Glossary of Terms - Obstetrical Care

While you are here, we will do our best to speak to you in language that is easy to understand, however, you may still occasionally hear some terms or words you are unfamiliar with. Please feel free to always ask your care team to explain these terms for you, however, you can also find a list below of definitions of some terms/words that may be helpful.  

 

augmentation of labour

if  your labor isn't progressing very well, your doctor may try to help it along (or "augment" it) by doing something to stimulate your contractions

what is done to help labour that has begun naturally to progress more rapidly. Often, Pitocin (a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin) is used to make contractions stronger or to rupture the membranes.

active labour

part of the first stage of labour

active labour happens when the cervix dilates from three to seven centimeters. Active labour lasts an average of two to four hours. The contractions during active labour are strong, long (40 to 60 seconds each), and frequent (three to four minutes apart)

amniocentesis

A test for your baby's health that is done before it is born. Your doctor will take a small sample of amniotic fluid from around your baby

A diagnostic test to determine whether the fetus has any abnormalities. Performed anywhere between weeks 14 and 20 of pregnancy (though more commonly between weeks 16 and 18), amniocentesis tests the fluid inside the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby. The fluid, which contains the baby's skin cells, is drawn from the uterus through a hollow needle inserted through the expectant mother's abdominal wall and is tested for chromosomal abnormalities, genetic abnormalities, or other diseases.

amniocentesis

A test for your baby's health that is done before it is born. Your doctor will take a small sample of amniotic fluid from around your baby

A diagnostic test to determine whether the fetus has any abnormalities. Performed anywhere between weeks 14 and 20 of pregnancy (though more commonly between weeks 16 and 18), amniocentesis tests the fluid inside the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby. The fluid, which contains the baby's skin cells, is drawn from the uterus through a hollow needle inserted through the expectant mother's abdominal wall and is tested for chromosomal abnormalities, genetic abnormalities, or other diseases.

analgesia

not being able to feel pain 

any intervention that reduces the sensation of pain.

analgesia

not being able to feel pain 

any intervention that reduces the sensation of pain.

antenatal

before birth

occurring or formed before birth; prenatal.

apgar score

A newborn baby's first test. Given one minute after a baby is born, then again five minutes later. The Apgar assesses the newborn's appearance (skin color), pulse, grimace (reflex), activity (muscle tone), and respiration. A perfect Apgar score is ten; typical Apgar scores are seven, eight, or nine.

augmentation of labour

if  your labor isn't progressing very well, your doctor may try to help it along (or "augment" it) by doing something to stimulate your contractions

what is done to help labour that has begun naturally to progress more rapidly. Often, Pitocin (a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin) is used to make contractions stronger or to rupture the membranes.

apgar score

A newborn baby's first test. Given one minute after a baby is born, then again five minutes later. The Apgar assesses the newborn's appearance (skin color), pulse, grimace (reflex), activity (muscle tone), and respiration. A perfect Apgar score is ten; typical Apgar scores are seven, eight, or nine.

active labour

part of the first stage of labour

active labour happens when the cervix dilates from three to seven centimeters. Active labour lasts an average of two to four hours. The contractions during active labour are strong, long (40 to 60 seconds each), and frequent (three to four minutes apart)