Copy of `The Baby Show - Post natal info`

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The Baby Show - Post natal info
Category: Health and Medicine > Natal terms
Date & country: 27/01/2011, UK
Words: 61


Anomaly scan
Scan at 18-20 weeks to check the baby's head, limbs and internal organs.

Anterior
The optimum position for birth, where your baby's back is facing your front.

Anti-D
Immunoglobulin given at 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy and another immediately after the birth can top a Rhesus-negative mother's biological defence mechanisms attacking her baby's 'foreign' Rhesus-positive blood.

Areola
The pigmented circle of skin which surrounds the nipple.

Braxton Hicks
Mild 'practice' contractions noticeable from around the 8th month of pregnancy.

Breech
When the baby is bottom down or feet first rather than head down in the uterus.

Candida
Also known as thrush. A yeast infection which can form in the mouth, genitals or nipples.

Carpal tunnel syndrome
Numbness and tingling of the hands caused by accumulation of fluids in pregnancy.

Cervix
The 'neck' of the womb, through which your baby will eventually be born.

Colostrum
A kind of pre-milk, rich in proteins secreted by the breasts in late pregnancy. It gradually changes to mature milk a few days after the birth.

Conception
The fertilisation of the egg by the sperm and its implantation in the uterine wall.

Contractions
The regular tightening of the uterine muscles as they work to dilate the cervix in labour and push the baby down the birth canal.

Crowning
The moment when your baby's head appears in the vagina and does not slip back.

Dating scan
Carried out at 11-13 weeks to establish the estimated delivery date.

Dehydration
A physical condition caused by the loss of an excessive amount of water from the body, often resulting from severe vomitting or diarrhoea.

Dilation
(also dilatation) During the first stage of labour, the cervix dilates, or opens, so the baby can be born. The cervix is fully dilated at 10cm.

ECV
(External cephalic version) The manipulation by gentle pressure of the baby into the cephalic (head down) position. This may be done by an obstetrician if the baby is breech (bottom down) or transverse (lying across the uterus).

Electronic fetal monitoring
The continuous monitoring of the fetal heartbeat with a belt monitor, sonicaid monitor.

Engaged
When your baby's head drops into the pelvis ready for birth.

Entonox
Also known as gas and air. It's a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxygen, breathed in through a mask during labour. It gives pain relief as contractions peak.

Epidural
Regional anaesthesia used during labour. An anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space in the lower spine.

Episiotomy
A small cut to the perineum to prevent tearing and to allow the baby to be born more easily.

Fetal anomaly scan
Carried out at 16-20 weeks, to check for defects in the baby's spine, limbs and organs. It can detect spina bifida, Down's syndrome and placenta praevia (low-lying placenta).

Folic acid
A form of vitamin B, essential for the production of blood cells and haemoglobin, a shortage of which may cause birth defects.

Fontanelles
The soft spots between the sections of the fetal skull.

Forceps
A surgical tool that looks like a pair of salad servers, used to gently ease your baby's head down the birth canal.

Gas and air
Entonox, which is breathed in through a mask and mouthpiece to dull the pain of the contractions.

Gestational diabetes
A type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy.

Haemoglobin
A constituent of the red blood cells which contains iron and stores oxygen.

Haemorrhage
Excessive bleeding.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin
(hCG) The so-called 'pregnancy hormone' your body produces in pregnancy, which is detected by pregnancy-testing kits.

Hyperemesis gravidarum
Excessive, continuous vomiting during pregnancy.

Induction
When labour is started artificially.

LMP
(Last Menstrual Period) The date your last period started. This is used to calculate your due date and the date from which your 40 weeks of pregnancy officially starts.

Low-lying placenta
Known as placenta praevia, when the placenta completely, or partially covers the cervix.

Meconium
The first contents of the bowel, present in the baby, and passed during the first few days after birth. The presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid before delivery is usually taken as a sign of fetal distress.

Mucus plug
A small plug of mucus that seals the cervix to protect your baby from infection.

Neural tube defects
Abnormalities of the central nervous system, such as the hydrocephalus and spina bifida.

Oedema
Fluid retention, which causes the body tissues to puff out.

Oxytocin
The hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that stimulates uterine contractions during labour and stimulates the milk glands in the breasts to produce milk.

Pelvic floor
The springy muscular structure within the pelvis that supports the bladder and uterus and through which the baby descends during labour.

Perineum
The area of soft tissue between the vagina and the rectum.

Pethidine
A strong analgesic (painkilling) drug.

Placenta praevia
A serious condition in which the placenta covers the cervix.

Posterior labour
When the baby's back is facing your back.

Pre-eclampsia
A condition that occurs only in pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure, oedema (swelling), protein in the urine, and often sudden, excessive weight gain.

Preterm/premature
A baby born before 37 weeks and weighing less than 2.5kg (5lb).

Progesterone
A hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy.

Prot
Used as an abbreviation on antenatal notes. Meaning protein found in the urine sample - the presence of protein can indicate a serious pregnancy condition called pre-eclampsia, or a possible urine infection, in which case a sample will be sent off for further analysis.

Second stage
When you're fully dilated and its time to start pushing out your baby.

Show
When the mucus plug that seals the cervix in pregnancy comes away prior to labour.

Sug
Abbreviation used on antenatal notes. Means sugar (glucose) found in urine sampel - higher than normal levels of glucose may indicate gestational diabetes.

Symphysis-fundal height
A measurement which is taken between the pubic symphysis (pubic bone) and the fundus (the top of the uterus). It should roughly correspond with how many weeks pregnant you are.

Syntocinon
A synthetic form of the natural labour hormone oxytocin, used to induce or accelerate labour.

TENS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a portable machine that stimulates natural pain relief via electrodes attached to your back.

Transition
The period between the first and second stage of labour.

Transverse
When the baby lies horizontally across the uterus.

Trimester
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters: weeks 0-12 when your baby's major organs are developing; weeks 12-28, when your baby grows and his organs mature; and weeks 29-40, when your baby continues to develop and gain weight before he is born.

VBAC
Vaginal birth after a caesarean.

Ventouse
A suction cup attached to the baby's head to pull him gently into the birth canal.

Waters breaking
The amniotic membrane ruptures and the amniotic fluid in which your baby has been floating leaks out into your vagina.