Pregnancy, Labor & Birth Terms You’ll Hear | Knowing Them Will Help You Make Better Decisions.



Evidenced Base Care- health care based on the usage of current, up-to-date evidence when making decisions about a patient rather than health care based on opinions, old protocols or socially determined practice (see our Get Smart resource, with examples, on Evidence Based Care).


Amniocentesis- a diagnostic test that is used to identify potential abnormalities in the developing baby. A needle is inserted into the abdomen of the pregnant mama and amniotic fluid is withdrawn. The baby’s skin cells that are sloughed off by baby float around in the amniotic fluid, allowing doctors to tell by the DNA if there are abnormalities in the baby.

Amniotic Fluid- while your baby is in your uterus, they have to have something to swim around in right? The amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds baby, it’s contained in a sac (along with your baby). The amniotic fluid allows your baby to move around in your uterus (which helps bones to develop), gives them a cushion and protects them against injury from the outside, and keeps the temperature in the womb constant.

Birth Canal- This is the passage way that your baby goes through to be born.

Cervix- The cervix is the opening to the uterus. It’s basically like the end of the balloon that’s cinched up so air can’t escape, except, in this case it’s what keeps your baby inside the uterus (womb). During labor, your cervix opens and enlarges and will get 10 centimeters large (that’s about the size of a bagel).

Doppler ultrasound- The Doppler ultrasound is used in pregnancy to detect the baby’s heartbeat.  Providers will put some gel on your abdomen, and hold the small Doppler against it. (It doesn’t hurt). High frequency waves pass through your skin & tissues and bounce back. When the high frequency waves bounce back you can hear sounds like the baby’s heart beating, (or your intestines digesting).

Embryo- this is what scientific-y folks refer to as “your baby” from the moment of conception until 10th week of pregnancy.  

Fetus- this is what scientific-y types call your baby from the end of the 8th week of pregnancy until its born.

Folic Acid- is a member of the Vitamin B family. Research indicates that Folic Acid prevents a rare form of anemia, helps red blood cells and structures form and it’s been found to help reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects (like spina bifida), providers recommend mamas take Folic Acid as they prepare to get pregnant and continue especially through the first trimester of pregnancy.

Full Term- The medical definition of “full term” has historically been 37 or more weeks. But some maternity experts and advocates are trying to change that to 39/40 weeks. Since the longer a baby grows in your womb the better. And that’s because a ton of very important brain & lung development (crucial for baby) happens at the tail end of baby’s time in the womb.

Gestation- Is the age of your growing bambino from conception. Or a way more fun way to think about it- the amount of time it takes for your bun to grow and develop in your oven.  . For elephants it’s 22 months. (Thank God you’re not an elephant), for humans it’s 40 weeks (or basically 10 months).

Glucose Tolerance Test- this test is usually taken around 28 weeks of pregnancy and measures the level of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. Women typically drink a super sugary drink and an hour later blood is drawn to measure the sugar in the blood. If this test isn’t passed with flying colors, providers will recommend the mama do a 3-hour glucose tolerance test, where the mama’s blood is drawn every hour for 3 hours after the sugary drink is consumed.  High levels of sugar in blood may mean that you have gestational diabetes.

Hormones- some of the main hormones present in a pregnant woman are:

Estrogen- the big gun of hormones. Estrogen is responsible for lots of things like helping the uterus grow, maintaining the uterine lining, getting your blood circulation into overdrive, and activating and regulating all the other hormones.

Progesterone- “pro-gestational” hormone (get the connection?) Progesterone is the other big gun of hormones coursing through your body. Its job is to keep the placenta functioning properly, the uterine lining healthy & promotes growth in your breasts. It’s also responsible for the increased swelling and bleeding of your gums and the gnarly “pregnancy gingivitis” (or bad breath) you’re experiencing because of the bacteria it bathes your mouth in. Oh and that acne you thought you were rid of? Progesterone brings it back like a bad habit.

Relaxin- Relaxin (as its name implies), helps things loosen up and slow down in your body. Relaxin and progesterone team up and cause quite a raucous in your body. These two are responsible for indigestion, heartburn, constipation, they soften cartilage, loosen joints and ligaments. You may notice some aches in your hips and pelvic area late in pregnancy due to this loosening. Relaxin also softens and lengthens the cervix and helps relax muscles.

Oxytocin- Oxytocin is present throughout your pregnancy but comes onto the scene in a huge way when you’re in labor.  Oxytocin is the hormone that gets your uterus contracting. Oxytocin is also called “the love drug” and promotes bonding with you and your baby, giving you feelings of euphoria after birth. When the baby starts suckling at your breast, Oxytocin is released making your breasts “let down” and milk flow.  Oxytocin is also responsible for shrinking the uterus after birth          

HcG- (also known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is the hormone that shows up the second you are pregnant. The cells of your newly developing placenta create the HcG- and it is present in your pee and in your blood (hence the reason you can pee on a stick and know if you’re pregnant). HcG is also to blame for morning sickness. The surging quantities of this hormone, especially in your first trimester, can mean queasiness and nausea.

Prolactin- some people call this the “mothering hormone” since it is thought to be partly responsible for the strong feelings that mamas have toward their babies. Prolactin is also responsible for producing milk in mama’s breasts.  If you’re finding copious amounts of unwanted hair all over your body (in strange places), blame that on prolactin too.

Kegels- exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor (perineum). When you go pee and stop the flow of pee in the middle- those are the muscles we’re referring to when we say “kegels.” Reasons you need to do kegels? Not only will kegels enhance your sex life causing you to be able to control the tightness your partner feels (as if you want to think about that right now), they also will help you when it comes to pushing out your baby, will reduce tearing of your perineum and will help you have a quicker recovery (so you don’t sneeze and pee on yourself).

Lamaze- a childbirth method which focuses on using different types of breathing to help with pain relief.

Mucous Plug- we refer to this affectionately as “the baby cork”. It’s kinda like a champagne cork for your cervix. Its composed of mucous which seals up the cervix so that bacteria and other stuff doesn’t find its way into your uterus. As your body prepares itself for labor you will “lose your cork”- often times this event resembles someone blowing their nose on your panties (rather than the sexier “popping open a bottle of champagne”).

Obstetric Bloodwork Panel- this is the blood work done early in the pregnancy to determine the health of the mama. These tests can identify potential problems in pregnancy.  This panel identifies various things like:

Rh compatibility: If you have Rh negative blood and baby turns out to have Rh positive blood- then you may produce antibodies which attack the baby’s blood. Since care providers won’t necessarily know the baby’s blood type, Rh negative mamas are given a Rh Immunoglobin injection which will prohibit the development of these antibodies- this usually occurs in the 28th week of pregnancy. Then baby is given an injection if baby is found to have Rh positive blood after birth. 

Your Blood Type- pretty straight forward.

Blood count- pretty straight forward.

HIV or other STDs- pretty straight forward.

They also look at other things like: rubella, measles, chicken pox, hepatitis B

Omega-3 Fatty Acids- prenatal vitamins typically don’t include Omega-3s & Western diets don’t have much Omega 3 either. While research isn’t super conclusive on the effect of Omega-3s on your developing baby, there is some evidence suggesting that it helps with brain development. Either way, Omega-3 is very beneficial to you (mom) &  if you’re interested in eating more Omega-3s, read more about Omega-3 here.

Ovulation- is when your ovaries release an egg). You can’t get pregnant if you’re not ovulating, because there is no egg to fertilize. That’s why it’s important to know when you’re ovulating.  Ovulation is different for every woman but typically it occurs smack dab in the middle of your menstrual cycle, or 14 days from the beginning of your last period.

Pelvic Exam- is a way for healthcare providers to check and make sure your reproductive organs are healthy. This may be done during your yearly exam (when you have a Pap Smear) or may be done when you’re pregnant. Typically you are lying down and the provider will press on your lower abdomen (so they can feel the organs from the outside), then they may use a speculum which is inserted into the vagina and widens the vagina so the provider can check out the cervix. At this point they may do the Pap Smear and collect cells from the cervix. They test these cells to see if there’s cancer. Next is the bi-manual exam where the provider will put 2 fingers inside the vagina and uses the other hand to press along the outside- they’re able to detect organ shape and size this way. Sometimes a rectal exam is performed where your provider inserts gloved fingers into your rectum to make sure all is as it should be and there are no abnormalities. 

Pelvic floor- The perineum, also known as “the pelvic floor”, consists of two layers of muscles that are interwoven; they essentially enclose the bottom of the pelvis.  These muscles form a sort of hammock (I’ve also heard it referred to as a trampoline) for some pretty essential internal organs of yours: the bladder, uterus and rectum. During birth, it’s a good idea to apply some warm compresses, massage with olive oil the perineum (it’s the area under the vagina and above the anus) that will help to avoid or lessen tearing or damage. We teach you how right here

Placenta- A disposable organ that your body creates when you’re pregnant. The placenta is the connector that attaches the umbilical cord to your uterus (and hence to your baby). It has a crucial role because it’s the way your baby is able to eat, dispose of waste and allows for the exchange of gas.  Your placenta will be delivered shortly after your baby is. Research suggests the many hormones and unique genetic makeup of your placenta make it a wonderful item to consume (either raw, cooked or in capsule form) and can have benefits such as increased breast milk production, elimination or lessening of postpartum depression and overall faster recovery.  Humans are apparently the only mammals who do not eat their placentas (generally speaking).

Standard ultrasound- Same technology as the Doppler but instead of just sound, you see the image of the baby (in 2-D)  in the womb. Typically ultrasounds are done at 20 weeks when the gender of the baby is discovered (if you want to find out). They also look at the organs of the baby, measure the baby’s arms, legs, head circumference and lots of other mind-blowing things like checking out the position of the placenta. There is no research to indicate whether regular standard ultrasound usage has any impact on the health or future health of the baby, but there are questions.

Trimesters- A trimester is just a 3 month block of time. There are three trimesters during pregnancy. These are about 13 weeks each in length. It’s just a “pregnancy meter” that helps you understand the different phases of pregnancy.

Umbilical cord- the food source for your baby.  The umbilical cord is attached at one end to your baby (future site of belly button) and at the other end is attached to the placenta. This cord delivers food, oxygen, and removes waste and allows for gas exchange.

Uterus- this is the pear shaped, muscular organ where the fertilized egg implants and will become your baby’s home while you’re pregnant. The muscular aspect of the uterus helps get baby out of your body when it’s time for baby to be born. A non preggo uterus weighs approximately 3 oz. Your uterus at the time of birth is approximately 2 pounds.

Vitamin D- During the third trimester, your body’s need for calcium increases because baby is developing their skeleton. If you’re not consuming a lot of calcium-rich foods like dark leafy green veggies, yogurt, cheese or drinking vitamin D fortified milk, you may want to/need to supplement with both calcium and vitamin D.

Water Breaking- in 12% of pregnancies the amniotic sac breaks and the amniotic fluid comes (sometimes gushing) out (other times it just seeps out). This signals that baby is getting ready to be born. One good thing to know is that your body continually makes amniotic fluid until your baby’s birth, so don’t worry if your water breaks, there’s plenty more where that came from! Your provider will probably want you to call them if you suspect your water broke and they will most likely have you come in to make sure it is indeed amniotic fluid and not urine.

Why is Pregnancy counted from last Period date- Why is that important?

Most women aren’t exactly sure when baby was conceived. A system was needed to know how old the growing baby is (approximately).  That system takes your last period, then approximates that conception happened about 14 days later (when many women ovulate). For example, the average time a baby is in a mama’s womb from conception to birth is 266 days. Add 14 days from your last period and you have a fairly good idea of when baby’s estimated due date is.

Knowing for sure the date you conceived (in other words, when you were ovulating and hit the boom boom room to sex it up)  though is the BEST, since important tests, size of baby & other pregnancy decisions are all compared against the estimated due date (EDD).


Back labor- every laboring woman will encounter discomfort in her back. Back labor is more severe in nature. The cause of back labor is tied to the position of the baby- for example if the baby is posterior (sunny side up). This can mean a prolonged labor or prolonged pushing phase.

Birth Positions- There are many positions you can give birth in if you choose to forgo the epidural/are able to move about freely. Research shows that squatting is actually very optimal since it uses gravity to bring baby down the birth canal, and a mama’s pelvis is open about 30% more than a mama lying on her back. The more room, the less tearing and more expedient birth. Mamas can pretty much give birth in whatever position is comfortable- standing up, lying on the side, on all fours etc. See out our Barbara Harper interview…she’s one of the world’s leading birth position experts.  

Braxton Hicks Contractions (also called prodromal labor)- this is also called “false labor.” Braxton Hicks Contractions mimic true labor contractions but are irregular and sporadic in their intensity and regularity. These contractions do not help baby to move through the birth canal and are merely a “warm up” for the real deal

Cesarean Section (a.k.a. c-section)- major abdominal surgery which can be life saving for mamas and babies who are in distress. During a c-section an incision is made in the lower abdomen, cutting through the skin and tissue, there is also an incision made in the uterus so that the baby can be retrieved.  Current c-section rates (of 32%) communicate that due to current medical practices, c-sections are being used for more than “life saving”. Healthcare providers across the country are working to reduce this rate. Learn what you need to know about c-sections with our Dr. Marjorie Greenfield interview (Ob/Gyn & mom). 

Contractions- which is when the uterus tightens and releases and helps the baby move down through the birth canal and out into the world.

Crowning- when the baby’s head appears at the beginning of the birth canal.  Crowning is a process, the baby’s head will appear and then in between contractions may slip back a bit, during the next contraction, it will come out a bit more. This process allows your perineum to get warmed up. Your provider may use this time to apply warm compresses or oil to your perineum to minimize tearing.  You will feel a stinging or burning sensation during crowning which is also lovingly referred to as “the ring of fire.” This burning sensation doesn’t last long.

Dilated Cervix (cm)- your cervix will open during labor. You are considered “complete” when your cervix reaches 10 centimeters (or the size of a bagel). At some point after reaching 10 centimeters you will experience an uncontrollable urge to push. For some women, they don’t experience this urge to push for a while after they reach 10 cm. For other women, they experience the urge to push before they are fully complete.  If you push before 10 cm it can cause complications such as swelling which will prohibit the baby from “heading out”.

Doula-  a doula is a labor companion who is trained and experienced in providing continuous support (both emotionally, physically and informationally) to the mother before, during and just after birth.  Doulas can also provide emotional and practical support to families after birth this is called a Postpartum Doula. Are doulas worth the money?

Effaced – this term refers to how soft, thin and short your cervix is. As you prepare for baby your cervix will soften, thin and shorten- meaning that your baby is preparing to be born.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring- the monitor tracks your baby’s heartbeat before, during and after contractions.  There can be external monitoring (when a ultrasound device is strapped to the mama’s belly) or internal monitoring (when an electrode needle is inserted up the vagina, through the cervix and catches under the baby’s scalp according to Childbirth Connection).  If a mama has continuous electronic fetal monitoring, then the mama is not able to freely move about while she’s in labor (since she’s attached to a belt).  It is possible to request intermittent fetal monitoring, when mamas are hooked up for a few minutes each hour or so and then are able to remove the monitor and move about freely.

Episiotomy- is a cut in the back of the vagina to make it bigger for baby to come through. Research consistently shows that episiotomy actually promotes pelvic floor dysfunction (for example: muscle injuries which can mean leaking gas or leaking poop a.k.a. bowel incontinence). Most health experts agree that an episiotomy is really only necessary if baby is close to being born and an emergency develops. Naturally allowing the mama to tear is a more desirable alternative in order to avoid the likelihood of these pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Foley Bulb Balloon Induction- A method to get labor started.  A Foley catheter is inserted by the provider into the lower part of the uterus, then the balloon is filled with a saline solution.  The idea here is to put pressure on the lower uterus and hence the cervix causing it to produce prostaglandins (the compounds which induce labor). This is a non-drug induction option which like many other forms may or may not be effective.

Forceps-  this is another method of assisted vaginal birth when a provider puts curved blades on each side of the baby’s head, they interlock, and then they are pulled. As with anything used to help childbirth, there are risks- the risks are actually more serious for forceps than for vacuum extraction, things like deep tears in the perineum and tissue issues. This is probably why most assisted vaginal births use vacuum extraction here in the U.S. rather than forceps. Common sense dictates that giving birth in an upright position and allowing gravity to help get baby out is a fabulous alternative, or at least something to try first.

Induction- is forcing labor to start by external means instead of allowing baby to start labor when he/she is ready to be born. Induction can be done at home via means such as sex, castor oil, or using various herbs. Induction can be done with your provider by using medication such as Pitocin (a synthetic form of oxytocin), foley bulb, breaking your water, or stripping your membranes (also referred to as “sweeping” membranes- when amniotic sac is separated from the wall of the uterus), etc.

Labor- is the process your body goes through in order to give birth, this consists of contractions, your cervix softens and opens during labor allowing baby to get out. People commonly refer to 3 stages of labor. The first stage has 3 parts as well: early, active and transition.  The second stage of labor is commonly referred to as the pushing stage, or when baby comes out after your cervix is fully dilated to 10 cm.  The third stage is when your placenta comes out (after baby is born). Learn what to expect from each stage of labor with a detailed interview with a medical professional who’s seen 1000′s of births, right here

Medicated Birth- And another one that sound like what is is. When a laboring mama uses medication to help her with pain relief. There are several types of medication commonly used: (one mom teaches you about her experience with both a medicated & unmedicated birth)

Narcotics-  some of the common ones are- Sublimaze, Stadol , Nubain and Demerol. Narcotics dull pain but don’t completely take it away. The upsides of using narcotics is that they don’t interfere with labor or a mama’s ability to push, don’t require an anesthesiologist for administration. Some drawbacks include feeling drowsy, may confine you to bed, may cause nausea, may result in a sleepy, unresponsive baby, may result in problems with breastfeeding. Remember, whatever you put in your body your baby will also get as well.

Epidural Analgesia- this term actually refers to the place the medication is administered rather than an exact medication. Depending on what hospital you go to, who your anesthesiologist is, your exact medication administered to you through your epidural will vary. This is a great question to ask your provider and/or anesthesiologist preferably BEFORE you go into labor. The advantages of this pain relief is the possibility for complete pain relief (though results vary for each woman). If administered without narcotics, your consciousness won’t be affected. Downsides: You’ll need an anesthesiologist (and that could mean a delay in receiving the meds), could interfere with your ability to move around, may require bedpan or urinary catheter so you can pee, since you may not be able to feel when it comes time to push you could seriously injure your perineum resulting in tearing, can cause low blood pressure in the mama (and therefore less oxygen for baby), can cause newborn jaundice, it changes your experience from a normal one to a medical one with things like an IV, Pitocin pump, epidural pump, electronic fetal monitor, blood pressure cuff, becoming center stage instead of you and your baby.(hey wanna learn what an Ob/Gyn {who was also a former doula & childbirth educator} can teach you about epidurals? Check it here)

Midwife- midwives provide prenatal care, care during labor and childbirth and of course post-natal (or after birth) care as well. Midwives provide care that is typically more nurturing, and less “medicalized”. Midwives usually approach birth as a normal, natural event and work to support mamas in their birth desires and goals. There are a few types: {by the way- you can learn what one mom said about her experience using both an Ob/Gyn & Midwife & what she’d hands down do next time…right here}

                CNM- certified nurse midwife- these midwives are educated in midwifery and also nursing. They have graduated from a nursing program as well as a nurse-midwifery program and become certified after passing a test administered by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). They are also licensed by the state as well. CNMs may work in hospitals, birth centers or homes depending on the type of practice they decide to do.

                CPM- certified professional midwife- CPMs are educated in midwifery and have passed a certification exam of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Midwives taking this exam are educated in core content areas, have hands-on clinical experience and demonstrate their skills.  CPMs typically are not nurses and do not practice in hospital settings. CPMs mainly practice in birth centers and homes.

Pitocin- this is a synthetic or man-made version of your body’s naturally produced and occurring oxytocin. Pitocin is used to induce labor and because it comes from outside the body (ie man-made), it causes contractions which are a lot more intense and may cause baby to experience distress. Pitocin is also used to help your uterus contract after baby and therefore to stop bleeding.

Premature Birth- In the medical world, premature is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks gestation.  About 70% of premature babies are born between 34-36 weeks gestation (according to the March of Dimes). Premature babies have an increased risk for breathing problems, lasting conditions such as Autism, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, behavior problems, lung, vision and hearing loss. Allowing baby to stay in the womb as long as possible in the womb so they are born when they are ready is the best route, if at all possible.

Pushing- there are a couple ways you can go about pushing. 1. Bearing down (while holding your breath) engages your diaphragm and gives you the most power. This isn’t always a good thing though since it can damage your perineum to go about pushing with your guns a blazin’. 2. Bearing down while breathing through the push actually disengages your diaphragm and is a softer (albeit less effective) push.

Spinal Anesthesia- The difference between a “spinal” and an “epidural” is location. In a spinal, the medication is inserted through a needle right next to the spine in the “dura” the tough coating. A spinal requires less medication and is faster acting but is more likely to induce a headache and low blood pressure (which means less oxygen for baby).

Stirrups- You’ll probably first get to know these during your yearly exam, and then possibly during prenatal exams. Stirrups also make an appearance in the delivery room, especially if you choose to give birth lying on your back.  They are metal attachments that you place your feet in which you can push against to help give you leverage.

Sunny Side Up- the more technical term is “posterior”. When baby is born facing down. This is not optimal since the largest part of the head presents itself first as baby exits birth canal.

Transition- occurs at the end of the first stage of labor when mama goes from 8 centimeters dilated to 10. This is notably a short but intense time during labor where women can get kinda cranky.

Unmedicated Birth- Exactly as it sounds. When a mama goes through labor without any medication for pain. This method of childbirth is sometimes referred to as “natural childbirth” or “normal childbirth”. Proponents of unmedicated birth are all about letting the body do what it naturally does best, birth the baby and to progress naturally, allowing the mama to move around and labor however best works for her.

Vacuum Extraction- this method of assisted vaginal birth is used sometimes to keep the baby’s head from receding back inside the birth canal in between contractions, to pull it out. A plastic or metal cap is attached to baby’s head and suction is used to pull the baby out. As with anything used to help childbirth, there are risks- the biggest risks are tears in the perineum, infection, bowel & urinary incontinence, hemorrhoids, sexual issues. It’s important that your provider is skilled in vacuum extraction to avoid these potential issues. Avoiding episiotomy with vacuum extraction will significantly lower the possibility of tears into/through the anal muscle. Common sense dictates that giving birth in an upright position and allowing gravity to help get baby out is a fabulous alternative, or at least something to try first.

Vaginal Birth- is when baby exits your body via your vadge.

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)- this is exactly as the name implies, when a baby is born via the vagina after the mama has had (a) previous c-section. Not all doctors or hospitals do VBACs (due to hospital protocol, malpractice insurance stipulations, or cost/staffing issues) , so if that’s something you want, doing research on doctors/midwives/hospitals in your area that support your efforts will be necessary. {wanna learn what & why an Ob/Gyn, mom, former doula & childbirth educator {all same person} wants you know what she knows about VBACs? She’s super passionate about VBACs. Check it here.

Common Complications:

Breech position- Late in pregnancy, most babies turn to the head-down position which is considered the optimal position for giving birth. Sometimes though, babies are born breech (when the head is the last part of the baby’s body to be delivered). There are exercises you can do at home to try to turn the baby, or your provider may be skilled in ways to turn the baby.  Breech births used to mean an automatic c-section, but if you have a skilled doctor or midwife who is educated on methods to turn the baby or deliver breech babies, a vaginal delivery is completely possible.

Some of the main breech positions:

Frank Breech- when the booty comes out first, and the legs are straight in front of the body with the feet next to the head (the most common breech position).

Complete Breech- the booty is down near the birth canal, the legs are bent with the feet near the booty.

Footling Breech- when one or both legs is extended past the booty and actually come out first.

Failure to progress- many medically people use this term which doesn’t mean you’re failing at ANYTHING. It simply means that your labor isn’t progressing as fast as the hospital and/or your provider would like. This is when interventions such as Pitocin or C-Sections are usually mentioned.  If your care provider mentions you are failing to progress, a couple good follow up questions are:  “Is my baby tolerating labor well?” “Are there any immediate risks to me or my baby by allowing us to continue laboring?” If baby is not in distress then mamas should be allowed to continue laboring if they so choose.

Gestational Diabetes- high blood sugar that starts when you’re preggers. Sometimes pregnancy hormones can block the insulin from doing its job in your body.  The easiest way to control gestational diabetes is through diet. And keep tabs on your blood sugar and keep your glucose numbers within normal limits.  Definitely talk to your provider about this.

Preeclampsia- when a woman (after her 20th week of pregnancy) develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine.  Symptoms may include: swelling of hands and feet, headaches, decreased need to urinate, sudden weight gain, nausea, vomiting or vision issues.  If the preeclampsia is severe, then it becomes dangerous territory. It’s dangerous because it can cause liver, kidney problems for the mama and growth restriction or respiratory issues for the baby. Since the only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, the seriousness of the preeclampsia and how far along the baby is,  are concerns.

After Birth:

Apgar Score- this is a rating taken at 1minute and 5 minutes after baby is born. It basically helps providers know if baby needs medical attention or not.  The highest score is 10 with most babies averaging 8 or 9.  Babies are assessed on things like: tone, pulse, grimace, color and respiration.

Colostrum- mommies start producing colostrum as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy. Colostrum is the super syrupy, nutrient-rich fluid that is in your breasts and comes before milk. Colostrum literally is liquid gold for newborns as it provides important nutrition and immune building food for the wee ones.

Jaundice- this is when the baby’s liver isn’t able to process something called bilirubins (they are created when the body recycles old or damaged red blood cells) , jaundice babies will usually appear to have yellowish skin and eyes. Exposure to sunlight (or they use special lights in the hospital), will help the body break down the extra bilirubins. The risk of jaundice is that super duper high levels of bilirubins can cause brain damage. More than 50% of full term babies have jaundice within 2 to 3 days after birth.

Meconium- affectionately called “baby tar”. Meconium is the first bowel movement(s) of your little one- it usually looks like dark green or yellow and is super thick like tar. It consists of cells, mucus and bile.  Don’t worry, baby’s poop will turn super soft and liquidy after the meconium has left the bowels. The appearance of meconium staining during labor may indicate that your baby is distressed.

If you see any terms we missed, just drop ‘em in the comments below. 


An Army of Mentors helping you Be Ready for Baby- Easier | Faster | Smarter 

  • gail johnson

    wow! great information , easy to read, clear and concise , Gail Johnson COM

    • yourbabybooty

      Thanks Gail! That’s exactly what we were aiming for:) Nice to know that’s what comes across!

    • mikal

      I am agree…

  • gail johnson

    see my message

  • Nadya

    When you have Rh incompatibility with your baby, baby is not getting any shots, mother does

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  • Jeffrey Dowling

    i was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS for over 5 years which made loose my job and my relationship with my fiance after he discovered that i was having HIV, he departed from me i tried all my best to make him stays with me, but neglected me until a friend of mine on Facebook from Singapore told me Great healer, who will restore my life back with his powerful healing spell, he sent me the email address to contact and i quickly contacted him, and he said my condition can solved, that he will treat the disease immediately only if i can accept trust him and accept his terms and condition, i Agreed because i was so much in need of help by all means, so i did all he want from me and surprisingly on Sunday last week He sent me a text, that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly did, i confirm from my doctor that i am now ( HIV NEGATIVE) my eyes filled with tears and joy, crying heavily because truly the disease deprived me of many things from my life, This is a Miracle, Please do not en-devour to email or for healing and solution or website: …,.,.