs at the end of your pregnancy. It's a sign that your mucus plug has loosened or already has been dislodged

  • Born Still or Stillborn

  • Breech

  • Contractions

  • Crowning - when you can see the top of your baby's head through the opening of your vagina

  • Dilation or Dilated

  • Effacement or Effaced - means that the cervix stretches and gets thinner

  • Early Labor

  • Eclampsia or Toxemia - a rare but serious condition where high blood pressure results in seizures during pregnancy

  • In The Caul - when the baby comes out still inside an intact amniotic sac

  • Labor, Being in Labor

  • Labor Patterns

  • Lovenox - used to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism including during pregnancy

  • Meconium - materials ingested, intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile and water

  • Meconium Aspiration - occurs when a newborn breathes a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid into the lungs around the time of delivery.

  • Miscarriage

  • Postpartum - period just after delivery

  • Pre-Eclampsia - a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure

  • Pre-Term Labor

  • Pushing

  • Posterior (as in fetal positioning - occiput posterior aka sunny side up)

  • Rupture of Membranes or SROM or Water Breaking - when a hole or tear forms in the sac. Most women describe this by saying their "water broke."

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