A blood test which screens for neural tube defects and Down’s syndrome. It can also detect twins.
Achieved by a series of basic health tests on baby at birth
An iron deficiency caused by your baby’s increasing need for iron. Symptoms include low energy, pale appearance. Can be controlled by diet and/or supplements.
A test for Down’s syndrome, other chromosomal disorders, cystic fibrosis and genetic disorders. Amniotic fluid is taken from around the foetus for testing.
Bart’s Triple Test
A blood test that assesses the risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome or spina bifida.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
A tightening sensation often called “practise contractions”, named after the doctor who first referred to them.
When a baby fails to turn to the head first position before birth. Breech babies are either born feet or bottom first.
An incision is made along the lower abdomen through which the baby is lifted. Either done under general anaesthetic or with an epidural.
The neck of the womb.
Depending on which chromosomes are affected, the severity of the problem can vary. Can cause mental and/or physical problems.
Chronic Villus Sampling (CVS)
Carried out after 11 weeks to test for Down’s and genetic disorders. A small amount of tissue is taken from the placenta.
Watery milk filled with your immunities that the baby will feed on during the first few days.
These are pains experienced during labour. Caused by the cervix thinning and dilating, to allow the baby to pass through.
The sudden and unexplainable death of a baby. Also called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
Assists baby’s breathing using a tube placed in the nostrils.
A genetic disorder where mucus builds up in the lungs, causing infections in the chest. Also affects the digestive system and can lead to malnutrition.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
A minor operation to clear the womb, carried out under general anaesthetic. Is sometimes done following a miscarriage.
A professional birth partner.
A condition caused by an extra chromosome appearing in a fertilized egg.
Occurs when an embryo develops outside the womb.
A woman who has eggs collected, to be used during IVF treatment for women unable to produce eggs.
The term used for a baby during the early stages of pregnancy.
When cells from the lining of the uterus spread, causing periods to be heavy and painful. It can lead to infertility or miscarriage.
An anaesthetic injected into the spine for a pain free labour.
A cut made to the perineum to aid delivery of the baby rather than being left to tear. It is done before a forceps or ventouse delivery.
Carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
These are growths that can affect conception, by either blocking the eggs journey to the uterus, or misshaping the uterus.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
This can affect babies who are born to mothers who drink excessively during pregnancy. Both physical and mental abnormalities can follow.
A water soluble B vitamin found in foods such as leafy green veg, beans and pulses, wholemeal bread or breakfast cereal. Can be taken in supplement form. Helps to prevent neural tube defects.
A soft spot on a baby’s head, where the skull has yet to fuse together.
Used to help delivery of the baby. They fit either side of the baby’s head and are used to ease the baby down the birth canal.
Gas and Air
Also known as entonox. Inhaled through a mask or a mouthpiece during contractions, to make you relax and ease the pain slightly.
Used during operations to block pain completely, during which time you are unconscious.
Inflammation of the liver, spread by blood and body fluids. Can be passed from mum to baby.
HIV (Human Immunedefiency Virus)
It attacks the body’s immune system and can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Defiency Syndrome). Low risk of passing from mum to baby if pregnancy properly monitored and appropriate treatment given.
Human Chronic Gonadotrophin (HCG)
Hormone that occurs in pregnant women, which gives the positive result when detected in a pregnancy test.
A condition which results in severe sickness during pregnancy. It can last throughout the whole nine months, in some cases leading to malnutrition and dehydration.
Vaccinations are given to prevent certain diseases, by strengthening the immune system.
Used in SCBU to regulate baby’s body temperature. It controls the temperature, humidity and oxygen level around the baby.
When labour is started artificially. Methods include prostaglandin pessary, breaking the waters and oxytocin drip.
IVF (Intro-Vitro Fertilization)
This is a process of assisted conception that includes taking fertility drugs, collecting the eggs and mixing them with sperm. Embryos are placed in the womb or frozen.
The bleeding that occurs after birth.
Baby’s first bowel movement, green in colour.
When a baby is lost in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Jelly like plug that sealed the cervix during pregnancy. Read More
Neural Tube Disorder
Such as spina bifida when the bones surrounding the spinal cord fail to close or anencephaly which is incomplete formation of the cranium.
Nuchal Fold Scan
Measurement of the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, to assess the risk of Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
An infection in the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
The area between the vagina and anus.
Drugs such as prostaglandin are given in suppository form and inserted into the vagina. Used to induce labour.
Painkiller with sedative effect. It can be injected every 2-3 hours during labour.
Otherwise known as the afterbirth. It provides the baby with nutrients, oxygen and antibodies. It also removes the baby’s waste products.
When the placenta covers the cervix.
A potentially dangerous condition that can occur during pregnancy. Symptoms can include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling, headaches and problems with vision.
A baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy.
Ripens the cervix to induce labour.
Rhesus Positive and Negative
You will be tested to see whether your blood type is + or -. If you are negative it may pose a problem to your baby during birth, in second or subsequent pregnancies. You can be given an injection during labour to combat this which has a very good success rate.
Special Care Baby Unit.
When the mucus plug that blocks the cervix comes away. This usually means labour is imminent.
Someone who provides semen to be used during fertility treatment, when the male partner is infertile.
Means the bones of the spine are not fully formed around the nerves. The severity of the condition varies from person to person. Damage to the nerves affects movement.
When a baby has died after the 24th week of the pregnancy.
Carries a child for another couple, either using the man’s sperm and her own egg or an embryo produced during IVF. She hands the baby over after birth.
This is an artificial form of the hormone oxytocin, which causes contractions, given intravenously.
A sexually transmitted disease which you are tested for during pregnancy. It can cause complications for the baby.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is used as a form of pain relief during labour. It uses a mild electrical current to stimulate the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers).
Routine scans carried out at 12 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. They show images of the baby in the womb, which are produced using high frequency sound waves.
Carries nutrients and oxygen from the placenta to the baby. It removes waste products from the baby. It is cut at birth.
The uterus (womb) is where the baby grows during pregnancy. Baby is protected by its muscular walls.
A suction cap that is attached to the top of the baby’s head to assist delivery.
Used in SCBU to aid baby’s breathing by supplying them with air.