Pregnancy & Labor Vocab For The Dads

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Pregnancy Vocabulary

Midwife
Assists women during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum from a medical standpoint. They are able to deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers, and at homes. 

Doula
Assists women physically, mentally, and emotionally during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Also trained in providing pain management during labor. 

Breech 
When the baby's bottom and legs are down and the baby's head is toward the rib cage. 

Gestational Diabetes
This is when a mother develops diabetes only when pregnant. This is typically temporary but but can be a sign of type 2 diabetes. It is common for hospitals to give a glucose test to see if the mother has developed GD. 


Labor Vocabulary 

Cervix 
The lowest part of the uterus. The cervix must dilate to 10 cm before the mother starts pushing. 

Station
After a cervical exam they will usually rattle off a bunch of numbers and one of those numbers will be the baby's station. The station refers to how engaged in the vaginal opening the baby is. It goes all the way from -5 (baby is high up and not engaged) and +5 (baby is about to come out). Each number closer to +5 is roughly one more centimeter engaged. 

Doppler
This is a handheld device that can pick up the baby's heart rate without being attached with wires to a machine. 

% Effaced
Effacement refers to how thin the cervix is. The greater the effacement is the higher the percentage. In order to push, your significant other will need to be 100% effaced. 

Episiotomy
An incision between the anus and the vagina. This should only be used if baby or mother are in distress and the baby needs to come out quicker. 

Labor Induction 
Usually used when the child is "over due" or the hospital is concerned for baby/mother health. The main types of inductions hospitals use are Cervidil, Cytotec, Pitocin or Foley Bulb. The goal is to use these to start consistent contractions to start active labor. 

Occiput Posterior / Sunny-Side-Up
This means that the back of the baby's head is against the mothers spine. This can sometimes make the baby feel bigger than it is, due to the chin facing upward. It is also very common for sunny-side-up babies to cause more back labor for the mother. 

 

Postpartum Vocabulary 

Meconium
 A newborn infants first poop. 

APGAR score 
The score given shortly after birth that measures the baby's physical health. The baby receives points for heart rate, respiratory condition, muscles, how the baby responds to stimulation, and the pinkness of the skin.

Nipple Confusion
In order to breastfeed, babies have to shape their mouths in a specific way. Once they are born their instinct kicks in and they can assume that almost anything that goes in their mouth is a nipple to feed on. This can cause confusion between a pacifier and the actual nipple, which can make it difficult to breastfeed. If your wife wants to breastfeed it is best to not use anything artifical (syringe, bottle, or pacifier) until after 6 weeks. 

Colostrum 
When a baby first breastfeeds, mothers usually do not have milk in their breasts yet. They have colostrum. Colostrum is full of antibodies and immunoglobulins to help protect the infant immediately postpartum. If the mothers breasts are leaking during pregnancy it is not usually milk but colostrum. 

Latch
When the baby puts their mouth around the nipple and begins to nurse. 

Letdown
When the body allows milk to come down in the breast in lactating women. It is usually spurred on by a crying infant or the baby sucking on the nipple. 

Baby Blues
The least severe form of postpartum depression. Symptoms usually include mood swings, doubts about ability to be a mother, weepiness, increased or decreased appetite and inability to sleep. It happens in most women immediately postpartum. The baby blues usually go away on their own within 2 weeks. If it does not, or your significant other has trouble connecting with the baby, encourage her to talk to her doctor about this and fill her with encouragement and love.

Ergo/Tulla/Moby
These are all different baby wearing carriers. Have you ever seen those backpack type items that can hold a baby in it? These are the brand names of baby wearing carriers.  

 

Laboring With the Father

In American culture, fear surrounds pregnancy, labor, and the delivery process. Take a look at any of America's most beloved tv shows; Friends, The Office, Meet the Midwife, even Game of Thrones. Every single show has child birth portrayed by screaming women writhing around and rushing to the hospital right after their water breaks. It never fails that the mother then has some sort of complication or the baby's life is in danger.