Learn labor lingo with the Apgardian Terms Glossary. Find quick answers and long explanations and even more resources for 200 (and counting) of the most common labor and delivery terms. What did we forget? Let us know at info@apgardian.com.

 

AJAX progress indicator
Search: (clear)
  • a

  • Abruption
    Placenta separates from the uterus before delivery. Separation of the placenta from the uterus before delivery may cause bleeding and create complications for the both the mother and fetus. During labor, separation may cause fetal heart decelerations which may require an emergency cesarean(...)
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
    Definition: AIDS occurs when the immune system is compromised by the human immunodeficiency virus. Details: During labor pregnant women with AIDS can pass the infection to the fetus. To help reduce the risk patients in some cases can be given anti-HIV medication during(...)
  • Afterbirth
    Definition: Placenta is expelled from the body after childbirth.= Details: Often delivered like the baby if vaginal or removed through the surgical opening if cesarean section. Medication may be given to help if vaginal delivery is delayed post delivery of the(...)
  • Afterbirth Pain Contractions
    Definition: Contractions of the uterus that may occur as the uterus shrinks to its prepregnancy size. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000629.htm
  • Against Medical Advice
    Definition: Usually means leaving the hospital before it is medically recommended. It can also mean a course of action taken by the patient that is contrary to advice of the medical care providers. Details: Leaving may expose patient to increase risk of harm even death for self and fetus.(...)
  • Ambulation
    Definition: Walking Details: During labor ambulating helps with cervical dilation usually before the membranes are ruptured/water broken.
  • American College/Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - ACOG
    Definition: Professional organization for obstetricians and gynecologists and providers of women's health care. Details: Organization that advances women's health care. The congress has a college division that focuses on continuing education, practice and research. The college certifies(...)
  • Amniotic Fluid
    Liquid that surrounds the fetus in the womb. Separation of the placenta from the uterus before delivery may cause bleeding and create complications for the both the mother and fetus. During labor, separation may cause fetal heart deceleration which may require an emergency cesarean section(...)
  • Anesthesia
    Definition: Reversible state of loss of sensation to pain due to administration of an anesthetic. Details:
 There are three states of anesthesia: local site only, regional (part of the body often used in childbirth) and general, which is complete(...)
  • Anesthetic
    Definition:
 Medication given to create a insensitivity to pain. Details:
 Many types of medication can ease pain during labor and delivery. Epidural and spinal blocks are common choices — but there are several other options you can discuss with your healthcare(...)
  • Antenatal Steroids
    Definition: Steroid given to accelerate fetal lung maturity. Details: Used in preterm labor or patients at risk for preterm birth to accelerate fetal lung maturity in the event of preterm labor. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preterm-Premature-Labor-and-Birth#as  
  • Antepartum
    Definition: Occurring or existing before delivery Details: The antepartum period is also called the prenatal period. The antepartum period begins when a woman's pregnancy is diagnosed and ends once the baby is born. Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/antepartum
  • Anterior Presentation (Occiput)
    Definition: Fetus faces the mother's back. Details: Occiput anterior position is the most common and fetal position because in this position the smallest part of the baby's head lead the way through the birth(...)
  • APGAR Score
    Definition: Evaluation of fetuses vitality after birth. Details: Five areas are evaluated: Appearance/color, Pulse/heart rate, Grimace/muscle tone, Activity/reflexes, and Respiration at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. Immediately after birth each category is given a score between 0(...)
  • Apgardian
    Definition: Person who champions safe and informed choices coupled with meaningful  communication during labor and delivery. Details: Person who champions safe and informed choices coupled with meaningful  communication during labor and delivery.    Apgardian - noun / ap gar dian /  (...)
  • Arrhythmia
    Definition: Term that refers to any abnormality in the heart rate of your baby. Details: A normal fetal heart varies between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Resources: http://www.cardinalglennon.com/fetalcareinstitute/conditions/heart/Pages/FetalArrhythmia.aspx
  • Artificial Rupture of Membranes
    Definition: Amniotic sac perforation due to medical intervention. Breaking water. Details: This refers to the intentional ""breaking of a patient's water"" by a medical care provider to induce or augment labor"  Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1997932-overview  
  • Assisted Vaginal Delivery
    Definition: Assisted vaginal delivery is accomplished using medical forceps or a vacuum device placed on the baby's head.. Details: Assisted vaginal delivery using forceps or a vacuum device both add gentle traction to the baby's head while the mother continues pushing.  Assisted vaginal(...)
  • Attending Medical Doctor
    Definition: Medical doctor who oversees the medical decisions of resident doctors or doctor who is primarily responsible for your care during labor. Details: The attending MD may change during the course of labor if MD is in a call(...)
  • 

  • Auscultation
    Definition: External monitoring of the fetal heart rate. Details: A Doppler transducer is pressed against the abdomen to hear the fetal heartbeat. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Fetal-Heart-Rate-Monitoring-During-Labor
  • b

  • Back Labor
    Definition: A form of labor defined by back pain. Details: Back labor often attributed to the baby facing the mother's abdomen (posterior presentation). Resources: http://www.babies.sutterhealth.org/laboranddelivery/labor/ld_var-labr.html
  • Bag of Water
    Definition: Sac inside uterus that holds the fetus in amniotic fluid. Details: See amniotic sac. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/9058.htm
  • 

  • Birth Defects
    Definition: Abnormality with fetus that develops prior to birth. Details: During labor, other medical specialists may be part of the care team to provide care for an infant with known birth defects.  The plan of care during labor and delivery may be affected by the birth(...)
  • b

  • Birth Plan
    Definition: Expectations and preferences for the birth documented by the patient. Details: Tool used to communicate the wishes of the expectant mother (parents) about the labor and delivery experience.  During labor the birth plan may change based on medical necessity and risk of(...)
  • Bishop Score
    Definition: Score that identifies the state of readiness of the cervix for labor. Details: Cervix is rated on a scale from 0-13, number corresponds to how soft, thin and open the cervix is for labor and delivery.  Scores of 6 or less indicate a cervix that is not ready for labor. (...)
  • Blood Pressure - BP
    Definition: Measurement of the force of pressure against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood.                  Details: The American Heart Association explains that the pressure exerted by blood against the artery wall is measured twice. Systolic blood pressure(...)
  • Blood Type
    Definition: Blood types are divided into four main types: A, B, AB, and O. Blood types are based on the presence or absence of specific antigens on red blood cells. Details: Blood test done to determine the ABO group of the mother. It is also important to have a test that checks for the(...)
  • Bloody Show
    Definition: A pink or brownish mucous like discharge. Details: This discharge may signal changes in the cervix leading to labor. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/How-to-Tell-When-Labor-Begins
  • Board Certification
    Definition: Certification given to medical care providers who have voluntarily completed accredited education for continuous  development. Details: During labor, board certified medical professionals could include obstetrician, perinatologist, anesthesiologist, .... Recertification is(...)
  • Body Mass Index
    Definition: Relationship between weight and height. Details: The BMI identifies obesity, overweight, normal and underweight.  Weight pre-pregnancy will determine the recommendation for weight gain while pregnant.  Gaining too much weight or being overweight before pregnancy can cause(...)
  • Brachial Plexus
    Definition: Nerves that send information from the spine to the shoulder, arm, hand. Details:Injury to those nerves can cause numbness, weakness or paralysis of the shoulder, arm or hand due to shoulder dystocia or other pre-delivery(...)
  • Bradley Method
    Definition: Labor management using relaxation, breathing techniques and support of coaches. Details: Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_method_of_natural_childbirth
  • Braxton-Hicks Contractions
    Definition: Irregular uterine contractions that that can occur before "true labor." Details: Also known as "false labor pains." Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/How-to-Tell-When-Labor-Begins
  • Break Water
    Definition: Release of amniotic fluid from the gestational sac. Details: This refers to spontaneous rupture of the amniotic sac either during or prior to the onset of labor, or the intentional "breaking of a patient's water" by a medical care provider to induce or augment(...)
  • Breech Presentation
    Definition: Fetus's buttocks or feet are positioned first in the birth canal. Details: There are four types of breech presentations: Frank, Complete, Incomplete and Footling. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/presentations/100193_3.htm
  • c

  • Cephalic
    Definition: Head first presentation of baby at delivery. Details: Most babies settle into this position within the 32nd and 36th weeks of pregnancy. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002060.htm
  • Cerebral Palsy
    Definition: Brain disorder that affects muscle control and movement, though the muscles are not harmed. Details: There are multiple possible causes for cerebral palsy that include: Mutations in genes that lead to abnormal brain development, maternal infections that affect the developing(...)
  • Cervical Cerclage
    Definition: Stitches in the cervix that keep it closed to decrease the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. Details: A cervical cerclage is the most common form of treatment for an incompetent cervix.  Stitches/ Sutures are placed in the cervix to hold it closed until the fetus reaches(...)
  • Cervical Dilation
    Definition: Opening of the cervix. Details: Can happen spontaneously, with the use of medication, or mechanical means. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Labor-Induction#cervix
  • Cervical Length
    Definition: Length of the cervical canal from the body of the uterus to the top of the vagina. Details: Measured using transvaginal ultrasound. Resources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/cervical-length/faq-20058357
  • Cervical Opening
    Definition: Opening of the uterine cervix into the vagina (external os.) Details: In labor, the opening of the cervix is described in terms of its dilation. Resources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/cervical-length/faq-20058357
  • Cervix
    Definition: The cervix is cylindrical-shaped tissue that connects the vagina and uterus. Details: In labor, the opening of the cervix is described in terms of its dilation. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002317.htm
  • Cesarean Section Delivery C-Section
    Definition: Birth from the uterus through a surgical incision in the abdomen. Details: Primary and Repeat Cesarean.  Primary refers to birth through the abdominal incision for the first time.  This term is applied at the first cesarean birth which may not be the first delivery for the(...)
  • Chlamydia
    Definition: Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. Details: Untreated chlamydia has been linked to preterm labor, premature rupturing of the membranes and low birth weight. Baby at risk for eye and lung infections at delivery.  May require repeat testing if at(...)
  • Chorioamnionitis
    Definition: Chorioamnionitis is a complication of pregnancy caused by bacterial infection of the fetal amnion and chorion membranes. Details: Certain factors might create a higher risk for chorioamnionitis, including: Premature labor or fetal membranes that are ruptured (the water has(...)
  • Chronic Hypertension
    Definition: Maternal hypertension that is present before pregnancy or occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. Details: Chronic hypertension occurs in up to 22% of women of childbearing age, with the prevalence varying according to age, race, and body mass index(...)
  • Classical Incision
    Definition: The classical cesarean section incision through the skin and abdomen is made mid-line in the abdomen. Details:                                                                                                                                                                        (...)
  • Cleansing Breath
    Definition: Deep abdominal breathing with purpose of relaxation and stress relief. Details: Inhale for four counts, hold for two counts, exhale for four counts. Resources: https://www.sharecare.com/health/breathing-exercise-techniques/how-take-cleansing-breath
  • Complete Blood Count
    Definition: The complete blood count test is one of the routine tests ordered during early prenatal care and upon admission to labor and delivery. Details: A complete blood count (CBC) gives important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood, especially red blood(...)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
    Definition: A blood test that measures your sugar (glucose) level, electrolyte and fluid balance, kidney function, and liver function. Details: A variety of maternal health conditions before, during or after labor can have effects on electrolyte and fluid balance, kidney and liver(...)
  • Contraception
    Definition: Interventions to prevent pregnancy. Details: The use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a result of sexual intercourse. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Birth-Control-Contraception
  • Contractions
    Definition: Rhythmic uterine muscle tightening and relaxing that result in the cervix thinning and dilating and the baby descending in the birth canal. Details: Contractions are part of  true labor when they have a regular pattern with shorter delays between them and progressively become(...)
  • Cord Blood
    Definition: Blood from the baby that is left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. Details: Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some diseases. Resources: https://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq172.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20160901T1431381065
  • Corticosteroid
    Definition: Often Beamethasone or Dexamethasone are used in cases when preterm delivery is at risk. Details: Administration of certain corticosteroids to women at risk of preterm delivery produces a considerable reduction in the risks of complications of prematurity such as combined fetal(...)
  • d

  • Deceleration (Fetal Heart Rate)
    Definition: A deceleration is a decrease in the fetal heart rate below the fetal baseline heart rate. Details: Fetal heart rate decelerations can be early, late and variable. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Fetal-Heart-Rate-Monitoring-During-Labor
  • Delivery
    Definition: The process of giving birth. Details: Birth of your baby can occur through the vagina or abdominally by a Cesarean Section. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Labor-and-Delivery
  • Delivery Room - DR
    Definition: Location for delivery of infant is often the same room for labor and post partum care. Details: Most rooms will be like a hospital room but with additional features for labor and delivery like monitors, triage equipment, and a specialized bed. Chairs, a sofa and bathroom are(...)
  • Dilation
    Definition: Stretching and opening of the cervix, measured in centimeters from 0 to 10. Details: Can happen spontaneously or with the use of medication,or mechanical means. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Labor-Induction#cervix
  • Dilation and Curettage
    Definition: Opening of cervix with removal of tissue from the uterus. Details: A surgical procedure often performed after a first-trimester miscarriage, or after delivery, to remove any remaining products of conception (placenta or amniotic sac) from the(...)
  • Dilation and Evacuation
    Definition: Dilation and evacuation (D&E also sometimes called dilation and extraction) is the dilation of the cervix and surgical evacuation of the contents of the uterus. Details: Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is done in the second 12 weeks (second trimester) of pregnancy. It usually(...)
  • Doppler Transducer
    Definition: Used during labor to monitor the fetal heart rate. Used during Auscultation to monitor fetal heart rate. Details: It is an ultrasound transducer that is fastened to your belly. It sends the sounds of the fetal heart to a computer. The rate and pattern of the fetal heart rate(...)
  • Doula
    Definition: Non medical professional who assists women with pregnancy/labor and in some cases postpartum care. Details: A few of the services of a doula include: Staying with the woman throughout the labor, providing emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint.(...)
  • Down Syndrome
    Definition: Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. Details: This genetic disorder, which varies in severity, causes lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays, and in some people it causes(...)
  • Dystocia
    Definition: A slow or difficult labor or delivery. Details: Normal labor is defined as uterine contractions that result in progressive dilation and effacement of the cervix. Other terms that are often used interchangeably with dystocia are dysfunctional labor, failure to progress (lack of(...)
  • e

  • Eclampsia
    Definition: Eclampsia, which is considered a complication of severe preeclampsia, is commonly defined as new onset of grand mal seizure activity and/or unexplained coma during pregnancy or postpartum in a woman with signs or symptoms of preeclampsia. Details: Eclampsia, a life-threatening(...)
  • Effacement
    Definition: Effacement is thinning and shortening of the cervix, described as a percentage of the normal thickness/length of the cervix. Details: Effacement is the process by which the cervix prepares for delivery. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis, it gradually drops closer to the(...)
  • Encephalopathy
    Definition: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), is characterized by clinical and laboratory evidence of acute or subacute brain injury due to asphyxia. Details: The primary causes of this condition are systemic hypoxemia and/or reduced cerebral blood(...)
  • Engagement
    Definition: Occurs when the biparietal diameter of the fetal head is at or below the inlet of the true pelvis. Details: During first pregnancy this can occur up to two weeks prior to birth.  Engagement can occur at the time of labor for subsequent(...)
  • Epidural Anesthesia
    Definition: Anesthesia injected into the space next spinal cord. Details: Temporary numbs lower body, used during labor for pain relief. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/149337-overview
  • Episiotomy
    Definition: An incision made between the vagina and anus with scalpel or scissors to widen the vagina for birth. Details: An episiotomy is considered when the patient is at risk for a tear of the vaginal tissue, perineal skin and muscles and the anal sphincter or in need of a quick(...)
  • Estimated Due Date or Date of Delivery
    Definition: The estimated due date (EDD or EDC) is the date that spontaneous onset of labor is expected to occur. Details: The due date may be estimated by adding 280 days ( 9 months and 7 days) to the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). This is the method used by “pregnancy(...)
  • Estimated Fetal Weight - EFW
    Definition: The weight of the fetus is determined by an equation using sonographic measurements that are compared to standard weights for the gestational age. Details: Four sonographic measurements of the fetus are taken using ultrasound technology for the equation that estimates fetal(...)
  • External Fetal Monitor
    Definition: Monitors fetal heart rate; external. Details: See Doppler transducer. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Fetal-Heart-Rate-Monitoring-During-Labor
  • f

  • Fetal Distress
    Definition: Fetus is in danger due to abnormal fetal heart rate/blood flow/oxygen condition during pregnancy or labor. Details: The term fetal distress is commonly used to describe fetal hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the fetus), which can result in fetal damage or death if it is not(...)
  • Fetal Dysmaturity
    Definition: A fetus whose growth in the uterus after the due date has been restricted. Details: Also called "postmaturity syndrome," this refers to a fetus whose growth in the uterus after the due date has been restricted, usually due to a problem with delivery of blood to the fetus(...)
  • Fetal Fibronectin Test
    Definition: Cervical/vaginal swab collection to test for protein that acts as glue attaching fetal sac to uterine wall. Details: If your health care provider is concerned about preterm labor, he or she might test a swab of secretions near your cervix for the presence of fetal fibronectin(...)
  • Fetal Growth Restriction
    Definition: FGR, otherwise known as Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to a condition in which a fetus is unable to achieve its genetically determined potential size. Details: Delayed growth puts the baby at risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery, and after(...)
  • Fetal Heart Rate
    Definition: Heartbeat of the fetus in the womb. Details: Fetal heart rate monitoring may help detect changes in the normal heart rate pattern during labor. If certain changes are detected, steps can be taken to help treat the underlying(...)
  • Fetal Marcrosomia
    Definition: A baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia has a birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), regardless of his or her gestational age. Details: Fetal macrosomia can be caused by genetic factors as well as maternal conditions, such as obesity or diabetes. Rarely, a(...)
  • Fetal Monitoring
    Definition: Monitoring heart rate with special equipment. Details: Heart rate monitoring during labor identifies normal versus abnormal patterns.  The two common types of monitoring: 1. Auscultation with a stethoscope or doppler transducer, external at set intervals.  2. Electronic fetal(...)
  • Fetal Scalp Electrode
    Definition: Small wire attached to fetus scalp for heart rate monitoring. Details: As opposed to an external monitor, A FSE is an“internal” monitor that directly records the fetal ECG via a single electrode applied to the fetal(...)
  • Fetus
    Definition: A human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born. Details: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until(...)
  • Forceps
    Definition: A medical tool that is used for grasping or holding things. Details: Medical instrument used around the head of the fetus to help guide it through the birth canal. Resources: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/forceps
  • Forceps Delivery
    Definition: A forceps delivery is a type of assisted vaginal delivery. Details: In a forceps delivery, a health care provider applies forceps — an instrument shaped like a pair of large spoons or salad tongs — to the baby's head to help guide the baby out of the birth(...)
  • Fundus
    Definition: The part of the uterus above the orifices of the fallopian tubes. Details: The uterus has four major regions: the fundus is the broad, curved upper area in which the fallopian tubes connect to the uterus; the body, the main part of the uterus, starts directly below the level(...)
  • g

  • Genes
    Definition: A unit of heredity that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring. Details: The basic physical unit of heredity; a linear sequence of nucleotidesalong a segment of DNA that provides the coded instructions(...)
  • Genetic Counselor
    Definition: A specially trained provider of counseling on genetic disorders. Details: Prenatal genetic counselors are involved with women either during their pregnancy or preconceptionally. Resources: http://nsgc.org/p/cm/ld/fid=187
  • Gestation
    Definition: The process of carrying or being carried in the womb between conception and birth. Details: The gestational period is the fetal development period from the time of conception until birth. For humans, the full gestation period is normally 9(...)
  • Gestational Age - GA
    Definition: Age of the fetus in weeks and days based on the Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD). Details: The estimated date of delivery is calculated by adding 280 days to the first day of the last menstrual period. In the absence of this information the gestational age is determined during(...)
  • Gestational Diabetes - GDM
    Definition: Gestational diabetes also known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is when a woman without diabetes, develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Details: Expectant moms can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary,(...)
  • Gestational Diabetes Screen
    Definition: Most healthcare practitioners routinely recommend a glucose screening test (also called a glucola test, glucose challenge test or GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. Details: The screen requires that you drink a syrupy glucose solution.(...)
  • Gestational Hypertension
    Definition: Gestational hypertension is a clinical diagnosis defined by the new onset of hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg) at ≥20 weeks of gestation in the absence of proteinuria or new signs of end-organ dysfunction. Details: High(...)
  • Glucose
    Definition: The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet. Details: Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to provide energy to all cells in the body. Cells cannot use glucose without the help of(...)
  • Glucose Screening Test
    Definition: Gestational diabetes also known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is when a woman without diabetes, develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Details: You'll drink a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you'll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar(...)
  • Gonorrhea
    Definition: Gonorrhea is a common STD that can infect both men and women. Details: If you’re pregnant, your provider checks you for gonorrhea at an early prenatal checkup. Your provider uses a urine sample or vaginal fluid taken with a swab to test for gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is treated with(...)
  • Gravida
    Definition: The number of pregnancies regardless of outcome. Details: Gravida is often seen in connection with Para which is the number of pregnancies 20 weeks.  For example gravida/para for a woman with 4 pregnancies and 3 deliveries is written as Gravida 4 Para(...)
  • Group B Streptococcus Test
    Definition: Group B streptococcus — also called group B strep — is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. Details: Universal screening at 35–37 weeks of gestation by way of a rectovaginal swab and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis continue to be the(...)
  • h

  • Head Presentation
    Definition: Baby presents head first at delivery. Details: Also called Cephalic. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002060.htm
  • Heart Rate
    Definition: Heartbeat of the fetus in the womb. Details: Fetal heart rate monitoring may help detect changes in the normal heart rate pattern during labor. If certain changes are detected, steps can be taken to help treat the underlying(...)
  • Hemoglobin Electrophoresis Test
    Definition: A hemoglobin electrophoresis test is a blood test done to check the different types of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells camera.gif that carries oxygen. Details: The purpose of prenatal hemoglobinopathy screening is to identify and counsel(...)
  • Hemolytic Disease (of Newborn)
    Definition: Hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) – also called erythroblastosis fetalis – is a blood disorder that occurs when the blood types of a mother and baby are incompatible. Details: HDN is relatively uncommon in the United States due to advances in early detection and(...)
  • Hemorrhage
    Definition: Copious blood loss from blood vessels. Details: Blood loss greater than 500cc with a vaginal delivery or greater than 1000 cc with a cesarean section.  If condition occurs within 24 hours of birth it is termed early postpartum hemorrhage.  Any time greater than 24 hours, it is(...)
  • Hepatitis
    Definition: An inflammation of the liver. Details: Acute viral hepatitis is the most common cause of jaundice in pregnancy. The course of most viral infections is not affected by pregnancy. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1562368-overview#a1
  • High Blood Pressure
    Definition: Hypertension is defined as having a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg. Details: High blood pressure during pregnancy can place extra stress on your heart and kidneys and can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and(...)
  • High Risk Pregnancy
    Definition: A high-risk pregnancy is one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her fetus. Details: There are a multitude of reasons why a pregnancy might be consdered high risk. Your doctor will watch you closely during your pregnancy to find any problems early. Slowed growth(...)
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
    Definition: A hormone produced in the human placenta that maintains the corpus luteum during pregnancy. Details: HCG urine tests are usually used for routine pregnancy testing. The test does not measure the exact amount of hCG, but it shows if hCG is present. HCG blood tests can be used(...)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
    Definition: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV. Details: HIV is a sexually(...)
  • Hypertension
    Definition: Hypertension is defined as having a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg. Details: High blood pressure during pregnancy can place extra stress on your heart and kidneys and can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and(...)
  • Hypotension
    Definition: Abnormally low blood pressure. Details: Although blood pressure varies from person to person, a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure(...)
  • Hypovolemia
    Definition: Decrease in the volume of the circulating blood. Details: Hypovolemia occurs with dehydration or bleeding. Hypovolemic shock is an emergency condition in which severe blood or fluid loss makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body. This type of shock can cause many(...)
  • 

  • In Utero
    Definition: In a woman's uterus; before birth. Details: Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/in%20utero
  • In Vitro Fertilization
    Definition: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. Details: Mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from the ovaries and are fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg(...)
  • i

  • Incompetent Cervix
    Definition: An incompetent cervix, also called a cervical insufficiency, is a condition that occurs when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. Details: Before pregnancy, your cervix — the lower part of the uterus that(...)
  • 

  • Induced Abortion
    Definition: When a procedure is done or medication is taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion. Details: Most induced abortions are performed during the first trimester. A first-trimester abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. It can be done safely in a health(...)
  • i

  • Induction
    Definition: Labor induction is the use of medications or other methods to bring on (induce) labor. Details: Early induction is less than 39 weeks and must be medically necessary. Resources: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq154.pdf
  • Informed Consent
    Definition: Informed consent is when your health care provider explains your health condition, treatment choices, risks and benefits so that you may make an informed decision whether to allow or decline a certain medical treatment or procedure. Details: You should have enough information(...)
  • Intrapartum
    Definition: During labor and delivery or childbirth Details: See Fetal Monitoring (Intrapartum) Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/intrapartum
  • Intrauterine
    Definition: Within the uterus. Details: Intrauterine gestation is a normal finding on a first-trimester ultrasound and means that the pregnancy is taking place inside of the uterus. This is in contrast to ectopic pregnancy that can occur inside of a fallopian tube, ovary, cervix or the(...)
  • Intrauterine Pressure Catheter
    Definition: Used to monitor contractions. Details: Internal uterine pressure monitoring device monitors the strength and frequency of contractions. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1998044-overview
  • Intravenous Analgesia
    Definition: Medication given for pain intravenously. Details: These medications often are used during early labor to relieve pain and allow you to rest. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Medications-for-Pain-Relief-During-Labor-and-Delivery
  • k

  • Kegel Exercises
    Definition: An exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Details: They are used to treat urinary incontinence, or to prepare for or recover from childbirth. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and(...)
  • l

  • Labor
    Definition: Regular uterine contractions accompanied by changes to the cervix. Details: Labor is divided into three stages. Stage one begins with regular uterine contractions and ends with complete cervical dilatation at 10 cm. Stage two begins with complete cervical dilatation and ends(...)
  • Labor After Cesarean
    Definition: A trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC) is the attempt to have a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. Details: Compared with a planned cesarean delivery, a successful TOLAC is associated with the following benefits: No abdominal surgery, a shorter recovery period, a(...)
  • Labor Coach
    Definition:   Details:   Resources:
  • Large for Gestational Age - LGA
    Definition: A newborn who's significantly larger than average, also called Macrosomia. Details: Fetal macrosomia has been defined in several different ways, including birth weight of 4000-4500 g (8 lb 13 oz to 9 lb 15 oz) or greater than 90% for gestational age after correcting for(...)
  • Lightening
    Definition: Sensation of fetal body part becoming engaged at the pelvis. Details: See engagement. Resources: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7783
  • Lochia
    Definition: The fluid that is discharged from the vagina for a week or so after childbirth. Details: At first the lochia is primarily blood, followed by a more mucousy fluid that contains dried blood, and finally a clear-to-yellow(...)
  • Long Acting Reversible Contraception
    Definition: Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods include the intrauterine device (IUD) and the birth control implant. Details: Over the long term, LARC methods are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, or the(...)
  • Lower Transverse Incision
    Definition: The lower transverse cesarean section incision, also known as the bikini incision, is made through the skin and abdomen in a horizontal line during a cesarean section delivery. Details: The lower transverse incision is the most common type of cesarean incision through the skin(...)
  • Lower Vertical Incision
    Definition: The incision through the skin and abdomen is made in a vertical line low on the abdomen. Details:                                                                                                                                                                                    (...)
  • m

  • Macrosomia
    Definition: A baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia has a birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), regardless of his or her gestational age. Details: Fetal macrosomia can be caused by genetic factors as well as maternal conditions, such as obesity or diabetes. Rarely, a(...)
  • Magnesium Sulfate
    Definition: The use of magnesium sulfate in the context of appropriate clinical obstetric practice includes prevention and treatment of seizures in women with preeclampsia or eclampsia. Details: Prophylactic treatment with magnesium sulfate is indicated for all patients with preeclampsia(...)
  • 

  • Magnesium Sulfate Part 2
    Definition: The use of magnesium sulfate in the context of appropriate clinical obstetric practice includes fetal neuroprotection before anticipated early preterm (less than 32 weeks of gestation) delivery. Details: Available evidence suggests that magnesium sulfate given before(...)
  • m

  • Malpresentation
    Definition: Abnormal positioning of a fetus at the time of delivery. Details: Presentation of any part other than the occiput. Resources: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/malpresentation
  • Maternal Fetal Medicine
    Definition: Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) physicians are high-risk pregnancy experts. Details: A maternal-fetal medicine sub-specialist is an obstetrician/gynecologist who has completed 4 years of Ob/Gyn training followed by 2-3 years of additional education and clinical experience to(...)
  • Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine - MMR
    Definition:                                                                                                                                                                                                               Vaccine for the prevention of measles, mumps and rubella is recommended for(...)
  • Meconium
    Definition: First bowel movement of baby. Details: Meconium is sterile and does not contain bacteria, the primary factor that differentiates it from stool. Intrauterine distress can cause passage into the amniotic fluid. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/974110-overview#a3
  • Meconium Aspiration
    Definition: Fetus has bowel movement prior to delivery and fecal material combines with the amniotic fluid. Details: Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a newborn breathes a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid into the lungs around the time of delivery. Meconium aspiration(...)
  • Mediolateral Episiotomy
    Definition: A vertical incision made from the vagina and angled away from the anus made with scalpel or scissors to widen the vagina for birth. Details: The Mayo Clinic describes the mediolateral episiotomy as more difficult to repair however it has decreased risk of anal tearing. An(...)
  • Midline Episiotomy
    Definition: A vertical incision made between the vagina and anus with scalpel or scissors to widen the vagina for birth. Details: The Mayo Clinic describes the midline episiotomy as is easy to repair however it has the increased risk of anal tearing. An episiotomy is considered when the(...)
  • 

  • Midwife
    Definition: Professional who specializes in prenatal, childbirth and postpartum care of women and infants. Details: A midwife may practice in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units. Resources: http://mana.org/
  • m

  • Miscarriage
    Definition: Premature expulsion of fetus from uterus. Details: A miscarriage may also be called a "spontaneous abortion." This refers to naturally occurring events, not to medical abortions or surgical(...)
  • Morbidity
    Definition: The relative incidence of disease. Details:Morbidity rates help doctors, nurses, and scientists to calculate risks and make recommendations for personal and public health matters accordingly. Resources: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Morbidity_vs_Mortality
  • Mortality
    Definition: The number of deaths that occur in a particular time or place. Details: The mortality rate is often paired with those used to calculate the number of people being born (e.g., crude birth rate), so as to estimate the total living human population on the(...)
  • Mucus Plug
    Definition: Before labor, the mucus plug is expelled allowing the baby to pass through the cervix during labor and birth. Details: The mucus plug may be clear, pink, or slightly bloody. Resources: http://www.webmd.com/baby/labor-signs#1
  • 

  • Multiple Gestations
    Definition: More than one fetus in the womb. Details: If more than one egg is released during the menstrual cycle and each is fertilized by a sperm, more than one embryo may implant and grow in your uterus. This type of pregnancy results in fraternal twins (or more). When a single(...)
  • n

  • Natural Childbirth
    Definition: Minimal medical intervention during childbirth with breathing and relaxation techniques for pain and delivery. Details: The use of breathing exercises, visualization, and self-hypnosis can help mothers cope with pain and discomfort during(...)
  • 

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    Definition: Specialized care unit/area for newborns. Details: Unit in the hospital with medical providers who specialize in care of newborns with health complications. Resources: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=the-neonatal-intensive-care-unit-nicu-90-P02389
  • Neonate
    Definition: Baby who is 4 weeks old and younger. Details: Also called a newborn. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002271.htm
  • n

  • Neonatologist
    Definition: A pediatric subspecialty doctor who treats disorders that affect newborns. Details: It is a hospital-based specialty, and is usually practiced in neonatal intensive care units(...)
  • Neural Tube Defect
    Definition: Defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. Details: If women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before and during early pregnancy, it can help reduce their baby's risk for(...)
  • NonStress Test
    Definition: Measures heart rate in response to movement without introducing stress on the fetus. Details: This test provides useful information about your baby's oxygen supply. Resources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/nonstress-test/home/ovc-20188875
  • Nulliparous
    Definition: Medical term for a woman who has never given birth either by choice or for any other reason. Details: This term also applies to women who have given birth to a stillborn or nonviable infant. Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nulliparous
  • o

  • Obesity
    Definition: A condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Details: If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range. Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html
  • Obstetric Hospitalist
    Definition: An obgyn physician whose primary role is to care for hospitalized obstetric patients and to help manage obstetric emergencies that occur in the hospital. Details: The Obstetric hospitalist is a relatively new concept and not all hospitals provide this level of(...)
  • Obstetrician
    Definition: MD who provides care for women through all stages of pregnancy. Details: A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women's reproductive health. An OBGYN physician is trained in both reproductive health and management of pregnancy, labor and(...)
  • 

  • Occiput - Posterior Presentation
    Definition: The OP position (occiput posterior fetal position) is when the back of baby’s head is against the mother’s back. Details: The occipito-posterior (OP) fetal head position. Most will spontaneously rotate into anterior position before delivery, but a small percentage will persist(...)
  • o

  • Oligohydramnios
    Definition: Inadequate amniotic fluid. Details: Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds your baby in your uterus (womb). It’s very important for your baby’s development. Resources: http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/oligohydramnios.aspx
  • 

  • Oliguria
    Definition: The production of abnormally small amounts of urine. Details: In most clinical situations, acute oliguria is reversible and does not result in intrinsic renal failure. However, identification and timely treatment of reversible causes is crucial because the therapeutic window(...)
  • o

  • Operative Vaginal Delivery
    Definition: Operative vaginal delivery as known as assisted vaginal delivery is accomplished using medical forceps or a vacuum device placed on the baby's head. Details: An operative delivery uses forceps or a vacuum device to add gentle traction to the baby's head while the mother(...)
  • Oxytocin
    Definition: It is released during labor and after stimulation of the nipples. It is a facilitator for childbirth and breast-feeding. Details: Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, and can be used to induce or augment labor contractions. Resources: http://www.thebump.com/a/pitocin
  • p

  • Para
    Definition: Total number of delivered pregnancies Details: Resources:
  • 

  • Parity
    Definition: Number of pregnancies 20 weeks or greater. Details: Parity is not affected by outcomes or number of fetuses. Resources: http://www.mommybabynurse.com/gravida-parity-better-understood/
  • p

  • Pediatrician
    Definition: Medical doctor who specializes in the care of children 18 and younger. Details: It is a good idea to start your pediatrician search early during your pregnancy so you will have time to find one  who has a convenient location, is well recommended, and that you feel has a good(...)
  • 

  • Pelvic Exam
    Definition: A pelvic exam is a procedure where your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses, growths or other abnormalities. Details: A vaginal exam is performed during labor to determine the amount of dilation and effacement(...)
  • Perinatologist
    Definition: Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians (perinatologists) are high-risk pregnancy experts. Details: A maternal-fetal medicine sub-specialist is an obstetrician/gynecologist who has completed 4 years of Ob/Gyn training followed by 2-3 years of additional education and clinical(...)
  • Perineal Massage
    Definition: Antenatal digital perineal massage was associated with a reduction in the incidence of trauma requiring suturing and women practicing perineal massage were less likely to have an episiotomy. Details: Perineal massage, warm compresses and different perineal management(...)
  • Perineum
    Definition: Area between the vulva and rectum. Details: Perineal massage, warm compresses and different perineal management techniques are widely used by midwives and birth attendants to decrease trauma or tears to the perineum during(...)
  • p

  • Pitocin
    Definition: Pitocin is a synthetic form of the naturally produced oxytocin. Details: Pitocin can be used to induce or augment labor contractions and to help prevent heavy bleeding after delivery of the placenta. Resources: http://www.thebump.com/a/pitocin
  • Placenta
    Definition: Provides nourishment to and takes waste away from the fetus. Details: Often delivered like the baby if vaginal or removed through the surgical opening if cesarean section. Medication may be given to help if vaginal delivery is delayed post delivery of the(...)
  • 

  • Placenta Abruption
    Definition: Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the inner wall of the womb before delivery. The condition can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients. Details: Seek emergency care if you experience any classic signs or symptoms of placental abruption, including:(...)
  • p

  • Placenta Accreta
    Definition: Placenta accreta is a serious pregnancy condition that occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall. Details: Placenta accreta is considered a high-risk pregnancy complication. If placenta accreta is suspected during(...)
  • 

  • Placenta Previa
    Definition: When the placenta covers the opening in the mother's cervix. Details: Bright red vaginal bleeding without pain during the second half of pregnancy is the main sign of placenta(...)
  • Polyhydramnios
    Definition: Polyhydramnios is the excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid — the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus during pregnancy. Details: Most cases of polyhydramnios are mild and result from a gradual buildup of amniotic fluid during the second half of(...)
  • Postpartum
    Definition: First 6 weeks after delivery. Details: Your body goes through many changes as it resumes the non-pregnant state. It is important to be aware of what to expect after a vaginal or cesarean seciton delivery. The changes are different for every(...)
  • p

  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
    Definition: Cumulative blood loss postpartum cesarean >=1000 ml or >=500 ml vaginal birth accompanied by hypovolemia. Details: Resources:
  • 

  • Postterm Pregnancy
    Definition: Pregnancy more than 294 days or 42 weeks; term is 37 to 42 weeks. Details: Variations in ovulation, calculations, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles can make it difficult to estimate delivery dates.  1st trimester ultrasound best way to determine gestational age. (...)
  • p

  • Precipitous Vaginal Delivery
    Definition: A precipitous vagina delivery within 3 hours of the start of normal labor. Details: Assisted vaginal delivery using forceps or a vacuum device both add gentle traction to the baby's head while the mother continues pushing.  Assisted vaginal delivery is also known as operative(...)
  • 

  • Preeclampsia
    Definition: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Details: Preeclampsia (also called toxemia) can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby. The only cure for preeclampsia(...)
  • Premature Infant
    Definition: An infant born before 37 weeks of gestation. Details: Resources:
  • p

  • Premature Rupture of Membranes
    Definition: Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) refers to a patient who is beyond 37 weeks' gestation and has presented with rupture of membranes (ROM) prior to the onset of labor. Details: Most patients (90%) enter spontaneous labor within 24 hours when they experience ROM at(...)
  • 

  • Prenatal
    Definition: Relating to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Details: Take care of yourself and your baby by getting early prenatal care. If you know you're pregnant, or think you might be, call your doctor to schedule a visit and attend your scheduled prenatal visits because they are(...)
  • Prenatal Care
    Definition: Medically supervised program of care during pregnancy. Details: Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy. This care can begin even before pregnancy with a(...)
  • Presentation
    Definition: The part of the fetus that can be felt during vaginal exam and will enter the birth canal first. Details: Cephalic presentation occurs in about 97% of deliveries. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002060.htm
  • p

  • Preterm
    Definition: Preterm is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. Details: See preterm labor, preterm birth, preterm rupture of membranes, preterm premature rupture of(...)
  • Preterm Birth
    Definition: Preterm birth is the birth of an infant before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Details: Preterm birth is the greatest contributor to infant death, with most preterm-related deaths occurring among babies who were born very preterm (before 32 weeks). Preterm birth is also a leading cause(...)
  • Preterm Labor
    Definition: Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Details: Changes in the cervix include effacement (the cervix thins out) and dilation (the cervix opens so that the fetuscan enter the(...)
  • 

  • Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes
    Definition: Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is ROM prior to 37 weeks' gestation. Details: Prematurity is the principal risk to the fetus, while infection morbidity and its complications are the primary maternal risks. All plans for management of PPROM remote from term(...)
  • Primary Cesarean Birth
    Definition: Birth through an incision in the abdomen for the first time. Details: The most common indications for primary cesarean delivery include, in order of frequency, labor dystocia, abnormal or indeterminate (formerly, nonreassuring) fetal heart rate tracing, fetal malpresentation,(...)
  • Private Hospital
    Definition: Hospital owned by a for-profit company or a non-profit company whose patients pay for medical services. (not government funded) Details: Because they are privately owned, private hospitals have the right to refuse treatment. By law, however, they must stabilize anyone who is(...)
  • Prolapsed Cord
    Definition: Umbilical cord prolapse is a complication that occurs prior to or during delivery of the baby. In a prolapse, the umbilical cord drops (prolapses) through the open cervix into the vagina ahead of the baby. Details: The cord can then become trapped against the baby's body(...)
  • p

  • Prostaglandins
    Definition: Sometimes synthetic prostaglandins, which can be taken by mouth or placed inside the vagina, are used to prepare (ripen) the cervix for labor. Details: Bishop scores are somewhat subjective, but a score of less than 5 suggests further ripening is needed, while a score of 9 or(...)
  • Proteinuria
    Proteinuria                                                                                                                                                                                               Describes the presence of protein in urine.  Proteinuria is one element of a diagnosis of(...)
  • 

  • Protraction (of labor)
    Definition: Protracted labor is abnormally slow cervical dilation or fetal descent during active labor. Details: Protracted labor may result from fetopelvic disproportion (the fetus cannot fit through the maternal pelvis), which can occur because the maternal pelvis is abnormally small or(...)
  • p

  • Pudendal Block
    Definition: Pudendal block (pudendal anesthesia, sadddle block) is a nerve block to relieve pain associated with the second (pushing) stage of labor. Details: A pudendal block can be given to numb the area between the vagina and anus (perineum).  Pudendal blocks do not relieve the pain of(...)
  • 

  • Pulmonary Edema
    Definition: A condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. Details: Preeclampsia with severe features is defined as preeclampsia in the presence of various other signs or symptoms, including pulmonary edema. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1476919-overview
  • p

  • Pulmonary Embolism
    Definition: A condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. Details: Pulmonary embolism occurs when a clump of material, most often a blood clot, gets wedged into an artery in your lungs. These blood clots most commonly come from the deep veins of(...)
  • 

  • Pulsation
    Definition: Rhythmical throbbing or vibrating (as of an artery.) Details: Currently, insufficient evidence exists to support or to refute the benefits from delayed umbilical cord clamping for term infants that are born in settings with rich resources. However, evidence supports delayed(...)
  • r

  • Regional Anesthetic
    Definition: Regional anesthesia is the use of local anesthetics to block sensations of pain from a large area of the body. Details: Regional anesthesia allows a procedure to be done on a region of the body without your being(...)
  • Repeat Cesarean
    Definition: Birth of the fetus through an incision in the abdomen in a woman who has had a previous cesarean birth. Details: It is important to discuss with your health care provider the risks vs. benefits of attempting to having a vaginaal birth after (previous) Cesarean Section(...)
  • Resident Medical Doctor
    Definition: A physician who has finished medical school and is now receiving training in a specialized area (e.g. OBGYN) Details: The length of residency training varies, depending in the medical specialty type. Resources: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9957
  • Respiration
    Definition: The action of breathing. Details: Respiratory rate (the rate at which breaths occur) is a vital sign. Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/respiration
  • Rh Factor
    Definition: The Rh factor is a protein that can be present on the surface of red blood cells. Details: Most people have the Rh factor—they are Rh positive. Others do not have the Rh factor—they are Rh(...)
  • 

  • Rh Incompatibility
    Definition: Rh incompatibility is a condition that occurs during pregnancy if a woman has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood. Details: Injections of a medicine called Rh immune globulin can keep your body from making Rh antibodies. This medicine helps prevent the(...)
  • r

  • RhoGAM/Rh Immune Globulin (Rhlg)
    Definition: Medication used to treat Rh negative expectant women with Rh positive fetus. Details: Medication used to prevent an rh-negative person's antibodies response to Rh-positive blood cells, treats the incompatibility of the Rh factor antibodies between mother and fetus.  Without(...)
  • 

  • Ripening the Cervix
    Definition: In preparation for labor and delivery, the cervix softens and becomes more distensible, a process called cervical ripening. Details: Ripening of the cervix can be done with prostaglandins or with special(...)
  • r

  • Rooming-In
    Definition: Mother and infant stay together after the birth and throughout the duration of their stay. Details: Babies recognize their parent’s voice, smell, and heartbeat. Having your baby within your presence helps your baby relax. Rooming-In helps you prepare for going home with your(...)
  • 

  • Rubella
    Definition: Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Details: Rubella (sometimes called German measles) can cause birth defects if a woman is infected during pregnancy. Your blood is tested to check whether you have had a past infection with rubella or if you have been(...)
  • r

  • Rupture of Membranes
    Definition: Membranes break (rupture) when a hole or tear develops in the fluid-filled bag (amniotic sac) that surrounds and protects the fetus. Details: This can occur naturally or be done artificially. Resources: http://www.webmd.com/baby/rupture-of-the-membranes
  • 

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
    Definition: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are generally acquired by sexual contact. Details: Women who are pregnant can become infected with the same STDs as women who are not pregnant. Pregnancy does not provide women or their babies any(...)
  • s

  • Shoulder Dystocia
    Definition: Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby's head is delivered through the vagina, but his shoulders get stuck inside the mother's body. Details: Although there are risk factors for shoulder dystocia, health care providers cannot usually predict or prevent(...)
  • 

  • Sickle Cell Carrier Test
    Definition: The sickle cell test looks for the abnormal hemoglobin in the blood that causes the disease sickle cell anemia. Details: If the result shows that you carry a sickle cell gene then a test is also offered to the baby's father (if possible). The results of both parents' tests(...)
  • Skin to Skin
    Definition: Immediate contact of the newborn with the mother after delivery. Details: Normal, term newborns who are placed skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth make the transition from fetal to newborn life with greater respiratory, temperature, and glucose stability(...)
  • s

  • Small for Gestational Age
    Definition:                                                                                                                                                                                                               Fetus is smaller or less developed than average for the age of gestation and(...)
  • Spina Bifida
    Definition: Spina bifida occurs when bones of the spine don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. Details: Spina bifida treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Spina bifida occulta often doesn't require treatment at all, but other types of spina bifida(...)
  • Spinal Block
    Definition: A spinal block is sometimes called a “spinal.” In this procedure, a narcotic or anesthetic is injected below the spinal column directly into the spinal fluid. Details: Most C-sections are done under regional anesthesia, which numbs only the lower part of your body — allowing(...)
  • Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes
    Definition: Membranes break (rupture) when a hole or tear develops in the fluid-filled bag (amniotic sac) that surrounds and protects the fetus. Details: Your membranes can break by themselves (spontaneous rupture of the membranes), or they may be ruptured by the doctor or nurse-midwife(...)
  • Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
    Definition: Delivery of the fetus through the vagina without the application of vacuum or forceps. Details: A spontaneous vaginal delivery results from contractions of the uterus during labor. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/83021-overview
  • Stages of Labor
    Definition: Labor is divided into three stages, stages 1, 2 and 3. Details: The first stage involves early and active labor. The second stage involves the birth of your baby, and the third stage is when the placenta is(...)
  • 

  • Sterilization
    Definition: Procedure to permanently prevent further pregnancies. Details: Sterilization procedures for women are called tubal occlusion. The procedure for men is called vasectomy. Resources: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Sterilization-for-Women-and-Men
  • Syphilis
    Definition: Syphilis is an STD that can cause long-term complications if not treated. Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. These stages are primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis. Details: Pregnant women with the disease can spread it to their baby. This disease, called(...)
  • t

  • Tachycardia
    Definition: Tachycardia is a faster than normal heart rate at rest. Details: Fetal tachycardia is when the fetal heart rate (FHR) is greater than 160 beats per minute. Resources: http://perinatology.com/Fetal%20Monitoring/Intrapartum%20Monitoring.htm
  • 

  • Tay-Sachs Disease
    Definition: Tay-Sachs disease is a rare disorder passed from parents to child. In the most common form, a baby about 6 months old will begin to show symptoms. Details: Tay-Sachs disease results when an enzyme that helps break down fatty substances is(...)
  • t

  • Teaching Hospital
    Definition: A hospital that is affiliated with a medical school and provides means for medical education. Details: Teaching hospitals are responsible for training new generations of physicians and are the frontrunners in medical research and(...)
  • Temperature
    Definition: A measurement of the heat in a person's body. Details: The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C). Resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperature https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001982.htm
  • Term
    Definition: In 2012 the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists recommended replacing the label 'term"" with more specific and clinically actionable designations. Details: The label “term” has been replaced with the designations to more accurately describe deliveries occurring(...)
  • Tetanus, Diptheria, Acellular Pertussis Vaccination
    Definition: Given to pregnant women in the third trimester between 27 and 36 weeks to prevent transmission of whooping cough to the newborn. Details: Newborns develop antibodies to whooping cough after 2months.  The Tdap vaccination is recommened as a means of preventing this deadly(...)
  • 

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
    Definition: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that regulates the formation and secretion of thyroid hormone. Details: Certain disorders can cause the thyroid gland to make too much or too little hormone. Women at risk of thyroid disease include those who have or have had an(...)
  • Tocodynamometer
    Definition: An electronic device for monitoring and recording uterine contractions in labor. Details: It consists of a pressure transducer that is applied to the fundus of the uterus by means of a belt, which is connected to a machine that records the duration of the contractions and the(...)
  • t

  • Tocolytics
    Definition: Tocolytic agents inhibit uterine contractions and suppress pre-term labor. Details: Tocolytics can delay labor and give more time for fetal growth and for the fetal lungs to mature. Resources: https://www.drugs.com/drug-class/tocolytic-agents.html
  • Toxoplasmosis
    Definition: Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world's most common parasites. Details: If you are newly infected with Toxoplasma while you are pregnant, or just before pregnancy, then you can pass the infection on to your(...)
  • Transfusion
    Definition: Blood transfusion is a medical treatment that replaces blood lost through injury, surgery, or disease. Details: The blood goes through a tube from a bag to an intravenous (IV) catheter and into your vein.  Blood used for transfusions in the United States is very safe and(...)
  • 

  • Transition Phase of Labor
    Definition: The end of active labor is called the transition phase. Details: During the transition phase, as the baby moves down in the pelvis, your contractions become more intense and longer and come even closer(...)
  • t

  • Transvaginal Ultrasound
    Definition: An ultrasound of the pelvis or transvaginal ultrasound is used to examine the uterus and ovaries in a female. Details: This method may be preferred due to the higher quality of images obtained that gives the doctors optimal results. It can also be used to determine how far(...)
  • 

  • Transverse Incision
    Definition: Low transverse incisions are the most common uterine incisions during cesarean sections. Details: Two common transverse abdominal skin incisions for cesarean delivery are the Pfannenstiel type and the Joel-Cohen type(...)
  • t

  • Transverse Position
    Definition: Transverse lie is when your baby is positioned horizontally across the uterus, rather than vertically. Details: If labor has already begun and your baby is in the transverse position, your health care provider may recommend a Cesarean section(...)
  • Trial of Labor After Cesarean
    Definition: A trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC) is the attempt to have a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. Details: When attempting a trial of labor after cesarean, be prepared for changes to your delivery plan. If you have chosen TOLAC, things can happen during(...)
  • Trimester
    Definition: A period of three months; especially : one of three periods into which a woman's pregnancy is often divided. Details: The first trimester of pregnancy is 1 0/7 week through 12 7/7 weeks  or about 3 months. The second trimester is 13 0/7 weeks through 27 7/7 The third(...)
  • 

  • Trisomy 21
    Definition: The term trisomy is used to describe the presence of three chromosomes, rather than the usual matched pair of chromosomes. Details:If a baby is born with three #21 chromosomes, rather than the usual pair, then the baby would be said to have "trisomy 21."  Trisomy 21 is also(...)
  • t

  • Tubal Sterilization
    Definition: A tubal ligation (sterilization) — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. Details: During a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent(...)
  • 

  • Tuberculosis
    Definition: Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Details: The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with TB disease should start(...)
  • Tubes Tied
    Definition: A tubal ligation (sterilization) — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. Details: During a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent(...)
  • Ultrasound
    Definition: A method of producing images of the inside of the body by using a machine that produces sound waves which are too high to be heard. Details: A pregnancy ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of how a baby is developing in the womb. It is also(...)
  • Umbilical cord
    Definition: A cord connecting the embryo or fetus with the placenta of the mother and transporting nourishment from the mother and wastes from the fetus. Details: The umbilical arteries and vein run within the cord. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut at birth, and its residual tip(...)
  • u

  • Urinary Analysis
    Definition: Urinalysis is a test of your urine. A urinalysis is used to detect and manage a wide range of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. Details: Your urine may be tested for red blood cells (to see if you have urinary tract disease), white blood(...)
  • 

  • Urine Culture
    Definition: A urine culture is a test to find germs (such as bacteria) in the urine that can cause an infection. Details: A urine culture is performed during pregnancy if a urinary tract infection is suspected. This test identifies the presence or absence of specific types of bacteria(...)
  • Uterine Inversion
    Definition: Uterine inversion occurs when the uterine fundus collapses into the endometrial cavity, turning the uterus partially or completely inside out. Details: It is a rare complication of vaginal or cesarean delivery, but when it occurs, it is a life-threatening obstetrical(...)
  • Uterus
    Definition: The organ in women and some female animals in which babies develop before birth. Details: In the beginning, the uterus can be around the size of a fist, but it can expand enough to accommodate a full term(...)
  • v

  • Vacuum Delivery
    Definition: During vacuum extraction, a health care provider applies the vacuum — a soft or rigid cup with a handle and a vacuum pump — to the baby's head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. This is commonly called an Assisted or Operative Vaginal Delivery. Details: Your health(...)
  • 

  • Vagina
    Definition: The passage leading from the uterus to the vulva in certain female mammals. Details: Vaginal tears during childbirth, also called perineal lacerations or tears, occur when the baby's head is coming through the vaginal opening and is too large for the vagina to stretch around.(...)
  • Vaginal Birth
    Definition: Birth of the fetus through the vagina. Details: A spontaneous vaginal delivery results from contractions of the uterus during labor. Resources: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/83021-overview
  • v

  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
    Definition: Birth of the fetus through the vagina after a previous cesarean section. Details: Compared with having another C-section, a vaginal delivery involves no surgery, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to normal daily activities. VBAC might also be appealing if you have(...)
  • Venipuncture
    Definition: Venipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. Details: It is most often done for laboratory testing. Most of the time, blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. Resources: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003423.htm
  • Vertex Presentation
    Definition: A head position at the time of delivery, where the crown of the baby is the presenting part. Details: Vertex is the most common head presentation at birth. Most babies settle into this position within the 32nd and 36th weeks of(...)
  • Vertical incision
    Definition: A low vertical incision on the uterus might be used if your baby is in an awkward position. Details: A vertical skin incision is sometimes performed when the incision-to-delivery time is(...)
  • Virginia Apgar
    Definition: Virginia Apgar, MD, (1909-1974) was an obstetrical anesthesiologist best known for developing the Apgar score, a system used worldwide for evaluating the physical condition of newborns at birth. Details: The Apgar score provides an accepted and convenient method for reporting(...)
  • Vital Signs
    Definition: Measurement of life functions; respiration rate, temperature, blood pressure and pulse.  A range of normal vital signs changes with age. Details: Resources: