/Pregnancy FAQs – Queries About Childbearing

Pregnancy FAQs – Queries About Childbearing

Image shows a foetus at 9 - 10 weeks, to illustrate this pregnancy FAQ.

We have curated these Pregnancy FAQs to answer those pressing and very common questions about childbearing. Remember to refer to this page if you need to look up a term used when you see your gynecologist, doctor, midwife etc. All the answers have been curated from Wikipedia (En) [as referenced in December 2019]. We are not medical experts, so do refer to our disclaimer below before taking action on any answers given here.

Abdomen

The abdomen is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the front part of the abdominal segment of the trunk. The region occupied by the abdomen is called the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the posterior tagma of the body; it follows the thorax or cephalothorax.

Abortion

Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can survive outside the uterus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently induced miscarriage. The unmodified word abortion generally refers to an induced abortion. A similar procedure after the foetus has potential to survive outside the womb is known as a late termination of pregnancy or less accurately as a late term abortion.

Anaemia

Anaemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anaemia comes on slowly, the symptoms are often vague and may include feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath, and a poor ability to exercise. When the Anaemia comes on quickly, symptoms may include confusion, feeling like one is going to pass out, loss of consciousness, and increased thirst. Anaemia must be significant before a person becomes noticeably pale. Additional symptoms may occur depending on the underlying cause.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination (AI) is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a female's cervix or uterine cavity for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy through in vivo fertilization by means other than sexual intercourse. It is a fertility treatment for humans, and is common practice in animal breeding, including dairy cattle and pigs.

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes medical procedures used primarily to address infertility. This subject involves procedures such as in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or the use of fertility medication. When used to address infertility, ART may also be referred to as fertility treatment. ART mainly belongs to the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Some forms of ART may be used with regard to fertile couples for genetic purpose. ART may also be used in surrogacy arrangements, although not all surrogacy arrangements involve ART.

Birth Control

Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy. Birth control has been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods of birth control only became available in the 20th century. Planning, making available, and using birth control is called family planning. Some cultures limit or discourage access to birth control because they consider it to be morally, religiously, or politically undesirable.

Bleeding

Obstetrical bleeding is bleeding in pregnancy that occurs before, during, or after childbirth. Bleeding before childbirth is that which occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding may be vaginal or less commonly into the abdominal cavity. Bleeding which occurs before 24 weeks is known as early pregnancy bleeding.

Blood Sugar

The blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the concentration of glucose present in the blood of humans and other animals. Glucose is a simple sugar and approximately 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of a 70 kilogram (150 lb) human at all times. The body tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle and liver cells in the form of glycogen; in fasted individuals, blood glucose is maintained at a constant level at the expense of glycogen stores in the liver and skeletal muscle.

Breast Tenderness

Breast pain is the symptom of discomfort in the breast. Pain that involves both breasts and which occurs repeatedly before the menstrual period is generally not serious. Pain that involves only one part of a breast is more concerning. It is particularly concerning if a hard mass or nipple discharge is also present.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast. Health professionals recommend that breastfeeding begin within the first hour of a baby's life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants. During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse roughly every two to three hours, and the duration of a feeding is usually ten to fifteen minutes on each breast. Older children feed less often. Mothers may pump milk so that it can be used later when breastfeeding is not possible. Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby, which infant formula lacks.

Caesarean Section

Caesarean section, also known as Csection, or caesarean delivery, is the use of surgery to deliver babies. A caesarean section is often necessary when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. This may include obstructed labor, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, or problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. A caesarean delivery may be performed based upon the shape of the mother's pelvis or history of a previous Csection. A trial of vaginal birth after Csection may be possible. The World Health Organization recommends that caesarean section be performed only when medically necessary. Some Csections are performed without a medical reason, upon request by someone, usually the mother.

Calcium

Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. As an alkaline earth metal, calcium is a reactive metal that forms a dark oxidenitride layer when exposed to air. Its physical and chemical properties are most similar to its heavier homologues strontium and barium. It is the fifth most abundant element in Earth's crust and the third most abundant metal, after iron and aluminium. The most common calcium compound on Earth is calcium carbonate, found in limestone and the fossilised remnants of early sea life; gypsum, anhydrite, fluorite, and apatite are also sources of calcium. The name derives from Latin calx lime, which was obtained from heating limestone.

Cephalic Presentation

A cephalic presentation or head presentation or headfirst presentation is a situation at childbirth where the foetus is in a longitudinal lie and the head enters the pelvis first; the most common form of cephalic presentation is the vertex presentation where the occiput is the leading part. All other presentations are abnormal (malpresentations) which are either more difficult to deliver or not deliverable by natural means.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary among people and over time. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing, and speaking. Often, babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl or walk as early as other children of their age. Other symptoms include seizures and problems with thinking or reasoning, which each occur in about one third of people with CP. While symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, underlying problems do not worsen over time.

Cervix

The cervix or cervix uteri is the lower part of the uterus in the human female reproductive system. The cervix is usually 2 to 3cm long and roughly cylindrical in shape, which changes during pregnancy. The narrow, central cervical canal runs along its entire length, connecting the uterine cavity and the lumen of the vagina. The opening into the uterus is called the internal os, and the opening into the vagina is called the external os. The lower part of the cervix, known as the vaginal portion of the cervix, bulges into the top of the vagina. The cervix has been documented anatomically since at least the time of Hippocrates, over 2,000 years ago.

Caesarean Section

Caesarean section, also known as Csection, or caesarean delivery, is the use of surgery to deliver babies. A caesarean section is often necessary when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. This may include obstructed labor, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, or problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. A caesarean delivery may be performed based upon the shape of the mother's pelvis or history of a previous Csection. A trial of vaginal birth after Csection may be possible. The World Health Organization recommends that caesarean section be performed only when medically necessary. Some Csections are performed without a medical reason, upon request by someone, usually the mother.

Childbirth

Childbirth, also known as labour and delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves a woman's uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 135 million births globally. About 15 million were born before 37 weeks of gestation, while between 3 and 12 percent were born after 42 weeks. In the developed world most deliveries occur in hospitals, while in the developing world most births take place at home with the support of a traditional birth attendant.

Complications of Pregnancy

Complications of pregnancy are health problems that are related to pregnancy. Complications that occur primarily during childbirth are termed obstetric labor complications, and problems that occur primarily after childbirth are termed puerperal disorders. Severe complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium are present in 1.6% of mothers in the US and in 1.5% of mothers in Canada. In the immediate postpartum period (puerperium), 87% to 94% of pregnant individuals report at least one health problem. Longterm health problems are reported by 31% of pregnant individuals.

Constipation

Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. The stool is often hard and dry. Other symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, and feeling as if one has not completely passed the bowel movement. Complications from constipation may include hemorrhoids, anal fissure or faecal impaction. The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is between three per day and three per week. Babies often have three to four bowel movements per day while young children typically have two to three per day.

Contractions

A uterine contraction is a muscle contraction of the uterine smooth muscle.

Image shows a CT Scanner.CT Scan

A CT scan or computed tomography scan makes use of computer processed combinations of many Xray measurements taken from different angles to produce cross sectional (tomographic) images of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting. The 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Allan M. Cormack and Godfrey N. Hounsfield for the development of computer assisted tomography.

Delivery (Childbirth)

Childbirth, also known as labour and delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves a woman's uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 135 million births globally. About 15 million were born before 37 weeks of gestation, while between 3 and 12 percent were born after 42 weeks. In the developed world most deliveries occur in hospitals, while in the developing world most births take place at home with the support of a traditional birth attendant.

Developing World

A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category. A nation's GDP per capita compared with other nations can also be a reference point. In general, the United Nations accepts any country's claim of itself being developing.

Disorders of High Blood Pressure

Hypertensive disease of pregnancy, also known as maternal hypertensive disorder, is a group of high blood pressure disorders that include preeclampsia, eclampsia, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension.

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is usually associated with physical growth delays, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and characteristic facial features. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental ability of an 8 or 9yearold child, but this can vary widely.

Due Date Estimation

The estimated date of delivery (EDD), also known as expected date of confinement, and estimated due date or simply due date, is a term describing the estimated delivery date for a pregnant woman. Normal pregnancies last between 37 and 42 weeks.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus. Signs and symptoms classically include abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Fewer than 50 percent of affected women have both of these symptoms. The pain may be described as sharp, dull, or crampy. Pain may also spread to the shoulder if bleeding into the abdomen has occurred. Severe bleeding may result in a fast heart rate, fainting, or shock. With very rare exceptions the foetus is unable to survive.

Egg Cell

The egg cell, or ovum, is the female reproductive cell (gamete) in oogamous organisms. The egg cell is typically not capable of active movement, and it is much larger than the motile sperm cells. When egg and sperm fuse, a diploid cell is formed, which rapidly grows into a new organism.

Elective Abortion

Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can survive outside the uterus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently induced miscarriage. The unmodified word abortion generally refers to an induced abortion. A similar procedure after the foetus has potential to survive outside the womb is known as a late termination of pregnancy or less accurately as a late term abortion.

Image shows an embryo in the womb.Embryo

An embryo is an early stage of development of a multicellular organism. In general, in organisms that reproduce sexually, embryonic development refers to the portion of the life cycle that begins just after fertilization and continues through the formation of body structures, such as tissues and organs. Each embryo starts development as a zygote, a single cell resulting from the fusion of gametes. In the first stages of embryonic development, a single celled zygote undergoes many rapid cell divisions, called cleavage, to form a blastula, which looks similar to a ball of cells. Next, the cells in a blastula stage embryo start rearranging themselves into layers in a process called gastrulation. These layers will each give rise to different parts of the developing multicellular organism, such as the nervous system, connective tissue, and organs.

Estrogens

Estrogen, or oestrogen, is the primary female sex hormone. It is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. There are three major endogenous oestrogens in females that have estrogenic hormonal activity: estrone, oestradiol, and estriol. The estrane steroid oestradiol is the most potent and prevalent of these.

Fallopian Tubes

The Fallopian tubes, also known as uterine tubes or salpinges are uterine appendages. The name comes from the Catholic priest and anatomist Gabriele Falloppio for whom other anatomical structures are also named.

False Pregnancy

False pregnancy is the appearance of clinical or subclinical signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy when the woman is not actually pregnant. False pregnancy may sometimes be purely psychological. It is generally believed that false pregnancy is caused by changes in the endocrine system of the body, leading to the secretion of hormones that cause physical changes similar to those during pregnancy. Some men experience the same illnesses as a woman would experience while pregnant when their partner is pregnant, possibly caused by pheromones that increase estrogen, prolactin, and cortisol levels.

Fertility Medication

Fertility medication, better known as fertility drugs, are drugs which enhance reproductive fertility. For women, fertility medication is used to stimulate follicle development of the ovary. There are currently very few fertility medication options available for men.

Fertilization

Fertilisation or fertilization, also known as generative fertilisation, insemination, pollination, fecundation, syngamy and impregnation, is the fusion of gametes to initiate the development of a new individual organism or offspring. This cycle of fertilisation and development of new individuals is called sexual reproduction. During double fertilisation in angiosperms the haploid male gamete combines with two haploid polar nuclei to form a triploid primary endosperm nucleus by the process of vegetative fertilisation.

Image of a human embryo illustrating this Pregnancy FAQ.Fertilized Egg

A zygote is a eukaryotic cell formed by a fertilization event between two gametes. The zygote's genome is a combination of the DNA in each gamete and contains all of the genetic information necessary to form a new individual. In multicellular organisms, the zygote is the earliest developmental stage. In single celled organisms, the zygote can divide asexually by mitosis to produce identical offspring.

Faecal Abnormalities

Faecal abnormalities are conditions that affect a foetus or embryo and may be fatal or cause disease after birth.

Image shows a foetus at 9 - 10 weeks, to illustrate this pregnancy FAQ.Foetus

A foetus or foetus is the unborn offspring of an animal that develops from an embryo. Following embryonic development, the faecal stage of development takes place. In human prenatal development, foetal development begins from the ninth week after fertilisation and continues until birth. Prenatal development is a continuum, with no clear defining feature distinguishing an embryo from a foetus. However, a foetus is characterized by the presence of all the major body organs, though they will not yet be fully developed and functional and some not yet situated in their final anatomical location.

First Trimester

Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. A multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with twins. Pregnancy can occur by sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology. A pregnancy may end in a live birth, abortion, or miscarriage, though access to safe abortion care varies globally. Childbirth typically occurs around 40weeks from the start of the last menstrual period (LMP). This is just over nine months, where each month averages 31 days. When measured from fertilization it is about 38 weeks. An embryo is the developing offspring during the first eight weeks following fertilization, after which, the term foetus is used until birth. Symptoms of early pregnancy may include missed periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, hunger, and frequent urination. Pregnancy may be confirmed with a pregnancy test.

Folic Acid

Folate, also known as vitamin B9 and folacin, is one of the B vitamins. Manufactured folic acid, which is converted into folate by the body, is used as a dietary supplement and in food fortification as it is more stable during processing and storage. Folate is essential for the body to make DNA and RNA and metabolise amino acids, which are required for cell division. As humans cannot make folate, it is required from the diet, making it an essential vitamin. It occurs naturally in many foods. The recommended adult daily intake of folate in the U.S. is 400 micrograms from foods or dietary supplements.

Fundal Height

Fundal height, or McDonald's rule, is a measure of the size of the uterus used to assess foetal growth and development during pregnancy. It is measured from the top of the mother's uterus to the top of the mother's pubic symphysis. Fundal height, when expressed in centimetres, roughly corresponds to gestational age in weeks between 16 and 36 weeks for a vertex foetus. When a tape measure is unavailable, finger widths are used to estimate centimetre (week) distances from a corresponding anatomical landmark. However, landmark distances from the pubic symphysis are highly variable depending on body type. In clinical practice, recording the actual fundal height measurement from the palpable top of the uterus to the superior edge of the pubic symphysis is standard practice beginning around 20 weeks gestation.

Gestational Age

Gestational age is a measure of the age of a pregnancy which is taken from the beginning of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP), or the corresponding age of the gestation as estimated by a more accurate method if available. Such methods include adding 14 days to a known duration since fertilization, or by obstetric ultrasonography. The popularity of using such a definition of gestational age is that menstrual periods are essentially always noticed, while there is usually a lack of a convenient way to discern when fertilization occurred.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally results in few symptoms; however, it does increase the risk of preeclampsia, depression, and requiring a Caesarean section. Babies born to mothers with poorly treated gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being too large, having low blood sugar after birth, and jaundice. If untreated, it can also result in a stillbirth. Long term, children are at higher risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Hypertension

Gestational hypertension or pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is the development of new hypertension in a pregnant woman after 20 weeks' gestation without the presence of protein in the urine or other signs of preeclampsia. Gestational hypertension is defined as having a blood pressure greater than 140/90 on two separate occasions at least 6 hours apart.

Gravidity

In biology and human medicine, gravidity and parity are the number of times someone is or has been pregnant (gravidity) and carried the pregnancies to a viable gestational age (parity). These terms are usually coupled, sometimes with additional terms, to indicate more details of the person's obstetric history. When using these terms, Gravida indicates the number of times someone is or has been pregnant, regardless of the pregnancy outcome. A current pregnancy, if any, is included in this count. Twin pregnancy is counted as 1.

Parity, or para indicates the number of pregnancies reaching viable gestational age. The number of foetuses does not determine the parity. Twin pregnancy carried to viable gestational age is counted as 1.

Abortus is the number of pregnancies that were lost for any reason, including induced abortions or miscarriages. The abortus term is sometimes dropped when no pregnancies have been lost. Stillbirths are not included.

Head engagement

A cephalic presentation or head presentation or headfirst presentation is a situation at childbirth where the foetus is in a longitudinal lie and the head enters the pelvis first; the most common form of cephalic presentation is the vertex presentation where the occiput is the leading part. All other presentations are abnormal (malpresentations) which are either more difficult to deliver or not deliverable by natural means.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.

Hypertensive Diseases of Pregnancy

Hypertensive disease of pregnancy, also known as maternal hypertensive disorder, is a group of high blood pressure disorders that include preeclampsia, eclampsia, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension.

Implantation

In humans, implantation is the stage of pregnancy at which the embryo adheres to the wall of the uterus. At this stage of prenatal development, the conceptus is called a blastocyst. It is by this adhesion that the embryo receives oxygen and nutrients from the mother to be able to grow.

Image shows IVF of an egg cell,In Vitro Fertilisation

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro. The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory. After the fertilised egg (zygote) undergoes embryo culture for 2?6 days, it is implanted in the same or another woman's uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

Induce Labor

Labor induction is the process or treatment that stimulates childbirth and delivery. Inducing labour can be accomplished with pharmaceutical or nonpharmaceutical methods. In Western countries, it is estimated that one quarter of pregnant women have their labour medically induced with drug treatment. Inductions are most often performed either with prostaglandin drug treatment alone, or with a combination of prostaglandin and intravenous oxytocin treatment.

Infections

Postpartum infections, also known as childbed fever and puerperal fever, are any bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage. Signs and symptoms usually include a fever greater than 38.0C (100.4F), chills, lower abdominal pain, and possibly bad smelling vaginal discharge. It usually occurs after the first 24 hours and within the first ten days following delivery.

Iron-deficiency Anaemia

Iron deficiency anaemia is anaemia caused by a lack of iron. Anaemia is defined as a decrease in the number of red blood cells or the amount of haemoglobin in the blood. When onset is slow, symptoms are often vague such as feeling tired, weak, short of breath, or having decreased ability to exercise. Anaemia that comes on quickly often has more severe symptoms, including confusion, feeling like one is going to pass out or increased thirst. Anaemia is typically significant before a person becomes noticeably pale. Children with iron deficiency anaemia may have problems with growth and development. There may be additional symptoms depending on the underlying cause.

Jaundice

Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a yellowish or greenish pigmentation of the skin and whites of the eyes due to high bilirubin levels. It is commonly associated with itchiness. The feces may be pale and the urine dark. Jaundice in babies occurs in over half in the first week following birth and does not pose a serious threat in most. If bilirubin levels in babies are very high for too long, a type of brain damage, known as kernicterus, may occur.

Labor Induction

Labor induction is the process or treatment that stimulates childbirth and delivery. Inducing labour can be accomplished with pharmaceutical or nonpharmaceutical methods. In Western countries, it is estimated that one quarter of pregnant women have their labor medically induced with drug treatment. Inductions are most often performed either with prostaglandin drug treatment alone, or with a combination of prostaglandin and intravenous oxytocin treatment.

Last Menstrual Period

Menstruation, also known as a period or monthly, is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. The first period usually begins between twelve and fifteen years of age, a point in time known as menarche. However, periods may occasionally start as young as eight years old and still be considered normal. The average age of the first period is generally later in the developing world, and earlier in the developed world. The typical length of time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next is 21 to 45 days in young women, and 21 to 31 days in adults. Bleeding usually lasts around 2 to 7 days. Menstruation stops occurring after menopause, which usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. Periods also stop during pregnancy and typically do not resume during the initial months of breastfeeding.

Image shows the Linea Nigra to illustrate this Pregnancy FAQ.Linea Nigra

Linea nigra, often referred to as a pregnancy line, is a linear hyperpigmentation that commonly appears on the abdomen. The brownish streak is usually about a centimetre in width. The line runs vertically along the midline of the abdomen from the pubis to the umbilicus but can also run from the pubis to the top of the abdomen.

Live Birth

In human reproduction, a live birth occurs when a foetus, whatever its gestational age, exits the maternal body and subsequently shows any sign of life, such as voluntary movement, heartbeat, or pulsation of the umbilical cord, for however brief a time and regardless of whether the umbilical cord or placenta are intact.

Low Birth Weight

Low birth weight (LBW) is defined by the World Health Organization as a birth weight of an infant of 2,499g or less, regardless of gestational age. Subcategories include very low birth weight (VLBW), which is less than 1500g, and extremely low birth weight (ELBW), which is less than 1000g. Normal weight at term delivery is 2500?4200g.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Pregnancy

Medical imaging in pregnancy may be indicated because of pregnancy complications, intercurrent diseases or routine prenatal care.

Maternal Bleeding

Obstetrical bleeding is bleeding in pregnancy that occurs before, during, or after childbirth. Bleeding before childbirth is that which occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding may be vaginal or less commonly into the abdominal cavity. Bleeding which occurs before 24 weeks is known as early pregnancy bleeding.

Image shows examples of Maternity Clothing to illustrate these Pregnancy FAQs.
CC BY-NC-ND by Inhabitat

Maternity Clothes

Maternity clothing is worn by women in some cultures as an adaptation to changes in body size during pregnancy.

Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible. The cycle is required for the production of oocytes, and for the preparation of the uterus for pregnancy. The menstrual cycle occurs due to the rise and fall of estrogen. This cycle results in the thickening of the lining of the uterus, and the growth of an egg,. The egg is released from an ovary around day fourteen in the cycle; the thickened lining of the uterus provides nutrients to an embryo after implantation. If pregnancy does not occur, the lining is released in what is known as menstruation.

Miscarriage

Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss, is the natural death of an embryo or foetus before it is able to survive independently. Some use the cutoff of 20 weeks of gestation, after which faecal death is known as a stillbirth. The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding with or without pain. Sadness, anxiety and guilt may occur afterwards. Tissue and clotlike material may leave the uterus and pass through and out of the vagina. When a woman keeps having miscarriages, infertility is present.

Missed Periods (Amenorrhea)

Amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age. Physiological states of amenorrhoea are seen, most commonly, during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding), the latter also forming the basis of a form of contraception known as the lactational amenorrhoea method. Outside the reproductive years, there is absence of menses during childhood and after menopause.

Multiple Birth

A multiple birth is the culmination of one multiple pregnancy, wherein the mother delivers two or more offspring. A term most applicable to vertebrate species, multiple births occur in most kinds of mammals, with varying frequencies. Such births are often named according to the number of offspring, as in twins and triplets. In nonhumans, the whole group may also be referred to as a litter, and multiple births may be more common than single births. Multiple births in humans are the exception and can be exceptionally rare in the largest mammals.

Nausea and Vomiting (Morning sickness)

Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is a symptom of pregnancy that involves nausea or vomiting. Despite the name, nausea or vomiting can occur at any time during the day. Typically the symptoms occur between the 4th and 16th week of pregnancy. About 10% of women still have symptoms after the 20th week of pregnancy. A severe form of the condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and results in weight loss.

Navel

The navel is a protruding, flat, or hollowed area on the abdomen at the attachment site of the umbilical cord. All placental mammals including humans have a navel.

Obstructed Labor

Obstructed labour, also known as labour dystocia, is when the baby does not exit the pelvis during childbirth due to being physically blocked, despite the uterus contracting normally. Complications for the baby include not getting enough oxygen which may result in death. It increases the risk of the mother getting an infection, having uterine rupture, or having postpartum bleeding. Long term complications for the mother include obstetrical fistula. Obstructed labour is said to result in prolonged labour, when the active phase of labour is longer than twelve hours.
A diagram of the Ovaries , to illustrate these Pregnancy FAQs.

Ovaries

The ovary is an organ found in the female reproductive system that produces an ovum. When released, this travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it may become fertilized by a sperm. There is an ovary found on each side of the body. The ovaries also secrete hormones that play a role in the menstrual cycle and fertility. The ovary progresses through many stages beginning in the prenatal period through menopause. It is also an endocrine gland because of the various hormones that it secretes.

Ovulation

Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovaries. In women, this event occurs when the ovarian follicles rupture and release the secondary oocyte ovarian cells. After ovulation, during the luteal phase, the egg will be available to be fertilized by sperm. In addition, the uterine lining (endometrium) is thickened to be able to receive a fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining as well as blood will be shed during menstruation.

Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pelvic girdle pain is a pregnancy discomfort that causes pain, instability and limitation of mobility and functioning in any of the three pelvic joints. PGP has a long history of recognition, mentioned by Hippocrates and later described in medical literature by Snelling.The affection appears to consist of relaxation of the pelvic articulations, becoming apparent suddenly after parturition or gradually during pregnancy and permitting a degree of mobility of the pelvic bones which effectively hinders locomotion and gives rise to the most peculiar and alarming sensations.

Physical Examinations

In a physical examination, medical examination, or clinical examination, a medical practitioner examines a patient for any possible medical signs or symptoms of a medical condition. It generally consists of a series of questions about the patient's medical history followed by an examination based on the reported symptoms. Together, the medical history and the physical examination help to determine a diagnosis and devise the treatment plan. This data then becomes part of the medical record.

Placenta

The placenta is a temporary organ that connects the developing foetus via the umbilical cord to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, thermoregulation, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother's blood supply; to fight against internal infection; and to produce hormones which support pregnancy. Placentas are a defining characteristic of placental mammals but are also found in marsupials and some non-mammals with varying levels of development.

Placenta Previa

Placenta praevia is when the placenta attaches inside the uterus but near or over the cervical opening. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding in the second half of pregnancy. The bleeding is bright red and tends not to be associated with pain. Complications may include placenta accreta, dangerously low blood pressure, or bleeding after delivery. Complications for the baby may include faecal growth restriction.

Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is when the placenta separates early from the uterus, in other words separates before childbirth. It occurs most commonly around 25 weeks of pregnancy. Symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal pain, and dangerously low blood pressure. Complications for the mother can include disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and kidney failure. Complications for the baby can include faecal distress, low birthweight, preterm delivery, and stillbirth.

Post Term

Post term pregnancy is when a woman has not yet delivered her baby after 42 weeks of gestation, two weeks beyond the typical 40 week duration of pregnancy. Postmature births carry risks for both the mother and the baby, including faecal malnutrition, meconium aspiration syndrome, and stillbirths. After the 42nd week of gestation, the placenta, which supplies the baby with nutrients and oxygen from the mother, starts aging and will eventually fail. Post term pregnancy are a reason to induce labor.

Postpartum Infections

Postpartum infections, also known as childbed fever and puerperal fever, are any bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage. Signs and symptoms usually include a fever greater than 38.0C (100.4F), chills, lower abdominal pain, and possibly bad smelling vaginal discharge. It usually occurs after the first 24 hours and within the first ten days following delivery.

Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. A multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with twins. Pregnancy can occur by sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology. A pregnancy may end in a live birth, abortion, or miscarriage, though access to safe abortion care varies globally. Childbirth typically occurs around 40weeks from the start of the last menstrual period (LMP). This is just over nine months, where each month averages 31 days. When measured from fertilization it is about 38 weeks. An embryo is the developing offspring during the first eight weeks following fertilization, after which, the term foetus is used until birth. Symptoms of early pregnancy may include missed periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, hunger, and frequent urination. Pregnancy may be confirmed with a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy Test

A pregnancy test detects human pregnancy hormone to determine whether an individual is pregnant.

Prenatal care

Prenatal care, also known as antenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare. Its goal is to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy and to promote healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child. During check-ups, pregnant women receive medical information over maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition including prenatal vitamins. Recommendations on management and healthy lifestyle changes are also made during regular check-ups. The availability of routine prenatal care, including prenatal screening and diagnosis, has played a part in reducing the frequency of maternal death, miscarriages, birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infections and other preventable health problems.

Prenatal Medical Care

Prenatal care, also known as antenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare. Its goal is to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy and to promote healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child. During check-ups, pregnant women receive medical information over maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition including prenatal vitamins. Recommendations on management and healthy lifestyle changes are also made during regular check-ups. The availability of routine prenatal care, including prenatal screening and diagnosis, has played a part in reducing the frequency of maternal death, miscarriages, birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infections and other preventable health problems.

Preterm Birth

Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is the birth of a baby at fewer than 37 weeks' gestational age, as opposed to the usual about 40 weeks. These babies are known as preemies or premmies. Symptoms of preterm labor include uterine contractions which occur more often than every ten minutes or the leaking of fluid from the vagina. Premature infants are at greater risk for cerebral palsy, delays in development, hearing problems and sight problems. The earlier a baby is born, the greater these risks will be.

Progesterone

Progesterone (P4) is an endogenous steroid and progestogen sex hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis of humans and other species. It belongs to a group of steroid hormones called the progestogens and is the major progestogen in the body. Progesterone has a variety of important functions in the body. It is also a crucial metabolic intermediate in the production of other endogenous steroids, including the sex hormones and the corticosteroids, and plays an important role in brain function as a neurosteroid.

Severe Nausea and Vomiting

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration. Feeling faint may also occur. It is considered more severe than morning sickness. Symptoms often get better after the 20th week of pregnancy but may last the entire pregnancy duration.

Spermatozon

A spermatozon (pronounced, alternate spelling spermatozoon; plural spermatozoa is a motile sperm cell or moving form of the haploid cell that is the male gamete. A spermatozoon joins an ovum to form a zygote.

Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which there is incomplete closing of the spine and membranes around the spinal cord during early development in pregnancy. There are three main types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele and myelomeningocele. The most common location is the lower back, but in rare cases it may be the middle back or neck. Occulta has no or only mild signs. Signs of occulta may include a hairy patch, dimple, dark spot or swelling on the back at the site of the gap in the spine. Meningocele typically causes mild problems with a sac of fluid present at the gap in the spine. Myelomeningocele, also known as open spina bifida, is the most severe form. Associated problems include poor ability to walk, problems with bladder or bowel control, accumulation of fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus), a tethered spinal cord and latex allergy. Learning problems are relatively uncommon.

Stillbirths

Stillbirth is typically defined as faecal death at or after 20 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. It results in a baby born without signs of life. A stillbirth can result in the feeling of guilt or grief in the mother. The term is in contrast to miscarriage, which is an early pregnancy loss, and live birth, where the baby is born alive, even if it dies shortly after.

Survive Outside of the Uterus

Faecal viability or foetal viability is the ability of a foetus to survive outside the uterus.

Symptoms and Discomforts of Pregnancy

Symptoms and discomforts of pregnancy are those presentations and conditions that result from pregnancy but do not significantly interfere with activities of daily living or pose any significant threat to the health of the mother or baby, in contrast to pregnancy complications. Still, there is often no clear separation between symptoms versus discomforts versus complications, and in some cases the same basic feature can manifest as either a discomfort or a complication depending on the severity. For example, mild nausea may merely be a discomfort, but if severe and with vomiting causing waterelectrolyte imbalance it can be classified as a pregnancy complication.

Twins

Twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy. Twins can be either monozygotic (‘identical'), meaning that they develop from one zygote, which splits and forms two embryos, or dizygotic (‘fraternal'), meaning that each twin develops from a separate egg and each egg is fertilized by its own sperm cell.

Ultrasound

Obstetric ultrasonography is the use of medical ultrasonography in pregnancy, in which sound waves are used to create real-time visual images of the developing embryo or foetus in its mother's uterus (womb). The procedure is a standard part of prenatal care in many countries, as it can provide a variety of information about the health of the mother, the timing and progress of the pregnancy, and the health and development of the embryo or foetus.

Umbilical Cord

In placental mammals, the umbilical cord is a conduit between the developing embryo or foetus and the placenta. During prenatal development, the umbilical cord is physiologically and genetically part of the foetus and normally contains two arteries and one vein, buried within Wharton's jelly. The umbilical vein supplies the foetus with oxygenated, nutrient rich blood from the placenta. Conversely, the faecal heart pumps low oxygen containing blood, nutrient depleted blood through the umbilical arteries back to the placenta.

Urine

Urine is a liquid by-product of metabolism in humans and in many other animals. Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the urinary bladder. Urination results in urine being excreted from the body through the urethra.

Uterus

The uterus or womb is a major female hormone responsive secondary sex organ of the reproductive system in humans and most other mammals. In the human, the lower end of the uterus, the cervix, opens into the vagina, while the upper end, the fundus, is connected to the fallopian tubes. It is within the uterus that the foetus develops during gestation. In the human embryo, the uterus develops from the paramesonephric ducts which fuse into the single organ known as a simplex uterus. The uterus has different forms in many other animals and in some it exists as two separate uteri known as a duplex uterus.

Vagina

In mammals, the vagina is the elastic, muscular part of the female genital tract. In humans, it extends from the vulva to the cervix. The outer vaginal opening is normally partly covered by a membrane called the hymen. At the deep end, the cervix bulges into the vagina. The vagina allows for sexual intercourse and birth. It also channels menstrual flow (menses), which occurs in humans and closely related primates as part of the monthly menstrual cycle.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, and multiple other biological effects. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).

Vulva

The vulva consists of the external female sex organs. The vulva includes the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vestibular bulbs, vulval vestibule, urinary meatus, the vaginal opening, and Bartholin's and Skene's vestibular glands. The urinary meatus is also included as it opens into the vulval vestibule. Other features of the vulva include the pudendal cleft, sebaceous glands, the urogenital triangle, and pubic hair. The vulva includes the entrance to the vagina, which leads to the uterus, and provides a double layer of protection for this by the folds of the outer and inner labia. Pelvic floor muscles support the structures of the vulva. Other muscles of the urogenital triangle also give support.

Water Breaks

Rupture of membranes (ROM) or amniorrhexis is a term used during pregnancy to describe a rupture of the amniotic sac. Normally, it occurs spontaneously at full term either during or at the beginning of labor. Rupture of the membranes is known colloquially as breaking the water or as one's water breaking. A premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is a rupture of the amnion that occurs prior to the onset of labor.


Image text says: Are you tired. Do you feel exhausted?

You’re a parent, and like any other parent you do everything you can to make sure your child gets nothing but the best. Day and night.

But day and night, sleep is a problem. A big problem. In his room, your baby is restless and crying. He can’t sleep. Your brain is exhausted.

You can’t sleep. Undoubtedly, sleep training counts among the most common – and challenging – things that parents face.

You know that. But your baby doesn’t. And the only way to go through – and come out successful – from this process is to properly sleep train your child.

If you wonder where you should begin, what program you should follow, or which training method is the most effective, then ask no more.

For more information about Mary-Ann Schuler’s Baby Sleep program click here, to help your baby get the sleep he needs.


Disclaimer

All the information in this eBook is extracted from Wikipedia information (as current in December 2019) by (TotalyPregnant.com). It has been created by curation and is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. The compilation has used the information (text) found on Wkikpedia. TotalyPregnant.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (TotalyPregnant.com), is strictly at your own risk. TotalyPregnant.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our eBooks or website.

If you require any more information or have any questions about our site’s disclaimer, please feel free to contact us by email at support@totalypregnant.com

All the information in this eBook is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. TotalyPregnant.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on the website or the pdf version of this document is strictly at your own risk. TotalyPregnant.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our eBooks or website.

If you require any more information or have any questions about our site’s disclaimer, please feel free to contact us by email at support@totalypregnant.com.

By using our eBook, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.

Update

Should we update, amend or make any changes to this document, those changes will be posted on our website within the article (post) and disclaimer.

Public Domain Document

In compliance with the terms of use of material from Wikipedia the text of this document is provided of free of copyright restriction. Some images require attribution and therefore in order to comply with image use requirements the images must retain their attributions if included in any modifications of this page/ document.