Terms Used in Midwifery

There are a lot of terms used in midwifery, but we are going to look at some of them.

Phototherapy: is the use of light energy to convert the bilirubin molecule in the jaundiced infant skin to a form which can be excreted without conjugation in the liver.

Polyhydramnio: clinical diagnosis of excessive amount of liquor amnii (more than 1500ml at term).

Pica: eating of a substance usually considered inedible.

Hyper emesis Gravidarum: is vomiting during pregnancy sufficient to warrant admission of the woman to hospital.

Lochia: the discharge from the uterus during the puerperium

Linea Nigra: brown or black line of pigmentation in the mid line of the abdominal wall during pregnancy.

Colostrums: is the yellowish fluid expressed from the breast during late pregnancy and before the onset of true lactation.

Antepartum haemorrhage: is bleeding from the birth canal in the period from the 20thweek of gestation to the birth of the baby.

Braxton Hicks Contraction: is the spontaneous painless uterine contraction described originally as a sign of pregnancy.

Abortion: the process by which the product of conception are expelled from the uterus via the birth canal before fetal viability.

Alcohol Syndrome Fetal: is the collection of sign manifests in the new born when the mother has taken excessive amount of alcohol.

Abdominal Gestation: pregnancy occurring outside the uterus and free in the abdominal cavity.

Abruption: it means tearing away from.

Atresia: is the closure or absence of a usual opening or canal .e.g. oesophageal Atresia.

Biopsy: examination of tissues from the living body.

Dystocia: it means difficult labour.

Gestation: it means pregnancy. e.g. Ectopic gestation.

Gravid: it means pregnant.

Gravidarum: pregnant woman.

Hydrorrhoea Gravidarum: a condition in which during the later months of pregnancy, there is discharge from the uterus of clear fluid which may be amniotic.

Menarche: the initial onset of menstruation.

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

Multipara: a woman who had born more than one child.

Nullipara: a woman who has not given birth to a viable child. She may however have been pregnant before, but had miscarriage or termination of pregnant.

Effacement: it means taking up of cervix.

Vagitus Uterius: the cry of fetus in utero

Terotogen: any agent or drugs believe to cause congenital abnormality. E .g. thalidomideFull

Dilatation: cervix completely open.Involution: returning to normal size after enlargement .e.g. uterus after labour.

Vertex: are between occiput and sinciput.

Rectocele: prolapsed of the rectum into the vagina.

Ectopic Gestation: pregnancy outside the uterus.

Galactorrhoea: excessive flow of milk.

Vernix caseosa: greasy substance of the foetal skin in utero

Lightening: is applied to the sinking or setting of the fetus into the lower pole of the uterus at the 36weeks of pregnancy and this commonly seen in the primigravida.

Erythroblastosis: immature erythrocytes of the new born or the presence of erythroblast in the blood.Asphyxia

Neonatorum: term used to describe the condition of an infant who has been subjected to hypoxia and acidosis during delivery and who fails to breathe following birth.

Cephalhaematoma: a collection of blood beneath the periosteum of a skull bone, limited to that bone by periosteal attachment.

Down syndrome (mongolism): a congenital abnormality characterized by the presence of extra chromosome

Episiotomy: incisions of the perineum and vagina that enlarges the introitus and lessen the curve of the birth canal.

Ergometrine: the active oxytocic principle derived from ergot.

Preterm infant: one born before 36 weeks gestation.

Quickening: when the woman first becomes aware of fetal movement.

Puerperium: the period during which the reproductive organs return to their pregnant condition-usually regarded as an interval of 6 weeks after delivery.

Show: a discharge of mucus and blood at the onset of labour when the cervix dilates and the operculum (cervical mucus plug) fall out.

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