IMPORTANT COMMON TERMS
A fluid that is produced by and inside of the water bag during pregnancy.
A medical facility for the labor and childbirth experience in a family-friendly, home-like environment.
When the baby is positioned so that buttocks or feet will be delivered first.
Hormones released in the body in response to fear, cold or stress. "Fight or flight" hormones.
Thin tubing of medical-grade materials, a urinary catheter is necessary with an epidural.
A drug used for inducing cervical ripening relaxes and softens the cervix. FDA approved and inserted it into the vagina.
A French term for the father or birth partner's rituals during labor, including sympathetic labor pains.
CPM and CNM
A CNM (certified nurse midwife) is trained first as a nurse with 2 additional years of nurse-midwifery training; must have a referral relationship with a doctor.
A CPM (certified professional midwife) works entirely out of hospitals with multiple routes of education recognized for certification.
A drug used in labor (not specifically approved by the FDA for this purpose) to encourage "cervical ripening." It can cause uterine rupture.
DOUBLE HIP SQUEEZE
A method by which a birth partner/doula applies pressure to the upper pelvis, relieving pain.
Trained labor companion that provides educational, emotional, and physical support before, during, and after labor. A doula generally does not have a "shift" and provides continuous care. She/He also typically works for you, not the hospital or birth center.
Estimated Due Date
Epidural anesthesia is regional anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body.
In this approach, there is a reduced emphasis on traditional surgical rituals and an increased emphasis on facilitating the early interaction of the mother and family with their baby. See improvingbirth.org
Foley catheter balloons can be used to mechanically dilate the cervix and have been helpful to ready the cervix for induction. With this method, small rubber tubing is placed through the cervix and a balloon inside the tubing is inflated just inside the inner edge of the cervix.
The use of hypnotic techniques during labor by an expectant mother to reduce the pain and emotional stress of delivery.
High blood pressure
HELLP syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women who have: H -- hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells); EL -- elevated liver enzymes; LP -- low platelet count. It is rare and typically occurs in the third trimester. Please click here for more information.
A term coined by midwife Ina May Gaskin to refer to the body's natural ability to birth, ie: "your inner primate knows how to labor"
The traditional Chinese method for "turning" a breech baby, involves the burning of Mugwort.
A philosophy of childbirth that is based on the belief that women are innately able to give birth without routine medical interventions.
A protein made by the pituitary gland for stimulating contractions of the uterus, in naturally produced doses facilitates bonding, breastfeeding, and uterine contraction with no ill side-effects.
The art of assessing fetal size and position with the hands applied to a woman's abdomen.
When the placenta attaches itself to the uterine muscle and cannot be released in the usual way after birth. More common in a uterus with scar tissue.
The period just after the birth of the baby up to 2-3 years after. In some cultures, it is believed that the postpartum period could last beyond the first 3 years.
POSTPARTUM MOOD DISORDERS/POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Postpartum Mood Disorders are on a spectrum. Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Please see the "Community Resource" page for support.
Before birth, during pregnancy.
When the umbilical cord precedes (partially or fully blocking) the fetus' exit from the uterus.
A term coined by midwife Ina May Gaskin refers to a reversal in labor progress due to a sudden change in the atmosphere of the room. Imagine trying to have a bowel movement while lying on your back in a bright room with many people watching, some strangers. Your sphincter would close. The same principle applies to labor. The more comfortable, safe, and relaxed mom feels, the better her labor can progress.
Poisonous to the embryo or fetus.
An amnesiac condition induced in childbearing women mainly in the first half of the 20th century.
Vacuum extraction is a procedure sometimes done during the course of vaginal childbirth. 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 typically done during a contraction while the mother pushes.
Vaginal birth after cesarean.
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