A-Z of Pregnancy

Since I am not close to giving birth yet (yes, who knew!) let me just write another entry. I felt the need to help every woman be educated on the things, most especially to some of the terms that you will hear from day one and for the rest of your life.

Remember what I told on my last blog, you must be as smart as your doctor? Well this is your chance.

ACTIVE LABOR – Usually around 4-7cm of dilation and this is where contractions might be more consistent and frequent. Also the time where the hospital admits you.

AMNIOTIC SAC – Also called bag of waters where the fetus developed. Rupture can mean that labor is about to follow.
AMNIOTOMY – Artificial rupturing of the amniotic sac to help induce labor.

APGAR SCORE (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration) – Developed by Dr. Virginia Apgar. A simple assessment of how a baby is doing at birth, which helps determine whether your newborn is ready to meet the world without additional medical assistance.

BRAXTON HICKS – Contraction like feeling usually starts at 6 weeks of pregnancy but some women don’t feel it until their last trimester. Sometimes associated with false labor because true labor contractions has pattern.

BREECH PRESENTATION – A type of malpresentation where the baby exits the pelvis buttocks or feet first. Usually calls for a cesarean delivery.

CEPHALIC PRESENTATION – Good news! This is how your baby should be in labor — Head first.

CERVIX – Part of the female reproductive system. Somewhere between your vagina and uterus. The cervix holds the baby’s head during labor. It is the one that dilates and effaced in preparation for childbirth.

CESAREAN DELIVERY/C-SECTION – An operation that requires cutting of the abdomen wall and uterus to take out the baby.

COAT (Color, Odor, Amount, Time of the day) – Things that you should check if you think your water ruptured and must give your doctor a call.

CONTRACTIONS – Cramping/tightening of the uterus. Important factor in labor because the power of your contractions will push the baby down to your birth canal. It comes in a pattern.

CORD COIL – It is when your baby’s umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck and calls for a c-section.

CROWNING – Top area of the baby’s head is now visible which can also mean that you are almost done!

DILATION – The opening of the cervix in preparation for childbirth (yes our cervix opens!) From 1cm-10cm. When you reach 10cm you will now be asked to push the baby out.

EARLY LABOR – Can occur weeks before due date. Usually your cervix dilates up to 3cm during this stage.

EDEMA – Swelling of organs. Also known as “manas”

EFFACEMENT – The thinning of the cervix because prior to labor, our cervix is closed.

EFFLEURAGE – French word for massage which all pregnant women desires.

EFM (External Fetal Monitor) – A device they strap around your belly to monitor baby’s movement.

ENEMA – A procedure used during labor to help mother release her stool.

EPIDURAL – Type of anesthesia (and most common) that is injected in the epidural space of our spine to help lessen pain during childbirth. Will make you feel numb waist down.

EPISIOTOMY – A small cut done somewhere between the vagina and the anus to make baby’s delivery easier. Don’t worry, your doctor will repair this after.

FACE BROW PRESENTATION – Type of malpresentation where the baby exits the pelvis forehead first and yes this is a good candidate for c-section.

FEAR – We all know what fear means but fear in childbirth can bring depression and more serious pain, so don’t be afraid!

FUNDAL PRESSURE – Somehow applying pressure on top of your belly during labor to help inflict more contractions.

INDUCTION/INDUCE – Refers to different methods of artificially stimulate childbirth.

KEGEL EXERCISE – An exercise that can help strengthen the pelvic floor.

LABOR – First stage of childbirth. Can be painful but you’ll get over it!

LOCHIA – Bleeding after birth. But this should not last longer than 2 weeks.

MECONIUM ASPIRATION – My husband’s favorite word! Medical condition affects a newborn. In some cases during last few days of pregnancy, baby passes meconium (first poop) and is present in their lungs during or before birth.

MUCUS PLUG – Also known as “bloody show”. This plug seals our cervix and is released in preparation for childbirth. It can look like a rubbery type of discharge tinged with blood or sometimes brownish. They say once you released the plug, labor is just a few days away.

NATURAL BIRTH – Normal delivery unaccompanied by any medication just like the old days.

NEWBORN SCREENING – They test your baby shortly after birth or before you get discharged from the hospital for certain harmful and potentially fatal disorders.

NORMAL SPONTANEOUS DELIVERY – What everyone must opt for. A type of delivery where the baby passes through your pelvis down to your cervix and out from your vagina.

OXYTOCIN – A kind of drug being used to strengthen contractions.

PELVIC FLOOR – Your pelvic floor supports your bladder, bowel, and uterus (womb), and gives you control over when you empty your bladder and bowel. It is important to exercise this area to prepare for childbirth.

PELVIS – Every human has pelvis but ours is the most powerful because it is where the baby passes during childbirth. A perfect size of pelvis will save you from having a c-section.

PLACENTA – The organ that connects to your baby’s umbilical cord and to your uterine wall. This is where all the nutrients are stored (the food we eat). After delivering the baby, we also have to deliver this one.

PRE TERM LABOR – A labor that occurred on your 36th week or less. Causes giving birth to premature baby.

PUSHING – All ladies got to push only when they are 10cm dilated and while having a contraction. It’s like pooping but you are actually releasing your baby.

STATION – Refers to the position of your baby’s head and is measured from -5 to +5. A 0 means the head has entered the birth canal, positive number means it is moving down and a +5 means your baby’s crowning.

TRANSITION – The hardest, most painful part of labor and delivery. Usually occurs when you are 8-10cm dilated. This is just quick though so don’t worry.

TRANSVERSE PRESENTATION – A type of malpresentation where the baby is lying in our uterus sideways and calls for a cesarean delivery.

UMBILICAL CORD – Babies receive nourishment and oxygen in the womb through the placenta, which is connected to the inner wall of the mother’s uterus. After your baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut close to the body in a painless procedure, leaving an umbilical stump.

UTERUS – The womb. Where the baby grows and develops for 40 weeks. It expands as your baby grows and must go back to its original size after childbirth.

Weeks – Use to measure age of gestation. A pregnant woman can be pregnant until 41 weeks

Also, here are the things the hospital should give your baby before discharge:
1. Newborn Screening
2. Hearing Test
3. Initial Shots/Med Treatment – Vitamin K, BCG, Hep B and Eye Ointment

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