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Glossary: Essential terms you need to know

Glossary: Essential terms you need to know

Welcome to your journey into motherhood! As you prepare for the big day, it’s crucial to understand the terms you’ll hear along the way. This guide is your go-to resource for simplifying and explaining the essential terms related to labour induction and childbirth. Let’s demystify these concepts together!

Journey to motherhood

  1. Amniotic Fluid: Protective liquid around the fetus, mostly fetal urine, and water.
  2. Amniotomy: Artificially rupturing the amniotic sac, releasing the amniotic fluid, to stimulate labour.
  3. APGAR Score: Newborn assessment completed at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. Allows for evaluation of newborn’s current transition to life.
  4. Birthing Plan: Document outlining labour and delivery preferences.
  5. Bishop Score: Evaluates cervical readiness for labour. A higher score often indicates how prepared the cervix is for a successful induction.
  6. Breastfeeding: Feeding the baby with breast milk.
  7. Caesarean Section (C-Section): Surgical delivery of the baby.
  8. Cervical Ripening: Softening, dilating, and thinning the cervix.
  9. Cervidil: A vaginal insert for cervical ripening releasing medication – hormone called dinoprostone. The same product as Propess below; the medication under this brand is available in the US and is FDA approved.
  10. Contractions: Regular tightening and releasing of the uterine muscles to aid in cervical dilation and the baby’s descent.
  11. Cook balloon: Double balloon catheter for non-pharmacological cervical ripening. Its mode of action is like Foley bulb. The product is approved as cervical ripening balloon in many countries.
  12. Crowning: When the baby’s head remains visible during delivery.
  13. DILAPAN-S: Synthetic osmotic dilator made from a patented hydrogel. The dilator is placed in cervix, where it increases its volume by absorbing fluid from cervical canal, thereby promoting cervical ripening. It represents a non-pharmacological method for cervical ripening. The product is approved as a cervical ripening agent in many countries.
  14. Dilation: The progressive opening of the cervix during labour, the cervix will dilate from closed to 10cm for childbirth.
  15. Effacement: Thinning of the cervix for childbirth.
  16. Epidural: Regional anesthesia technique used for pain management during childbirth.
  17. Fetal Distress: Changes in the fetal heart rhythm which indicate the fetus is unwell.
  18. Fetal Monitoring: Monitoring the baby’s heartbeat.
  19. Gestational Age: Age, in weeks, of the pregnancy since the first day of the last menstrual period.
  20. Homebased Ripening: Using methods like DILAPAN-S at home.
  21. Labour Induction: The process of artificially starting labour.
  22. Membrane Sweep: The process in which the practitioner uses their finger to loosen the amniotic membrane from the cervix. This can often help stimulate labour.
  23. Midwife: Professional trained in aiding births.
  24. Neonate: A newborn, from birth through the first four weeks.
  25. Obstetrician: Doctor specializing in the care of pregnant women and childbirth.
  26. Oxytocin: A hormone excreted by women during labour. Oxytocin can be administered to also induce labour.
  27. Placenta: An organ that grows with the baby throughout pregnancy. It provides nutrients to the baby and removes wastes from the fetal blood. The placenta is expelled after the birth of the newborn.
  28. Postpartum: The recovery period after childbirth.
  29. Post-Term Pregnancy: Pregnancy lasting beyond 42 weeks.
  30. Pre-Eclampsia: A complex complication during pregnancy. Often accompanied with high blood pressure and other varied symptoms.
  31. Propess: A vaginal insert for cervical ripening releasing medication – hormone called dinoprostone. The same product as Cervidil above; the medication under this brand is available outside of the US and is approved in many countries as a pharmacological cervical ripening agent.
  32. Ultrasound: Imaging method to visualise the fetus, placenta, blood flow and amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
  33. Umbilical Cord: Cord which contains blood vessels, that supply the baby with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta and conversely, the baby´s heart pumps low-oxygen, nutrient-depleted blood back to placenta.
  34. VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean): Refers to delivering a baby vaginally after a previous C-section. DILAPAN-S is suitable for VBAC as it does not contain any hormones, making it a safe option for cervical ripening in such cases.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now better prepared for what lies ahead. Remember, these terms are stepping stones to understanding your journey, making your experience less daunting and more empowering. Here’s to a safe and joyful journey to motherhood!

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