Copy of `Baby guide UK - glossary of pregnancy`

The wordlist doesn't exist anymore, or, the website doesn't exist anymore. On this page you can find a copy of the original information. The information may have been taken offline because it is outdated.


Baby guide UK - glossary of pregnancy
Category: Health and Medicine > pregnancy
Date & country: 11/10/2007, UK
Words: 112


Adhesion
The abnormal joining of adjacent tissues following infection or other inflammation. This is often used to refer to fallopian tubes that can develop adhesions and prevent conception.

After -Birth
The placenta and other associated membranes which are passed from the uterus after the birth

Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)
A plasma protein normally produced by the foetus' liver. AFP eventually finds its way into the mother's blood and the amniotic fluid. When too much or too little AFP enters the mother's blood stream it can be a sign of foetal problems, such as birth defects. High AFP levels in the mother's blood indicate an increased risk of Foetal Spina Bifida or other malformations. Low AFP levels are associated with an increased risk of Down's Syndrome and other chromosomal problems.

Amenorrhoea
The absence of menstruation

Amniocentesis
Amniocentesis-Sometimes called an `amnio`, this minor surgical diagnostic test allows the doctor to obtain a sample of the amniotic fluid by inserting a long, thin, hollow needle through the mother's abdomen into the uterus. The amniotic fluid is then analysed to look for genetic characteristics of the baby.

Amniotic fluid
Fluid inside the membrane that forms a sac around the embryo and later the foetus. This buoyant fluid helps the foetus grow uniformly, helps the bones and muscles develop, and allows the baby to move within the uterus.

Amniotic Sac
The membranous bag that surrounds the foetus and becomes filled with amniotic fluid as pregnancy advances.

Analgesic
Refers to any medication that relieves pain while allowing the patient to remain conscious.

Antenatal care
Medical care for a pregnant woman and her developing baby for the duration of the pregnancy

Antenatal tests
Medical tests conducted during pregnancy to determine any genetic disorders in the foetus or to check the well-being of the woman

Anterior position
A baby in the anterior position faces the back of the mother's pelvis during pregnancy and/or during labour

Apgar test
The first test most babies are given (at one and five minutes after birth). It assesses five basic indicators of health: respiration, pulse, activity level, response to stimulation, and appearance

Apnoea and Bradycardia spells
Episodes when the baby stops breathing for at least 15 seconds and the baby's heart rate slows down to less than 100 beats per minute (normal is around 120-160 beats per minute).

Artificial insemination
A medical procedure to place sperm inside the reproductive tract.

Baby Blues
During the first few weeks after delivery up to 15% of new mothers experience post natal depression. This is characterized by mood swings, lethargy, feelings of inadequacy, and anxiety.

Basal body temperature
Just before ovulation, a woman's basal (resting) temperature increases. The temperature should be taken early in the morning, which is usually the lowest temperature of the day to time intercourse to increase the likelihood of conception.

Birth Canal
The tunnel comprising of the vagina and cervix through which the baby must pass from the uterus during birth.

Blastocyst
The rapidly dividing fertilised egg at around the stage when it enters the uterus.

Bloody Show
As the cervix dilates, blood and the cervical mucous plug (from the cervical canal) pass from the vagina. The bloody show is a classic indicator of beginning or progressing of labour

Braxton Hicks Contractions
`Practice` contractions, starting around the eighth month, which prepare the uterus for labour.

Breast Pump
A breast pump is designed to extract milk from a mother's breasts so that she can feed her baby later with the expressed milk in a bottle. Pumps range from inexpensive manual models to powerful machines which can empty both breasts at the same time within a few minutes

Breech position
When baby is aligned in the uterus to come out buttocks first, as opposed to head first

Caesarean Section
Delivery of the baby through an incision in the abdominal and uterine walls when delivery through the birth canal is impossible or dangerous

Cephalopelvic disproportion
Sometimes the baby's head is larger than the mother's pelvis, therefore, the safest way to deliver the infant is to do so by caesarean section

Cervical incompetence
Inability of the cervix to remain closed during pregnancy, which may result in miscarriage or premature delivery. To avoid premature delivery, the cervix may be stitched up or the mother may be confined to bed

Cervical mucous method
This is a natural birth control method accomplished by timing intercourse according to the consistency of the woman's cervical mucous. Mucous similar to raw egg white signifies a time close to ovulation, when a woman is most fertile, while thick and cloudy mucous indicates a time when conception is less likely

Cervix
The cervix keeps the foetus from falling out of the uterus. During labour, the cervix thins and dilates to allow the baby to pass out of the uterus and into the vagina

Chlamydia
A shortened form of Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacterium that is the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease in women of reproductive age.

Chloasma
Brown markings on the skin of a pregnant woman caused by hormonal changes, often seen on the face, in a pattern called 'butterfly' marking. These fade after pregnancy

Chorion
The outermost layer of the two foetal membranes, which envelope the growing foetus and serves as a protective barrier against infection

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
A method of diagnosing abnormalities in a foetus, done at 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, in which a small sample of chorionic tissue is taken from the placenta for laboratory analysis

Colic (infantile) Episodes
when an infant, who is otherwise completely well, is irritable, cries or screams excessively and draws up the legs. Common in 6%-13% of all infants.

Colostrum
The thin, human breast milk produced shortly after delivery and before the regular breast milk is produced.

Colposcopy
Examination of the cervix under illuminated magnification

Conception
Conception occurs when a sperm and an egg join to form a single cell. It usually takes place in the Fallopian tubes. The fertilised egg then travels into the uterus, where it implants in the lining before developing into an embryo and then a foetus.

Contractions
The contracting of the muscles of the uterus during labour. The uterus contracts in an effort to expel the foetus into and out of the birth canal

Cradle Cap
A waxy, scaly, skin rash that is common in newborn infants. The medical name is seborrhoeic dermatitis

Depo-Provera
This injected form of birth control requires injections of progestin every two or three months

Doppler Ultrasound
Doppler ultrasound is used early in high-risk pregnancies to evaluate the blood flow through the foetus's umbilical artery

Doula
A doula is a person specially trained to help during labour and after the birth of a baby. A doula might help a new mother to breastfeed, or cook, clean, and care for older children

Due Date (EDD)
The estimated date of delivery. The due date is also called the estimated date of confinement (EDC). Calculation of the EDC or due date is performed by counting forward 280 days (40 weeks) from the first day of the last menstrual period.

Eclampsia
A rare, serious condition of late pregnancy, labour and the period following delivery, characterised by convulsions in the mother which can be life threatening

Ectopic Pregnancy
Pregnancy in which the embryo develops outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tubes.

EDD or EDC
The estimated date of delivery. The due date is also called the estimated date of confinement (EDC). Calculation of the EDC or due date is performed by counting forward 280 days (40 weeks) from the first day of the last menstrual period.

Effacement
Effacement is the thinning (sometimes called ripening) of the cervix in preparation for delivery. During effacement, the cervix goes from more than an inch thick to paper thin.

Electronic Foetal Monitor
This device monitors the progress and vital signs of a foetus during labour. It records the foetal heartbeat and a woman's contractions

Embryo
The name given to a developing infant from about two weeks after conception to the end of the second month of pregnancy, when it is then called a foetus.

Endometriosis
The endometrium is the tissue which lines the uterus. Endometriosis is a disease where endometrial cells grow outside the uterus, most often on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or the exterior of the uterus. It is estimated that 10-15% of women of childbearing age have this condition, many of them without symptoms, although the condition is also associated with infertility.

Engagement
Engagement is when the foetus descends into the pelvic cavity. In first-time mothers, this usually happens two to four weeks before delivery.

Entonox
A gas, made up of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide. The vast majority of maternity hospitals pump gas and air to all of their delivery rooms from a central supply, so it's always available when you want it.

Epidural Block
An anaesthetic technique that reduces pain during childbirth without altering the mother's level of consciousness. This type of local anaesthesia is often given during labour to relieve the pain of contractions and delivery. A needle is inserted through the skin of the back into the epidural space. Anaesthetic is then injected around the spinal cord which anaesthetises the nerves of the lower part of the body

Episiotomy
A minor surgical procedure which widens the birth canal by cutting the vaginal opening to prevent the jagged, less controlled tearing of tissue during the stretching associated with delivery

Fallopian Tube
The ducts that conduct the egg from the abdomen to the uterus after ovulation and conception. It is within the fallopian tube that the sperm usually meets and fertilises the egg.

Fertilisation
Fertilisation occurs when a sperm penetrates an egg. The moment when a sperm fertilises an egg is also called conception, and conception usually takes place in one of the Fallopian tubes.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
This syndrome involves physical and mental birth defects caused by a baby's mother drinking large amounts of alcohol (often defined as more than five or six drinks a day) during pregnancy.

Foetal presentation
This describes the position of the baby - such as feet down (breech) or head down (vertex) - inside a woman's uterus. About 96% of babies present in the vertex position; some who initially present in breech position turn before delivery begins

Foetoscopy
A procedure for directly observing a foetus inside the uterus by means of fibre optic, tubular telescope inserted via a tiny incision in the mother's abdominal wall.

Foetus or Fetus
The name given to the embryo after the 8th week. Technically this name should be used until the baby is completely outside of the mother's body

Folic Acid
A vitamin which plays a crucial part in foetal growth, especially in the development of the nervous system and the formation of blood cells

Forceps Delivery
The use of forceps (A tweezer like instrument) used by an obstetrician to ease out the baby's head during a difficult birth

Full term
Refers to a full term pregnancy. Infants who are not prematurely born are considered to be full-term. The World Health Organisation considers full-term any infant born after 38 completed weeks of gestation

Fundal Height
The distance between the top of a pregnant woman's uterus (called the fundus) to her pubic bone. It is measured to determine foetal age.

Gestation
The period of time a baby is carried in the uterus; full-term gestation is between 38 and 42 weeks (counted from the first day of the last menstrual period).

Gestational age
Gestational age is basically a measure of the length of time that a baby spends in the womb. The baby's age is calculated in weeks as the time from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period to the day of birth

Gravida
The medical term for a pregnant woman. The term is often prefixed to indicate the number of pregnancies. For example a primigravida is a woman pregnant for the first time and secundagravida is someone pregnant for the second time.

Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anus. They are caused by increased blood volume and pressure from the uterus on the veins in the legs and pelvis, and are common during pregnancy. Constipation can also cause (or compound) the problem.

Human Chorionic Gondotrophin (HCG)
A hormone produced by the placenta and which is essential to normal pregnancy. HCG can be detected as soon as 7-10 days after conception using a home pregnancy test kit.

Hyperemisis Gravitarum
Excessive vomiting in pregnancy

Implantation
Attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine lining. This usually occurs about five days after ovulation.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
Laboratory fertilisation of an egg by a sperm. The fertilised egg is then implanted in the female reproductive tract

Induction
If labour has not started at an appropriate time or if there are maternal indications for delivery before labour starts naturally, medications may be used to induce labour.

Lactation
The production and secretion of milk after childbirth

Latching on
To `latch on` to the breast, a baby needs to open his mouth wide. When a baby latches on to the breast successfully, he will be feeding from the breast and not just the nipple. It should not hurt when your baby feeds, although you may experience a strong sensation of sucking

Lochia
The discharge after childbirth of blood and fragments of the uterine lining from the site where the placenta was attached

Luteal Phase
The second part of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation has occurred, on average 12 to 16 days

Meconium
The tick sticky, greenish-black faeces passed by babies during the first day or two after birth, which consists of bile, mucus, and shed intestinal cells.

Menstrual Cycle
The regular growth and expulsion of the endometrium - the lining of the uterus - which occurs if no fertilised egg implants.

Miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion or loss of the foetus before 21 weeks of gestation

Mucus Plug
A plug of mucus that fills the cervical canal during pregnancy. Discharge of the plug is usually followed by rupture of the membranes and progressive labour.

Multigravida
The name given to someone pregnant for the third or more time

Multiple Birth
Delivery of more than one baby (twins, triplets etc.)

Natural Childbirth
The process of giving birth without anaesthesia or medication to relieve pain.

Neonate
A newly born infant under the age of one month

Neonatology
The branch of Paediatrics concerned with the care of newborn infants

Nipple Shield
Flexible plastic covers which can be placed on the breast before feeding

Obstetrics
The branch of medicine concerned with pregnancy and antenatal care, childbirth and postnatal care.

Oligohydramnios
A rare condition in which there is an abnormally small amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus in the uterus during pregnancy

Oligospermia
A condition in which there are too few sperm in the semen to allow a good chance of conception - sometimes referred to as a low sperm count

Ovaries
Sex glands which produce key female hormones and eggs, and are found on either side of the uterus.

Ovulation
The moment at which a mature egg is released from the ovaries into the Fallopian tubes - the time around when a woman is most likely to conceive

Paediatrics
The branch of medicine concerned with the growth and development of children.

Peak day
The final day in a menstrual cycle in which your cervical mucus has the consistency of egg white

Perinatal
Relating to the period just before or just after birth. Usually defined as from 18th week of pregnancy to the end of the first week after birth

Perineum
The perineum is the area between the vagina and anus. When an episiotomy is performed during childbirth, it is the perineum that is cut

Pethidine
Pain-relieving drug, which is related to morphine and used during labour. It is usually given as an injection into the thigh. It can cause drowsiness, dizziness and nausea

Placenta
The organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy and links the blood supplies of mother and baby

Placenta Praevia
Implantation of the placenta in the lower part of the uterus near or over the cervix.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
This is one of several causes of failure to ovulate among women. Multiple ovarian cysts often form and periods become highly irregular.

Post natal depression
Depression in a woman after childbirth

Pre-eclampsia
A serious condition in which high blood pressure, accumulation of fluid in the tissues and protein in the urine develop in the woman in the second half of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia affects about 7 percent of pregnancies