NoMo Nausea’s Pregnant Woman’s Dictionary
Wondering what all these doctor words mean? It’s enough that you have to start caring and planning to care for another human, but learning a whole language too? No Worries, NoMo Nausea’s got your back with a complete Pregnant Woman’s Dictionary. This contains some of the most common pregnancy terms you’ll find going to office visits, talking with fellow pregnant moms and moms in general. Maybe you’ll even learn a new word or two!
Gynecologist: a physician who specializes in women.
Neonatologist: a physician who specializes in the study of newborns.
Obstetrician: a physician who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
Antepartum: before childbirth.
Postpartum: after childbirth.
Nulligravida: no previous pregnancy.
Primigravida: one previous pregnancy.
Multigravida: many previous pregnancies.
Nullipara: no previous childbirths.
Primipara: one previous childbirth.
Multipara: many previous childbirths. (Going for round 2? Check out our blog: The Scoop on the Unexpected when you're Expecting Again!)
hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This hormone is detected in urine during pregnancy tests. It typically spikes between the 8thand 11thweek of pregnancy.
Oxytocin: a hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, located right below your brain. Its main function is to help signal contractions and progress labor. This is also called the “love hormone” because it is secreted during physical bonding moments such as sex, labor & delivery and breastfeeding.
Progesterone: a hormone produced by the corpus luteum and eventually by the placenta when pregnant. This hormone inhibits contractions throughout most of pregnancy.
Prolactin: a hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland right below your brain. Its main function is to help women produce milk to breastfeed their children.
Relaxin: a hormone that helps inhibit contractions in early pregnancy and softens and lengthens the cervix and pubic symphysis in late pregnancy.
Natural Processes & Common Terms
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Also known as false alarms, typically occur late in pregnancy and may feel like a real contraction but are a small one. As your baby becomes full-term the inhibitory effects progesterone had on contractions is now being slowly overcome by estrogen stimulating it. Since your baby is growing the inner lining of the uterus (myometrium) is weakening.
Conception: This involves the steps of fertilization and implantation. The sperm must break through the egg’s (ovum’s) protective barrier and the two cells will then become one cell called a zygote. After fertilization occurs, the zygote will develop into a blastocyst. Then, the blastocyst will implant into the uterine wall, thus completing conception.
Embryo: The name given to the developing baby from conception to the 8thweek of pregnancy.
Fetus: The name given to the developing baby from the 8thweek of pregnancy to delivery.
Medical Conditions & Procedures
Amniocentesis: a procedure that involves taking a small sample of amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac around the developing fetus and using it to determine prenatal diagnoses. It is typically done between the 15th-20thweek of pregnancy.
Chorionic Villi Sampling: a procedure that involves taking a sample of chorionic villi and using it to determine prenatal diagnoses. This can be done by a transcervical (through the cervix) or transabdominal (through the abdomen) approach. This test can be done as early as the 10thweek of pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy is when implantation occurs outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. Unfortunately, this is a serious issue and requires medical attention. Read our blog about Ectopic Pregnancy Complications to learn more.
Pitocin: a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin. This is commonly given to mothers whose labor is not progressing.
Preeclampsia: a pregnancy complication often signaled by high blood pressure (hypertension) and evidence of damage to another organ like your liver or kidneys (i.e. protein in urine). The most effective treatment is delivery but sometimes antihypertensive medications or bed rest may be prescribed.
Hopefully, you now understand a little bit more of the medical terminology being thrown around the maternity ward or in your OB/GYN’s office. But if there are any words you think we should add to the list or have a question about, COMMENT BELOW! We would love to hear your questions. Otherwise, keep living, learning and loving because soon you’ll have a new person to experience life with!