Midwifery: It is the profession of providing assistance and medical care to women undergoing labor and childbirth during the antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal periods.

Obstetrics: This is a branch of medicine dealing with pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

Caesarian section: It is an incision made on the uterus through the anterior abdominal wall to remove products of gestation after 28 weeks of gestation.

Cephalic: Refers to the head.

Cervix: It is the neck of the uterus.

Colostrum: This is a fluid found in the breasts from the 16th week of pregnancy up to the 2nd and 3rd day after delivery.

Crowning: This is when the largest transverse diameter of the fetal skull emerges under the subpubic arch and does not recede back between contractions.

Gestation: Pregnancy or the maternal condition of having a developing fetus in the body.

Fetus: Refers to the human conceptus from the 9th week to delivery.

Viability: The capability of the fetus to live outside the womb, usually accepted between 24 and 28 weeks, although survival is rare.

Gravida: A woman who is or has been pregnant, regardless of pregnancy outcome.

Primigravida: A woman pregnant for the first time.

Multigravida: A woman who has been pregnant more than once.

Nullipara: A woman who is not currently pregnant and has never been pregnant.

Parity: The number of children born alive or dead after 28 weeks of gestation.

Vernix caseosa: A greasy substance that covers the baby\’s skin at birth.

Meconium: This is the stool of the neonate that is present in the lower bowel at 16 weeks of gestation and is passed within 3 days following birth. It is greenish-black in color.

Lightening: This refers to the descent of the baby into the pelvis, resulting in a drop in fundal height.

Show: The bloody stained mucoid discharge seen at the onset of labor.

Additional Midwifery Terms 

  1. Lochia: The vaginal discharge that occurs after childbirth, consisting of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue.

  2. Antenatal care: Medical care and monitoring provided to pregnant women before childbirth.

  3. Postpartum: The period following childbirth, typically lasting six weeks, during which the mother\’s body undergoes physical and hormonal changes.

  4. Perineum: The area between the vagina and anus in females, which may stretch or tear during childbirth.

  5. Amniotic fluid: The fluid surrounding the fetus within the amniotic sac, providing protection and cushioning.

  6. Placenta: A temporary organ that develops during pregnancy, providing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and removing waste products.

  7. Episiotomy: A surgical incision made in the perineum during childbirth to enlarge the vaginal opening and facilitate delivery.

  8. Postpartum depression: A mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion experienced by some women after giving birth.

  9. Lactation: The production and secretion of breast milk.

  10. Umbilical cord: The flexible cord connecting the fetus to the placenta, through which nutrients and oxygen are transferred.

  11. Neonate: A newborn baby, typically in the first 28 days after birth.

  12. Preterm birth: Delivery of a baby before completing 37 weeks of gestation.

  13. Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.

  14. Intrauterine growth restriction: A condition in which the fetus fails to grow at the expected rate inside the uterus.

  15. Preeclampsia: A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs, usually occurring after 20 weeks of gestation.

  16. Fetal distress: A condition in which the fetus is not receiving adequate oxygen, typically detected through abnormal heart rate patterns.

  17. Postpartum hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding after childbirth, often caused by the uterus not contracting properly.

  18. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): A specialized medical unit providing care for newborns with serious health conditions or premature babies.

  19. Midwifery-led care: A model of care in which midwives are the primary providers for pregnant women, providing continuity of care throughout pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

  20. Birth plan: A written document created by the pregnant woman outlining her preferences and expectations for labor, delivery, and postpartum care.

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