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64 – Great Expectations


Amniocentesis: Usually performed from 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy, it tests the fuid surrounding the baby and allows certain diseases and other factors like the sex of the baby to be detected.

Areola: The dark ringed area around the nipple.

Bloody Show: This is caused by the thinning of the cervix and is usually associated with thick mucous and may be one of the frst signs of labor.

Braxton-Hicks Contractions: Intermittent uterine contractions with unpredictable frequency throughout pregnancy. These contractions are most often painless, and occur more frequently as the pregnancy progresses.

Cesarean Birth: The method used to deliver a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.

Colostrum: It is the forerunner to breastmilk and may be yellow to almost colorless. It is present in the breasts during pregnancy and the initial fuid that baby will receive for approximately 2 to 3 days until breastmilk is established.

Contractions: The rhythmical tightening and relaxation of the uterine muscles that cause changes to occur to cervix.

Due Date: The due date is usually computed from the frst day of the last regular period then subtracting three months, and adding seven days. Only 1 in 20 babies is born exactly on the calculated day, although most are born within 10 days of the expected date.

Ectopic Pregnancy: The fertilization of an egg outside the womb usually in a fallopian tube, and is a serious cause of early bleeding.

Embryo: A fertilized egg that has begun the cell division stages of growth and differentiation from fertilization to the beginning of the third month of pregnancy.

Epidural: An anesthetic is injected through a catheter in the lower back producing numbness of the lower abdomen, legs, and birth canal.

Excessive Salivation: It is caused by excessive secretion of the salivary glands in the mouth and is quite annoying and diffcult to treat. It tends to diminish in the latter half of pregnancy.

False Labor: Involves cramps or contractions of the lower abdomen, similar to real labor, but there is a vital difference. False labor does not cause a change in the cervix.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The medical term that describes the many physical and mental problems that affect children born to mothers who drank during their pregnancy.

Fetus: What the baby is referred to after the third month of pregnancy.

Folic Acid: One of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the making of nucleic acid. Lack of adequate folic acid during pregnancy was frst found to increase the risk for the baby to have a birth defect involving the spinal cord and brain.

Genetic Disorder: A disease caused by an alteration of a gene or group of genes in a person’s cells.

Gestational Diabetes: A type of diabetes that only occurs in pregnant women, that usually subsides after pregnancy.

Glucose Tolerance Test: A simple and safe test requires only that you drink a sugar cola and have a blood sample checked one hour later.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS): Is a type of bacteria that can normally be found in the birth canal of up to one-third of all women. Only 1 to 2% of all babies who are exposed to GBS bacteria during pregnancy become infected.

Herpes: A virus that is characterized by small sores in clusters on the genitals. The infection is generally sexually transmitted and can affect the baby.

Hemorrhoid: A dilated blood vessel inside the anus and beneath its thin lining (internal), or outside the anus and beneath the surface of the skin (external).

High-Risk Pregnancy: When a medical condition or pregnancy-related complication threatens the well-being of you or your baby.

Kegel Exercises: An exercise contracting the pelvic foor muscles that improves pelvic foor muscle tone and helps prevent urinary incontinence.

Kick Count: Refers to spontaneous fetal movements experienced by the pregnant mother. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you note the time it takes to feel 10 kicks, twists, turns, swishes or rolls.

Latch-On: The baby positioned on the breast with the entire nipple and at least an inch of the areolar tissue in his mouth. The compression of the suck and the baby’s tongue resting on the lower gum allows the baby to draw milk through the nipple.

Mastitis: Infection of the breast causing breast soreness, fever and fu-like symptoms.

Milk Ejection Refex (Let-Down): The release of milk from the milk glands stimulated by the baby as he nurses.

Miscarriage: The spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks gestation.

Montgomery Glands: Pimple-like structures near the border of the areola. These glands secrete a substance that aids in lubricating and cleansing the area.

Non-Stress Test: Used to evaluate fetal heart rate patterns, especially during fetal movements.

Oxytocin: A hormone in a woman’s body that contributes to the start of labor and later to affect the “letdown” response.

Pica: A medical term for the unusual cravings for strange foods that you may experience during pregnancy.

Pediatrician: A physician who specializes in pediatrics; a children’s doctor or baby doctor.

Placenta Previa: Results when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix.

Placenta Abruption: Occurs when the placenta prematurely detaches from the inner lining of the womb.

Preeclampsia: A condition in pregnancy characterized by a sharp rise in blood pressure, large amounts of protein in the urine and swelling of the hands, feet, and face. Preeclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy.

Prenatal Care: The regular health care women should receive during pregnancy from a healthcare provider.

Prenatal Testing: Routine tests performed on a pregnant woman or her fetus to prevent or diagnose abnormalities.

Preterm Labor: Labor that begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Prolactin: A hormone secreted from the pituitary gland that stimulates the milk gland cells in the breast to begin producing milk.

Quickening: The frst futter of life felt by a pregnant mom.

Rh Factor: An antigen found in the red blood cells of most people. Those who have an Rh factor are said to be Rh positive (Rh+), while those who do not are Rh negative (Rh-).

RhoGam: An injection given to mothers who are Rh negative. This injection routinely given at 28 weeks of pregnancy and within 72 hours following birth.

Round Ligament Pain: Pain in one or both groin regions from stretching or spasm of the round ligaments.

Sonogram: The use of sound waves to produce a “picture” of the developing fetus inside the uterus. It also is called an ultrasound.

Toxoplasmosis: An infection that you can get from eating raw or undercooked meat or by transfer from cats.

VBAC: “Vaginal Birth After Cesarean”

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