From Amnio to Zygote, peep our glossary of all the pregnancy and birth-related terms you never knew existed, 'til now.

Advanced Maternal Age

/ad·vanst· muh·tur·nl· eyj/

Technically, if you’re over 35, you’re of advanced maternal age. But are you really, though? We’re not quite sure. After all, women way older than 35 go on to have happy, healthy pregnancies and babes. When was the last time 35 was considered advanced in anything??

That said, 35 is really just an age when certain discussion topics may be a little more relevant at your doctor’s visit. For example, it could take a bit longer to conceive than women in their 20’s, though again, not necessarily. However, if you are over 35 and have been trying for somewhere between six months to a year, you may want to check in with your healthcare provider on your options.

Statistically speaking, you are more likely to have multiples when you’re 35 or older, but that could be due to the idea that older women are more likely to use assisted reproductive technology (aka ART), which can skew the numbers. You might be more apt to develop certain conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and your risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities is elevated, so explore your options on genetic testing if you’re so inclined. Our advice? Don’t stress and talk to your doctor. During your pregnancy, stay active, make healthy choices and don’t buy (too much) into the hype.



An Amniocentesis, or “Amnio” is a prenatal test where amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus to be tested or treated. This super fluid contains fetal cells + proteins and can tell A LOT about the health of your babe, and it’s commonly used to test for genetic conditions like Down syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis, or spinal defects like Spina Bifida. An amnio is usually done between 15-20 weeks of pregnancy and might be recommended if you’ve had a worrisome prenatal DNA screening test, if you’ve had a chromosomal condition or neural tube defect in a previous pregnancy, if you’re over 35, or if you have a family history of a genetic condition.

Mamas-to-be stress out when the idea of an amnio comes up, because it carries a very small .1-.3 percent risk of miscarriage. Other potential risks include leaking amniotic fluid (again super rare + non-life threatening), a needle injury (read: super rare) or it might trigger a uterine infection. In very rare instances, if you have hepatitis c, toxoplasmosis or HIV/AIDS, an amnio carries the risk of your transferring infection to your fetus. Ultimately, the decision to have an amniocentesis is up to you, but often times the learnings can outweigh the risk. Your healthcare provider or genetic counselor can help you weigh all the factors.

An amnio is usually done in an outpatient facility. Your healthcare provider will start by determining the location of your babe. Next, she’ll apply gel to your stomach and use a device to see the baby. She’ll clean your belly with antiseptic and insert a thin, hollow needle through your abs into the wall of your uterus. She’ll fill a small amount of amniotic fluid into a syringe and will remove the needle. That’s it! You might have some pelvic pain afterwards. Abstain from strenuous exercise and sex for a day or two. Contact your health care provider if you’re experiencing excessive bleeding, loss of fluid, severe cramping, fever or inflammation near the needle point.

Amniotic Fluid

/am·nee·ot·ik· floo·id/

When you’re preggo, the amniotic sac grows in your uterus containing this protective fluid which surrounds the fetus (think of it as a bubble for your baby). It helps with digestion and the development of major organs, muscles and bones. Towards the end of term, the fluid levels drop as babe gets bigger and is ready to be delivered.

Amniotic Sac

/am·nee·ot·ik· sak/

Consider this the home where your babe lives, aka a two-layered membrane surrounding the embryo or fetus inside the uterus. This big ole' sac is filled with fluid in which the your embryo or fetus is suspended. The amniotic fluid helps to cushion the baby from bumps and bruises along the way, and it even keeps a constant temperature for the baby. It also helps your baby's lungs, digestive system and musculoskeletal system to develop.



So much extra blood is being fed to your baby during pregnancy (hence the gum bleeds and nose bleeds, sigh) that if you don’t get enough nutrients like iron, your body can get depleted. Anemia is when your blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the baby. It can happen anytime but you’re often more susceptible when pregnant. Your doctor will check your iron levels at routine visits, so don't stress it, and if any tests come back questionable, you can discuss your next steps with your provider.

Anomaly Scan

/uh·nom·uh·lee· skan/

An anomaly or 20 week scan is the halfway mark ultrasound that measures growth and organ development and may reveal any fetal abnormalities. Most likely if you’ve have any genetic testing or a CVS/amniocentesis, you’ll know about any issues by 16 weeks, but this is a good backup!

Apgar Score

/aph·gahr· skohr/

The Apgar score is the first all-encompassing test given to newborns after birth to check for general health and wellbeing. Apgar is an acronym for:
Appearance (skin color)
Pulse (heart rate)
Grimace response (reflexes)
Activity (muscle tone)
Respiration (breathing rate and effort)

Each is scored on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score for a total of 10.



ART is an acronym for Assisted Reproductive Treatment, which refers to treatments like IVF or surrogacy used in order to conceive. According to the CDC, ART includes "all fertility treatments in which both eggs and embryos are handled," but do NOT include treatments in which only sperm are handled (i.e., intrauterine—or artificial—insemination) or "procedures in which a woman takes medicine only to stimulate egg production without the intention of having eggs retrieved."

Baby Nurse

/bey·bee· nurs/

A heaven-sent, caregiving goddess who helps you figure out WTF is going on when you emerge from the hospital in a diaper carrying a six pound alien who you have zero clue how to care for. Is a baby nurse totally necessary? Your call, mama. While different, a postpartum doula can offer similar support.


/bey·bee· moon/

The last trip you and your partner take before becoming parents. Your last chance to sleep late, get spa treatments, get laid or hang out in a cool destination without the never-ending concern over the livelihood of another human. Prepare for the epic emotional burden that is parenting....on vacay!

Bacterial Vaginosis

/bak·teer·ee·uhl· vaj·e·no·sis/

A condition that occurs when there is too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina that changes the normal balance. The cause of this infection is unknown, and symptoms include discharge, itching, burning and an unpleasant smell. Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have babies born premature or with low birth weight than pregnant women who don’t have it.

Basel Body Temperature

/bay·zuhl· bod·ee· tem·per·uh·cher/

The basal body temperature tracking method, similar to an ovulation test, can help you figure out the best days to have sex and make a baby! Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you're fully at rest, whereas when you ovulate, your body temperature may be higher (you should be most fertile before your temp increases). This tracking could help in predicting your ovulation schedule.

Biophysical Profile

/bahy·oh·fiz·ikal· proh·fahyl/

A prenatal BPP test is a combination of tests to check your baby's health. It measures body movement, muscle tone, heart rate during movement and amniotic fluid levels. It’s non-invasive and takes about 30 minutes. The first part involves a regular ultrasound followed by the doctor putting an elastic band with two sensors around your belly to measure the baby’s heartbeat.

Birth Plan

/burth· plan/

The last possible moment of your life you can try to control, with varying degrees of success. Creating a birth plan is a great exercise in determining how you think you’d like to give birth, ie vaginally versus c-section, with or without pain medication, in a hospital versus a bathtub. But the reality is that when that babe’s ready to come out, any notion of a plan can go out the window as quickly as your pre-delivery smudge stick session. Our advice? Have a loose guide, and be OK with a change of plan.

Blighted Ovum

/blihyt·id· oh·vuh m/

This common cause of miscarriage early on in pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but doesn't develop into an embryo. It’s also called an anembryonic pregnancy and the most common cause is genetics due to a chromosomal defect.

Braxton Hicks

/braks· tuhn· hix/

These non-labor contractions are like training wheel contractions for your body in the second and third trimesters. Think of them like a test run/rehearsal before the big day. These cramp-like feelings occur when the uterus tightens and they may get stronger as you get farther along–some women feel them and some don’t. Luck of the draw. But they don’t mean you’re in labor so you just try to relax and breathe through it.

Breech Birth

/breech· burth/

The typical scenario is that your baby is head down in the last month of pregnancy, but four percent of babies don’t want to cooperate and are breech (i.e. upside down/feet dangling down) in the last weeks of pregnancy. In this country, that means it’s unlikely they can be delivered vaginally and you may need a scheduled C-section or another form of medical intervention to turn/flip the baby to the safest position.


/see· sek·shuh·n/

A cesarean section (c-section) is surgery to deliver a baby via the abdomen. The U.S. rate of C-sections is now up to 30%, but as common as they are, it’s still major surgery. Reasons for needing a c-section can vary. Sometimes they’re medically necessary and sometimes not, sometimes planned and sometimes done in an emergency situation. The cut is usually done horizontally below the bikini line and stitched up with staples, sutures or glue, depending on your provider.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

/kahr·puh· tuhn·l· sin·drohm/

About 60% of women in their third trimester will develop pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome, especially those who sit at a computer all day. Fun symptoms include tingling, pain, burning and numbness in the wrists, hands and fingers. Stretching and wearing a night brace can help keep hands and wrists supple and the blood flowing, but often the pain doesn’t subside until after delivery.



A procedure done using sutures or synthetic tape to manually strengthen the cervix during pregnancy. This type of treatment is primarily for women who have a short cervix. It’s normally performed through the vagina, particularly if your healthcare provider is worried about the cervix opening too early before the baby is fully developed.

Cerebral Palsy

/suh·ree·bruhl· pawl·zee/

Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by damage to areas of the brain that affects the control of movement and posture. Given this damage, someone with the disorder can’t move normally. There are two types of cerebral palsy: congenital CP (the most common) caused by brain damage during pregnancy or birth and acquired CP, which happens after birth and can follow an infection like meningitis or a head injury.

Cervical Dilation

/sur·vi·kuh l· /dahy·ley·shuh n/

Dilation is both the opening of the cervix (measured in centimeters) and the effacement or the thinning of the cervix (measured in percentage) that occurs as labor and delivery gets closer. There are three phases of dilation and labor, but the timing is different for every woman depending on a variety of factors.

The Early Labor Phase: From the onset until the cervix is dilated to 3 cm.
Active Labor Phase: From 3 cm. to 7 cm.
Transition Phase: From 7 cm. to 10 cm. aka GO TIME.



Like most STD's, chlamydia is spread via sex. If left untreated, chlamydia might develop into pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause ectopic pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Because of this, pregnant women need to be screened for chlamydia. If you have the infection while pregnant, there’s increased risk of early delivery and of transmitting it to your baby. But don't stress it too much. If you test positive, you can treat both you and your babe with super safe antibiotics.



Also known as melasma, this skin discoloration can pop up during pregnancy as dark patches on the face caused by a change in hormones (the cause of most pregnancy symptoms, if we're being honest). Sun exposure is another risk factor for the skin condition so make sure to use lots of SPF while pregnant. There isn’t much to do to improve it during your pregnancy, but afterwards you can treat it with retinoids and lasers.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

/kawr·ee·on·ik· vil·uhs· sam·pling/

This prenatal test occurs at around 10 weeks of pregnancy when a sample of chorionic villi (aka placental tissue that shares the baby's genetic makeup) is removed from the placenta for testing. The sample can be taken through the cervix (transcervical) or the abdominal wall (transabdominal). Chorionic villus sampling can reveal whether a baby has a chromosomal condition, such as Down syndrome, as well as other genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis.

You might consider having a CVS if you've had worrisome results from a prenatal screening test, you've had a chromosomal condition in a previous pregnancy, or if you're 35 or older. If you have a family history of a specific genetic condition, or you or your partner is a carrier of a genetic condition, a CVS can then be used to diagnose many of these disorders.


/sur·kuh m·sizh·uh n/

The elective surgical removal of a baby boy’s foreskin, which covers the end of the penis. If you’re not religious, this procedure is done in the hospital often by the physician/OB who delivered your son in the days following his birth. If you’re of Jewish faith, most likely this will be done at a service called a bris, performed one week following birth, by a mohel who's trained in this procedure (and most likely with a bagel and schmear). Arguments for and against circumcision exist on both sides, so we leave it up to you, mamas!



This oral medication has been used for decades to treat infertility. It’s often the first step taken by doctors to induce ovulation before moving on to more invasive methods. Clomid works by blocking estrogen production, which stimulates an increase in the amount of hormones that support the growth and release of a mature egg.

Cluster Feeding

/kluhs·ter· fee·ding/

Also called bunch feeding, this common habit in the early days of babyhood occurs when a mama spaces feedings closer together at certain times of the day (especially in the evenings when you’re trying to get them to sleep longer). By 3-4 months, they generally grow out of this practice.



Otherwise known as every parents’ fear and worst nightmare, colic is a term to describe a baby that cries and cries and won’t stop crying for hours on end, and for no real reason. Colic can start a few weeks after birth and peak at around 4-6 weeks old. The cause of colic isn’t known, but factors can include gas and general moodiness.


/kuh·los·truh m/

Starting at around 12-18 weeks, your body is going to start producing a protein-packed “liquid gold.” It’s the earliest form of breast milk that drips from your boob in a yellowish clear, sticky concentrate that’s made up of protein, sugar, fat + immunity factors to protect your babe from germs in those first days of life. Colostrum coats the intestines + forms a barrier that seals to your babe’s insides to prepare them for a healthy life. It also kills harmful microorganisms and provides protection from inflammation. It’s basically a wonderful first meal for any babe that they’ll enjoy in very small doses as your milk starts to come in.



This liquid gold is the earliest form of breast milk that drips from your boobs in the form of a yellowish, clear, sticky concentrate made up of protein, sugar, fat + immunity factors. Colostrum coats the intestines of your babe + forms a barrier that seals to their insides to prepare them for a healthy life. It also kills harmful microorganisms and provides protection from inflammation. It’s basically a wonderful first meal for any babe that they’ll enjoy in very small doses as your milk starts to come in.

Congenital Disorder

/kuh n·jen·i·tl· dis·awr·der/

A genetic birth defect that presents at birth and can include physical, mental or developmental issues/delays. Risk factors can include genetics, age, smoking, drinking, general health and nutrition while pregnant. For this reason, many mothers-to-be are eager to do genetic testing for fetal abnormalities in the first trimester.

Cord Blood Banking

/kawrd· bluhd· bang· king/

Cord Blood Banking is the process of collecting, freezing + storing the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord for future medical use. The cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, which can develop into other types of cells. They can help repair tissues, organs and blood vessels that can treat diseases. The process of collecting cord blood is fast, easy and painless.

If you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood, you can do two main things. You can donate it to a public cord blood bank or you can pay to store it in a private cord blood bank for your family to use. If - god forbid - your child develops a disease that cord blood can help treat, it would seem like a no brainer, right? Just know that the price to store your baby’s blood for years is steep, like in the thousands of dollars steep, and in reality the chances of your child benefitting from their cord blood is less than .04%. The diseases currently treatable with cord blood are not only very rare, but it’s likely that those stem cells found in the cord blood contain the same genetic defects. However, in helping other family members, you could be happy you did it. And donating it to a public bank, where it may one day go to a child in need is another wonderful way to use it.

Cord Blood Banking

/korde· blud· bay·nking/

This storage option is when you collect, freeze + store the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord for future medical use. The cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, which can develop into other types of cells. They can help repair tissues, organs and blood vessels that can treat diseases. The process of collecting cord blood is fast, easy and painless. If you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood, you can do two things. You can donate it to a public cord blood bank or you can pay to store it in a private cord blood bank for your family to use.

Cradle Cap

/kreyd·l· kap/

Cradle cap or infantile seborrheic dermatitis causes crusty or oily scaly patches on a baby's scalp. The condition isn't painful or itchy, but it can cause thick white or yellow scales that aren’t easy to remove. It usually disappears on its own within a few months. You can wash your baby’s scalp daily with a mild, non-fragrant shampoo to remove the scales but you have to treat this area gently. It should subside with time.



This condition refers to an infection of the upper airway, which obstructs breathing and causes a characteristic barking cough that sounds more like a seal than a baby. Croup usually isn't serious and most children can be treated at home. Some symptoms include fever and labored breathing.

CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling)

/cho·ree·on·ik· vil·uh s· sam·pling/

Doctors perform this genetic test by removing a small piece of your placenta via a needle through your belly or a small tube up your vagina. They test the sample for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. Only some high-risk women will need this test, usually if an earlier screening finds a risk of a birth defect. The procedure will tell you if there’s a problem, but it also comes with a risk of miscarriage that’s similar to amniocentesis. Talk to your doctor about whether you should have CVS.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

/sahy·toh·meg·uh·loh·vahy·ruh s/

CMV is a herpes-like virus that can be transmitted to a child during pregnancy. CMV is spread through close, intimate contact with a person excreting the virus in their saliva, urine, breast milk or other bodily fluids. It’s not totally treatable with medication, but in the U.S., nearly one in three children are already infected with CMV by age five. Over half of adults by age 40 have been infected with CMV. Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung and growth problems, but according to the CDC, the most common long-term health problem in babies born with CMV is hearing loss, which may be detected soon after birth or may develop later in childhood.

Diastasis Recti

/dahy·as·tuh·sis· rek·tahy/

This super common condition among pregnant women is when your belly starts to stick out as a result of your left and right ab muscles growing wider. Pregnancy can put loads of pressure on your abdomen, so sometimes your muscles in front can’t keep their shape. Diastasis means “separation” and Recti refers to your “rectus abdominis,” aka your ab muscles.

If you’ve had two or more back-to-back pregnancies, or if you’re on the older side, and/or carrying multiples, your chances of having Diastisis Recti are higher. It can also cause lower back pain, constipation, and in extreme cases, a tissue tear. (In this case, call your doc STAT.) The good news is that often times the muscle opening should shrink back after giving birth, but you may want to seek out postnatal PT or discover core strengthening exercises that specialize in this condition once babe is born. As always, if you’re concerned about it, chat with your healthcare provider.

Dilation and curettage (D&C)

/dahy·ley·shuh n· end· kyoo·r·i·tahzh/

A D&C, aka dilation and curettage is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. A medical specialist might perform a dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — like heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion. During a D&C, your doctor will use a small instruments or a medication to dilate/open your cervix and then use a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue.

Other instances where a D&C might be necessary include:

- abnormal uterine bleeding
- bleeding after menopause
- abnormal endometrial cells during a routine test for cervical cancer
- uterine polyps
- uterine cancer

Following a D&C, you may spend a few hours in a recovery room so that your doctor can monitor you for heavy bleeding and various complications. This also gives you time to recover from the effects of anesthesia. If you had general anesthesia, you may become nauseated or vomit, or you might have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe to help you breathe. With general anesthesia or light sedation, you may also feel drowsy for several hours. Normal side effects of a D&C may last a few days and include mild cramping, spotting or light bleeding.

Doppler Ultrasound

/dopp·​ler· ul· truh· sownd/

This ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of blood in your babe's vessels. It's used in high risk pregnancies to study blood circulation, as well as through the uterus and placenta.

This type of ultrasound is a well established technique used to diagnose problems during pregnancy by monitoring the speed that blood is moving in the umbilical blood flow. Your provider can then see whether the blood flow is normal, indicating that the fetus is healthy, or abnormal, indicating that the fetus is under stress. Your chosen health professional can then decide best practice for helping bring your fetus safely to term.



Doulas provide emotional and physical support throughout pregnancy, labor + delivery and work to create your ideal birthing experience. After delivery, a postpartum doula can provide you with a number of services, from companionship to lactation and infant help, to cooking and assisting you with household tasks. While doulas receive training in the birthing process, they do not perform clinical or medical services. Instead they focus on your emotional + physical needs to create an awesome environment in which to give birth.

Down Syndrome

/doun· sin·drohm/

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a lifelong condition in which a person has an extra chromosome (or set of genes) in their body. A baby is born with 46 chromosomes, but babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. Each person afflicted has different abilities and the disease manifests both physically and mentally in different ways. A CVS or amniocentesis along with genetic testing will test your fetus for Down syndrome.

Ectopic Pregnancy

/ek·top·ik· preg·nuh n·see/

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg doesn’t make it to your uterus and ends up in your fallopian tube or elsewhere in the abdomen. This might occur due to a problem with the tube or with the egg, itself. If this happens, the pregnancy can’t progress and emergency treatment might be necessary to remove the ectopic tissue. Depending on your symptoms and when the ectopic pregnancy is discovered, this can happen using medication, laparoscopic surgery or abdominal surgery.

An early ectopic pregnancy is most often treated with an injection of methotrexate, which prohibits growth of the cell and dissolves the existing cells. Following the injection, you'll have another HCG test to determine if the treatment is working, and whether you need more medication. In a laparoscopic procedure, a small incision is made in the abdomen, near or in the navel. Your doctor uses a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light (laparoscope) to view the tubal area. The ectopic pregnancy is removed and the tube is either repaired or removed.

Which procedure you have depends on levels of bleeding, damage and whether the tube has ruptured. In rare cases, you may require emergency abdominal surgery, particularly if the ectopic pregnancy is causing heavy bleeding. In some cases, the fallopian tube can be repaired, however, a ruptured tube generally must be removed.



Edema is defined as the excessive swelling of the ankles and feet during pregnancy. It can start at around week 22 and last until you deliver. This condition occurs because your body is retaining tons of extra fluid, so elevate your feet and wear comfortable shoes. Excessive swelling can also be a sign of preeclampsia, but only when accompanied by elevated blood pressure, rapid weight gain and protein in the urine. If your blood pressure and urine are normal (these are checked at every doctor’s visit), don’t stress it.

Egg Freezing

/eg· free·zing/

Also known as oocyte cryopreservation, egg freezing is an option for women who want to preserve their current fertility levels while delaying motherhood. The procedure involves securing a reserve of eggs and putting them on ice for future use – at which point they can be defrosted, fertilized and implanted in the uterus for pregnancy. Depending on your age, the success rate for how many eggs you can produce will vary, and the medication and hospital time are not fully covered by insurance (the cost is about $10,000-$15,000 for each retrieval, and storage is another $3,000 for three years).

Egg Quality

/eh·guh· k·wal·it·ee/

The quality of a woman’s eggs plays a key role in her ability to conceive and bring a fetus to term. High-quality eggs have the best chance of developing into an embryo, implanting in the uterus and resulting in a successful pregnancy. Egg quality refers to whether an egg is chromosomally “normal” or “abnormal." A normal egg has 23 chromosomes and when fertilized by sperm, the resulting chromosomally normal embryo will have a total of 46 chromosomes. With age there’s a decrease in egg quality and by age 35, most women have only about 6% of their remaining egg count left (sorry for the grim stats). Every month just before ovulation, these eggs go through a process of maturation, including cell division (called meiosis), and older eggs are more prone to errors during this division process. As women age, it’s more likely that these eggs will contain abnormal DNA, and without healthy DNA, an egg can’t perform its function to create a healthy and viable fetus and embryo.



Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places in the body but outside the womb. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, heavy periods and infertility. It affects more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44 and can cause problems getting and staying pregnant. Several different treatment options can help manage symptoms and improve your chances of conceiving.



Breast engorgement is common in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding and occurs when your breasts are considered overly-full of milk. Once your baby is born, your breasts are given a signal by the brain to start producing milk. Blood flows to your breasts, and the milk follows several days after the birth. While it's just nature doing its job, this process can be painful for some.

Breast engorgement usually occurs when a mother makes more milk than her baby uses. It can happen when your milk first comes in during the first few days after birth, or when you have a regular breastfeeding routine but can't nurse or pump as much as usual, OR if you suddenly stop breastfeeding. You can try a few at-home symptoms to seek relief, like applying a warm compress for a few of minutes before you breastfeed, using your hands or a pump to let out (express) a small amount of milk from both breasts, or applying a frozen wet towel, cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables. Put it to your breasts for 15 minutes at a time every hour as needed.


/ep·i·doo r·uh l/

An epidural is one of the most commonly used and safest forms of pain relief for labor. It delivers continuous pain relief to the lower part of your body, while allowing you to be fully conscious. If given properly, it can reduce sensation but it won’t cause a total lack of feeling ‘cause you gotta PUSH that baby out. The epidural medication is delivered through a catheter and administered by an anesthesiologist. The medication dose is controlled by you and you'll start to notice the numbing effect of this miracle drug within minutes after the first dose.



An episiotomy is a surgical cut in the area between the vagina and the anus (otherwise known as the perineum). This cut is made to open up your vagina prior to delivering. OBs used to do these often to speed up the labor process and prevent your vagina from tearing, but within the last 20 years, studies have suggested that women who tear on their own generally recover better and with fewer complications. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists got on board and said the procedure shouldn't be done routinely. While the incidence of episiotomies has been on the decline, there are a few situations in which an episiotomy might be helpful. If your baby is super big and your OB needs a little extra room during delivery, especially to apply forceps, they may opt to do one. Also, if your babe needs to be born as quickly as possible, maybe due to a heart rate sitch, your OB may decide that an episiotomy will move the delivery along to see that your baby is delivered safely.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

/feet·l· al·kuh·hawl· spek·truh m· dis·awr·der/

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in babies result from intrauterine exposure to alcohol and are the most common non-heritable causes of intellectual disability, developmental issues and birth defects. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most common of these disorders and symptoms may present at birth or later on. Signs include abnormal facial features such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip, a small head, low birth weight and height, poor coordination, hyperactivity, difficulty with attention and memory retention.

Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

/feet·l· hahrt· reyt· mon·i·ter·ing/

This is the process of checking the condition of your fetus’s heart rate during labor and delivery. A pair of belts is wrapped around your abdomen to measure: one belt uses Doppler to detect the fetal heart rate and the other belt measures the length of contractions and the time between them. Your baby’s heart rate can fluctuate depending on how labor is progressing. If you’re giving birth in a hospital setting, your healthcare provider will want to watch these stats carefully to make sure your baby isn’t in danger.

First Trimester Screening

/furst· trahy·mes·ter· skree·ning/

There are more than a few different tests to measure genetic issues. Integrated Screening takes the results of your 12 week ultrasound and bloodwork and takes a follow up blood sample at 16-18 weeks. The results measure risk for Down Syndrome and Spinda Bifida. A sequential screen is similar to integrated screening, but your doctor reviews the results with you right after the first phase at 11-14 weeks. It’s not as accurate as the longer test, but it lets you know your baby’s risk earlier.

Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly)

/flat·hed· sin·drohm/ /pley·jee·uh·sef·uh·lee/

This condition occurs when a baby prefers sleeping on one side of their head to the other, so a flat spot develops on the back or side of their very soft little head. For this reason, it’s a good idea to shift the direction baby faces when sleeping (from the left to the right and back again) so that flat spots don’t develop. Try putting a rolled up blanket or towel under one side of baby’s head to prop it gently towards one direction as well as encouraging adequate tummy time to reduce risk of this condition.

Folic Acid

/foh·lik· as·id/

Folic acid is a pregnancy rockstar that helps prevent birth defects of your babe’s brain + spinal cord. It’s a man-made form of the B vitamin, folate, which is crucial is producing red blood cells and helping your baby’s neural tube develop into the brain + spinal cord. Since birth defects occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy, you should have some folate in your system already, so get it going while you’re trying to conceive. A multivitamin with folic acid will do the trick pre-pregnancy. Once those double lines show up, bump your dosage to at least 400 mcg daily. Some docs recommend between 600-800 mcg depending on genetic history, diet and other criteria. As always, check in with your healthcare provider on what’s best for you.

Forceps Delivery

/fawr·suh ps· dih·liv·uh·ree/

A forceps delivery is a type of assisted vaginal delivery that may be used if your cervix is fully dilated, your membranes have ruptured and your baby has descended into the birth canal head first but you can’t push the baby out. Sometimes if delivery isn’t progressing, your doctor or midwife will use forceps–think salad tongs–to help pull the baby out of the birth canal during a contraction while you push.

Fragile X Syndrome

/fraj·uh l· x· sin·drohm/

Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects a child's learning, behavior, appearance and health. Symptoms can be mild or more severe, and often boys have a more serious form than girls. Symptoms, which generally occur by age 2, include trouble learning skills like sitting, crawling or walking, problems with language and speech, not making eye contact, temper tantrums, poor impulse control, anxiety and frustration, hyperactivity, sensitivity to light or sound, and aggressive or self-destructive behavior in boys.

Genetic Testing

/juh·net·ik· test·ing/

Before you even get pregnant, you can test for all sorts of genetic disorders that may affect whether your child has genetic diseases. It’s totally up to you whether you want to know and to what length, but your doctor will likely suggest some to make sure you have a healthy baby. Some prenatal genetic tests are known as screening tests. They can determine whether your baby has an increased risk for certain disorders or diseases, but can’t say for sure. Other diagnostic tests are more definitive. Usually screenings come first and diagnostics later. Your provider might start out with a very basic carrier test of diseases like cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell disease, and others. If both you and your partner carry the gene for one of these diseases, you could pass it on to your baby, even if you don't have the disease itself.

Gestational Diabetes

/je·stey·shuh·n·all· dahy·uh·bee·teez/

Your doctor will likely recommend you receive a glucose screening somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks. The reason? To check for gestational diabetes, a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. (FYI it’s super common, not life threatening and it does not mean you will have diabetes following your pregnancy, so try not to stress it).

Like all screenings, the glucose screening won’t give you a true diagnosis (fun, right?) but it will identify if you’ll need more testing down the line. Here’s the deal. When you arrive for the test, your doctor will give you a kind of gross, super sweet solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. You’ll have to basically chug it. An hour later, you’ll have your blood taken from your arm to check your blood sugar level. The goal is to gage how efficiently your body processes sugar. The results should be available in a few days.

If your reading is too high, it doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes, it just means you have to go back for the glucose tolerance test (GTT) which is when the real heinousness begins. The GTT is a three-hour test that begins on an empty stomach (so book that sh*t early). When you arrive for the test, they’ll prick your arm as a baseline, then you’ll chug the syrup, they’ll prick you again, and it will continue once an hour for three more hours. Chug, arm prick, wait. It’s a long and awful test, and if you start feeling nauseous or faint, speak up and ask that they let you lie down in an exam room. After the final blood sample, you get to leave and go eat/nap/cry.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will explore a treatment plan with your doctor to manage the condition. Like we said, this diagnosis should only last as long as your pregnancy, but you'll have to take another glucose test six to eight weeks after your baby is born just to make sure.

Glucose Screening

/gloo·kohs· skree·ning/

A high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. It’s super common, not life threatening and it does not mean you will have diabetes following your pregnancy, so chillax. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will explore a treatment plan with your doctor to manage the condition. Like we said, this diagnosis should only last as long as your pregnancy, but you'll have to take another glucose test six to eight weeks after your baby is born just to make sure.

Group B Strep Test

/groop· bee· strep· test/

In the last month before you give birth, your doc will swab your vagina to check for this bacteria, which approximately 25% of all healthy women carry. Not to worry, if you test positive, it means you’re a carrier and chances are your baby will be totally healthy. Certain symptoms–like fever during labor, a UTI or premature labor–could signal heightened risk at delivering a baby with GBS, in which case your physician would want to give administer antibiotics at birth.

Hand Foot + Mouth Disease

/hand· foo t· and· mouth· dih-zeez/

This viral infection is caused by a strain of the Coxsackie virus that mainly infects children. It’s very contagious and easily spread around classrooms, day care centers and classes. The good news is that while ubiquitous, it doesn’t carry any long term effects and doesn’t require any treatment. It’s one of those viruses that can be painful but just needs time to run its course within two weeks. It doesn’t mean that your little ones won’t be uncomfortable. They'll have sores, blisters and a rash on their hands, feet and inside their mouth (a loss of appetite often follows since the ulcers in the mouth cause discomfort). OUCH! Poor babe.



Hemorrhoids are one of those yucky pregnancy side effects that, on the surface, is slightly embarrassing to talk about openly yet they’re soooo common!!! You get hemorrhoids when the veins around your rectum become varicose, aka swollen and then they get super painful. Sad times. They often make their debut during the third trimester.

The most common reason for getting hemorrhoids is constipation combined with mounting pressure on the area from your growing babe and bod. The plus side to all this heinousness is the fact that the problem should improve once your baby is born. Of course the best way to avoid hemorrhoids is to not get them in the first place. Preventative measures include eating a high fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids so to ensure smooth moves.

Hepatitis B, C

/hep·uh·tahy·tis· bee· see/

Both viruses signify an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer. Hepatitis C can result in an acute illness, but often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Both are contracted when you have contact with infectious blood, semen and other body fluids that result from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles, or passing from an infected mother to her newborn.

High Risk Pregnancy

/hahy· risk· preg·nuh n·see/

A pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, the baby or both. High-risk pregnancies necessitate being overseen by a specialist throughout the pregnancy. Maternal age (over 35), pre-pregnancy medical issues and medical issues that come up as a result of being pregnant (preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa) are all factors in determining risk.

Hot Flashes

/hot· flashes/

Regular fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly drops in estrogen, as well as your increased metabolism during pregnancy can cause the surges of heat that might hit at any time (even in the dead of winter) for up to a few minutes. Usually these occur in the second and third trimesters but could also continue after delivery as your body regulates. Stay hydrated and well-fed, wear layers and get plenty of fresh air in order to combat these flashes.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

/hahy·per·em·uh·sis· grav·i·duh·ruhm/

Otherwise known as extreme morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum can sneak up at around 9 weeks and tends to subside around the 20-week mark, but sometimes it lasts longer. Constant queasiness and vomiting can cause dehydration, weight loss and malnutrition, so try to keep your stomach from feeling empty, which can make you feel worse, and keep saltines and ginger ale on hand. 3% of women suffer from this ailment (Amy Schumer and Kate Middleton have spoken about it) but there are ways to manage it with safe-for-baby anti-nausea medications like Zofran or Reglan, which many women say are lifesavers. Ask your healthcare provider they think you’re a candidate for a prescription.



Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose or treat problems of the uterus via a hysteroscope: a thin, lighted telescope-like device inserted through your vagina into your uterus that transmits images onto a screen like an ultrasound. If you suffer from abnormal bleeding (before or after being pregnant, not during), a hysteroscopy can help diagnose the cause. Fibroids and cysts can often be the culprits and both can be measured and seen with this procedure.


/im·yuh·nuh·zey·shuh n/

T-DAP and a flu shot are the two shots your healthcare provider and the CDC recommends taking while pregnant so that your baby is also immunized. Prior to getting pregnant, you should ensure that you’re up to date on your other vaccines since most can’t be given while pregnant.



Impetigo is a skin infection caused by the Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. It is contagious and can be very dangerous for newborn babies but not for other people. Anyone can get it, but it's very common in young children. It is important to keep children who have impetigo away from babies and they shouldn’t go to school, child care or recreational classes until you’ve started treatment and symptoms subside, which often happens within 10 days.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

/in vee·troh· fur·tl·uh·zey·shuh n/

IVF or in vitro fertilization is a fertility treatment that works by using a combination of medicine and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg and implant in a woman’s uterus. First, you take medication that makes several of your eggs mature and ready for fertilization. Then, the doctor takes the eggs out of your body and mixes them with sperm to then fertilize the eggs. They'll then put one or more fertilized egg (i.e. embryos) directly into your uterus where ideally the embryos implant themselves in the lining. IVF has many steps and it can take several months to complete, but can be incredibly successful. Just know that many couples need more than one round to see success.


/in·di·jes·chuh n/

Indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux are common pregnancy symptoms caused by hormonal changes and when your expanding uterus starts putting pressure on the intestines, especially in the second and third trimesters. Here’s what you can do to prevent it. Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day, rather than a few large meals. Also avoid, spicy, greasy food. If your heartburn is severe, call your doc and she might prescribe some mama and baby-safe medication. If not, keep that Zantac, Pepcid AC and Tums handy.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

/in·tra·cyt·oh·plas·mik· spurm· in·jek·shuh n/

ICSI is a fertility treatment for sperm-related issues, ie when the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer of the egg or do not move in a normal fashion, which can cause trouble attaching to the egg. ICSI can be done in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help fertilize the egg. During ICSI, a single sperm is injected directly into the the egg. The success rate for ICSI is 50%-80%.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction

/ in· truh· yoo· tr· uhn· growth· ruh· strik· shn/

Also known as IUGR, this serious condition occurs when a fetus isn't growing at a normal rate and is smaller than it should be. Delayed growth puts babe at a risk of certain health problems during pregnancy, delivery and following birth. IUGR has many possible causes. A common cause could be a problem with the placenta, which joins the mother + fetus and carries oxygen and nutrients to babe. IUGR can also occur as the result of certain health problems in mom, such as diabetes, infection, kidney or lung disease, malnutrition, drug abuse, or other fetal causes such as chromosomal abnormalities or even just a pregnancy with multiples.

Some symptoms of IUGR can include low low birth weight, stresses during vaginal delivery, decreased oxygen levels, low blood sugar, low resistance to infection and trouble maintaining body temperature and blood cell count. In the most severe cases, IUGR can lead to stillbirth. It can also cause long-term growth problems.

Your medical provider can estimate whether or not your fetus is of normal growth using simple and common measuring tools. A lower than expected measurement may indicate the baby is not growing as it should and your provider can advise as to further options to help boost your babe's size and weight.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

/in·truh·yoo·ter·in· in·sem·uh·neyt/

A procedure to inject sperm directly into a woman’s uterus using a small catheter passed through the cervical canal. When a man’s sperm count isn’t high enough, or when ovulation isn’t happening normally, a doctor can determine if IUI is a logical procedure for you. It can be performed during a natural ovulation cycle, or with ovulation induction medications. Once the time of ovulation is predicted, a semen sample will be produced by your partner (this is known as sperm washing) and inserted into the women’s uterine cavity to fertilize an egg.



Surely you’ve heard your friends talk about “doing their kegels.” Why, we’re doing ours right now! Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine + rectum. You can do kegels whenever + wherever you want–on the subway, in the car, watching tv. No one has to know! The exercise was named for Arnold Kegel, an American gynecologist who invented the kegel workout as a non-surgical treatment for urinary stress, incontinence + genital prolapse. Because childbirth wreaks havoc on your pelvic floor muscles, you will no doubt benefit from doing kegels, especially if you’re known to leak a few drops of pee while sneezing, laughing, doing jumping jacks or just existing in general.

Here’s how: Locate the muscle: To figure out where your pelvic floor muscles are, stop peeing midstream. Do you feel that muscle responsible for stopping your flow? Meet your kegels.
Squeeeeeze: Pretend you’ve got a marble, jade egg, whatever up there and you need to transport it somewhere (just go with us), squeeze that muscle for three seconds and release for three seconds.
Focus: Keep flexing + releasing that muscle (and not your abs, butt or anything else) in sets of three at 10-15 reps per set. Remember to breathe and have fun!

Labor Induction

/lay·ber· in·duhk·shuh n/

Labor Induction is when your health care provider gives you medicine (like the hormone pitocin) or uses other methods, like breaking your water (aka the amniotic sac), to get labor going. This may happen if your health or your baby’s health is at risk, or if you’re past your due date.



Letrozole is the generic version of Femara, a fertility drug for women with ovulation problems or for those with unexplained infertility. It is often used after trying and not having luck with Clomid. Letrozole is typically taken once a day for five days. It stops androgens in your body from converting into estrogen. When estrogen is blocked, the pituitary gland knows that it needs to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovary to produce an egg.

Linea Negra

/lee·ne·ah· knee·grah/

You know that feeling when you go to admire your glowing, gorgeous, bumpin’ body and suddenly, a dark line below your belly button appears out of nowhere? Say hello to your linea negra, aka your pregnancy line! Ain’t she cute?

The funny thing is that you probably had that line before, but because it’s usually light in color, you never noticed! Once you hit the fifth month or so, the line turns a brownish shade + comes out to play. Why does it appear? We don’t know for sure, but some believe it’s related to your changing hormones. The melanocyte-stimulating hormone in particular is thought to be the biggest contributor. It’s also the one responsible for your darkening nipps during pregnancy. There’s nothing you can do about the linea negra. It’s totes natural and will fade shortly after pregnancy, so enjoy it while it lasts!



Listeria is a harmful bacteria found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods, deli meats, poultry, seafood, dairy (unpasteurized milk and milk products) and produce harvested from contaminated soil. When these tainted items are eaten, it may cause listeriosis, an illness to which pregnant women and their unborn children are very susceptible. If you have stomach virus/flu-like symptoms that don’t clear up after a few days, ask your healthcare provider to test you. But don’t get too paranoid because listeria can be found in cantaloupe, spinach or even ice cream. It’s totally random and you’d have to stop eating anything that’s grown from the earth in order to fully protect yourself.



The vaginal discharge you get after a vaginal delivery. It has a fleshy, earthy odor and goes from a dark red color to brown to yellow after several days and weeks. You may notice blood clots from heavy to light after delivery too; it’s all perfectly normal. The bleeding generally stops within 4 to 6 weeks after delivery and you should wear pads, not tampons until you’ve healed. Each day it should decrease. Talk to your healthcare provider if any severe bleeding occurs.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

/lim·fat·ik· drey·nij· muh·sahj/

Manual lymphatic drainage massages are a great way to reduce the swelling/symptoms of edema that one can experience in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy - especially in your lower limbs. Many spas and practitioners offer this type of massage and many mamas found great relief in it (in Brazil, women do lymphatic drainage weekly, pregnant or not). It’s safe to do throughout your pregnancy with a trained professional.



This inflammation of the breast tissue is caused by bacteria that infects your milk or gets into your milk ducts during nursing. A bad latch, blocked ducts or cracked or sore nipples can cause this infection, generally in one breast that will become painful and swollen. Medication is needed to treat it and, even if it seems counterintuitive, having your baby suck at the infected breast to keep it as empty as possible can help resolve these symptoms. Nearly one in five breastfeeding women are affected by mastitis. Don't worry, your milk will remain safe!


/mee·zuh lz/

Measles, also known as rubeola, is experiencing an outbreak in the U.S. right now in 22 states. Travelers are bringing back measles from other countries and this coupled with low vaccination rates (because of misinformation about autism links) is leading to contributing to these heightened statistics. This contagious disease comes with serious risks for the unvaccinated especially for young children, the elderly and pregnant women (with several adverse events including increased risk of hospitalization and pneumonia and risks to the fetus). The two-dose series of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and is 97% effective at preventing measles infection. Note that the MMR vaccine, given to children after birth, is not pregnancy safe.


/mi·koh·nee·uh m/

The fetal form of poop that your baby will expunge in the first few days of life. The issue comes when babe might pass it while still in your belly. When the stool is passed and enters into the amniotic fluid, your baby can then inhale it. That’s called Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) and can be potentially dangerous. Although air can flow past the meconium as the baby breathes in, meconium can become trapped in the airways when the baby breathes out. The meconium irritates the baby's airways and makes it difficult to breathe.

Although 6% to 25% of newborns have meconium-stained amniotic fluid, only about 11% of them will have some degree of MAS. Treatments depend on the amount and thickness of meconium, but if your amniotic fluid looks to have meconium, your doctor might incorporate a technique called amnioinfusion during labor, where she’ll insert a small tube through your vagina into your uterus to infuse the amniotic fluid with sterile fluid.

Membrane Sweep

/mem·bryn· sweep/

This relatively gentle and simple procedure is done to start labor (especially after the due date). As part of an internal vaginal examination, your midwife or doctor puts a couple of lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina, inserts their index finger into the opening of the cervix and, using a circulate movement, tries to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac from your cervix. This releases hormones called prostaglandins and prepares the cervix for labor.



If you're looking for a more holistic vibe, you may want to choose a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), who helps you through birth but intervenes only when necessary. Births assisted by CNM’s have fewer interventions, like continuous electronic fetal monitoring, epidurals + episiotomies. According to The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), a nurse-midwife not only helps you make decisions around birthing, but she’ll also perform regular exams throughout labor. These badass women actually have advanced clinical nursing training with most holding a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Following birth, a midwife can teach you to breastfeed and provide postpartum care to both you and babe.



The loss of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy that ends on its own is a miscarriage. Half of cases of early pregnancy loss are caused by a random event in which the embryo receives an abnormal number of chromosomes. Bleeding and cramping are the most common symptoms of early pregnancy loss. The likelihood of early pregnancy loss occurring increases as a woman gets older. After a miscarriage, many women go on to have a totally normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Molar Pregnancy

/moh·ler· preg·nuh n·see/

This rare complication of pregnancy is characterized by the abnormal growth of trophoblasts, which turn into the placenta and feed your baby. There are two types of molar pregnancies - complete molar pregnancy and partial molar pregnancy. In a complete molar pregnancy, the placental tissue is abnormal and swollen and appears to form fluid-filled cysts. There's also no formation of fetal tissue. In a partial molar pregnancy, there may be normal placental tissue along with abnormally forming placental tissue. There may also be formation of a fetus, but the fetus is not able to survive and is usually miscarried early in the pregnancy. Bleeding and cramping are the most common symptoms but this type of malady requires early detection and treatment.

Morning Sickness

/mawr·ning· sik-·nis/

Morning Sickness is that awful, icky feeling of being totally nauseous in the morning, but, let’s be honest, most women with morning sickness feel like sh*t all day. It’s most common in the first trimester when your hormones are RAGING (specifically hCG) and it should start to wean by your second trimester. While not all remedies will work, you might find some relief with the following hacks:

Keep Your Stomach Full: Give yourself extra time in the morning, and keep some dried cereal or crackers near your bed so you can eat the second you wake up.

Eat smaller meals more often: Eat portioned out meals throughout the day to avoid getting too full or too hungry. Because progesterone slows down the speed of digestion, you’ll also want to keep yourself from getting too full. Also, drink plenty of fluids before and after meals, but not during.

Avoid Greasy Foods: We encourage you to give into any craving your preggo heart desires, but if you’re nauseous, you should stay away from grease and spice! Keep it basic and bland until you feel better.

Eat tummy friendly snacks: Suck on a lemon, down some ginger (ginger-ale, tea, jam, snaps all work), sip some peppermint tea and keep those crackers handy. You WILL get through this. (we promise.)

Roll It On: Our Rescue Wellness Oil features a nausea relief aromatherapy oil blend, infused with ginger extracts so you can linger longer in bed...and not on your bathroom floor.

Multiple Births

/muhl·tuh·puh l· burths/

AKA meaning twins, triplets or any amount of children that’s more than one.

Natural Cycle Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer (NC-FET)

/nach·er·uhl· sahy·kuh l· froh·zuh n· thaw d· em·bree·oh· tranz·fur/

When frozen embryo transfers (FET) are scheduled during a woman’s natural cycles, timed to natural ovulation, so you don’t have the need for lots of medication.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

/nee·oh·neyt·l· in·ten·siv· kair· yoo·nit/

NICUs are for newborn babies who need intensive medical care at the hospital to receive special treatment featuring advanced technology and specialty-trained providers. Generally, NICUs are reserved for babies born prematurely, but there may be other health reasons as to why a newborn may need extra care in the hospital.

Neonatal Screening

/nee·oh·neyt·l· skree·ning/

The common screening tests your newborn receives before leaving the hospital. Blood is usually taken from the baby’s heel to test for various conditions, and a hearing test and skin test for oxygen levels are also performed. They are standard and, in some cases, mandated by the state.

Neural Tube

/noo r·uh l· toob/

This is what will later be the spinal column and starts to form early in the first trimester (like two weeks in). The neural tube grows longer, folds onto itself, morphs into a groove, and turns into a tube.

Newborn Jaundice

/noo·bawrn· jawn·dis/

This yellowing of a baby’s skin and eyes is common when babies have a high level of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, this ailment goes away on its own, especially as the baby begins to drink more milk which helps bilirubin pass through the body. In most cases, jaundice will disappear within two to three weeks. Jaundice that persists longer than three weeks may be a symptom of something else, so be sure to check with your pediatrician.

Nipple Thrush

/nip·uh l· thruhsh/

Thrush is a common infection during breastfeeding that causes painful, cracked and damaged nipples. It needs to be diagnosed early and treated promptly to avoid further pain and issues while nursing.

NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal testing)

/non·in·vey·siv· pree·neyt·l· test·ing/

A simple blood test performed as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy that looks at fragments of DNA (cell-free DNA or cfDNA) to provide accurate information about the likelihood of chromosomal conditions your baby may be exposed to. It screens for the most common disorders such as trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and can also tell you the gender of the baby. It’s recommended for women over 35 or anyone who wants to have all the information possible.

NT Scan

/n· t· skan/

An NT scan, or nuchal translucency is a super common screening test that happens in the first trimester of pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will give you an abdominal ultrasound to measure the size of the clear tissue (also called the nuchal translucency), at the back of your baby's neck. It’s not unusual for a fetus to have fluid or even clear tissue there, but too much of either can indicate Down syndrome or another chromosome abnormality. (Babies born with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21.) Downs can’t be cured + it causes developmental delays and distinct physical characteristics. It’s a condition that affects 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States.

The NT test will also include blood work to measure your levels of plasma protein and the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Abnormal levels of either may also indicate a chromosome problem. Your doctor will then calculate the risk of your baby having an abnormality. Just know that an NT scan CANNOT diagnose Down syndrome or any other chromosome abnormality. The test only predicts the risk. Talk to your doctor if your results require further testing or more clarification.


/oh·bee· gee·why·en/

A doctor who specializes in areas of women’s health including menstruation, fertility, childbirth and menopause.

Oral Thrush

/awr·uh l· thruhsh/

A fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast-like organisms called Candida. Certain conditions encourage them to multiply excessively and this may cause a candida infection, with possible symptoms of pain, itching, or other irritation. If you’re nursing, you may develop a thrush infection the nipple, areola or breast, which causes pain and soreness.



This monthly occurrence is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube and is ready to be fertilized. It then waits or meets some sperm and heads towards the uterus. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining and some blood will shed and become your period.

Pap Smear

/pap· smeer/

This test looks for changes to cells in the cervix that could lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. A Pap Smear is a routine part of OBGYN visits, and you'll probably have one at your first prenatal appointment. It's important to continue getting Pap smears once you're expecting, for the same reasons you get tested annually or every other year.



Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal condition among women of fertility age that occurs when their ovaries produce higher than normal levels of the male hormone, androgen. This can lead to irregular periods as well as affect a woman’s overall fertility. Symptoms vary from woman to woman, but infrequent menstruation is the most common, followed by excess body hair, acne or male-patterned baldness. If you've been TTC for a year and have any of these symptoms, visit a reproductive endocrinologist who can lead you on the best course of action.

Pelvic Floor

/pel·vik· flohr/

This group of muscles in the floor of the pelvic area support the organs in the pelvis, and some form a sling around the rectum and vagina. They’re stretched out and overused during pregnancy, so doing exercises like kegels are essential for strengthening during and after pregnancy. They’ll help you recover after a vaginal birth as well.

Perineal Massage

/per·uh·nee·uh·l· muh·sahj/

Perineal massage, which is often recommended by midwives, is natural method used to protect the perineum from tearing or needing to be cut during labor. The technique involves massaging and stretching the perineum during the second stage of labor, however it has not been medically proven to be effective.

PGD or PGS Testing

/pee·gee·dee· ohr· pee·gee·es· test·ing/

PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is the process of removing a cell from an in-vitro fertilization embryo to test it for a specific genetic condition (cystic fibrosis or a genetic disorder you may be a carrier for) before transferring the embryo to the uterus. PGS (preimplantation genetic screening), however, is the catch-all term for testing for overall chromosomal normalcy in embryos as opposed to a specific disease. Both types of testing improve your chances of having a healthy baby, so ask your fertility doctor which test is right for you.



This is the synthetic version of oxytocin that's used in some situations to help begin the labor process. During the end of pregnancy, a woman usually releases oxytocin, which stimulates the muscles of her uterus to begin contracting and start the process of labor. In some cases, pitocin can be useful when a mother in labor is experiencing weak contractions or if the labor isn't progressing normally. Pitocin is administered intravenously and can start having a chemical effect in the mother's body after about 30 minutes. However, it's hard to tell when exactly a mother will go into labor after being induced by pitocin. The desired outcome in using pitocin is the onset of contractions that will gradually help to dilate the cervix and prepare for labor.

Placenta Accreta

/pluh·sent·tuh· uh·kreetuh/

This serious pregnancy condition occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall. In normal birthing circumstances, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall soon after delivery. With placenta accreta, part or all of the placenta remains attached. This can cause severe blood loss after delivery. Placenta accreta is considered a high-risk pregnancy complication. If the condition is diagnosed during pregnancy, you'll likely need an early C-section delivery followed by the surgical removal of your uterus (hysterectomy). Placenta accreta tends to be related to abnormalities in the uterine lining, typically due to scarring after a C-section or other uterine surgery, but sometimes placenta accreta occurs on its own.

Placenta Pills

/pluh·sen·tuh· pil·s/

This is the practice of ingesting the placenta (which is delivered or removed after birth depending on what kind of delivery you have) after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground and made into swallowable pills. Generally these capsules are taken by the mother and has been practiced in Chinese medicine for centuries. Their benefits are not proven and doctors have warned against the practice saying it could cause infection.

Placenta Previa

/pluh·sen·tuh· pre·vee·uh/

This condition occurs when the placenta partly or completely covers the cervix, or the opening of the uterus instead of at the top of the uterus. The danger occurs during labor as your cervix can cause blood vessels connecting the placenta to the uterus to tear. This can lead to bleeding and put both you and baby at risk. Nearly all women who have this condition, which occurs in 1 out of every 200 pregnancies, will have to have a C-section. Your doctor will monitor you and diagnose via ultrasound.

Postpartum Depression

/pohst·pahr·tuh·m· dih·presh·uhn/

Many new mothers experience normal baby blues after childbirth (hello mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping), especially within a few days post delivery and lasting up to a few weeks. Others struggle with a more serious, seemingly endless form of depression called postpartum depression (or PPAD for postpartum anxiety disorder). Symptoms include uncontrollable sobbing, trouble bonding with baby, fatigue, loss of appetite, intense anger, fear and hopelessness, panic attacks and thoughts of death of suicide. This form of depression has garnered media attention in recent years as celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Chrissy Teigen, Drew Barrymore, Serena Williams and Adele have shed light on this debilitating issue. Talk to your doctor, midwife or therapist for help if you feel any of these symptoms.

Postpartum Hemorrhage

/pohst·pahr·tuh·m· hem·er·ij/

A postpartum hemorrhage ( PPH) is when a woman has heavy bleeding usually within 24 hours after giving birth. It can be serious. PPH can cause a severe drop in blood pressure and needs to be treated in a hospital immediately, often with blood transfusions. There are many factors that can cause them, from a c-section to very long or very short labor to serious tearing or blood conditions. In a U.S. hospital setting, you are likely to make a full recovery if treated immediately. In developing countries, hemorrhages are the cause of 27% of maternal deaths as women don’t have access to proper medical treatment.



A potentially dangerous pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure, kidney damage, and LOTS of other problems. Preeclampsia is considered a life-threatening condition that impacts about five percent of pregnant women in the US. What makes it so scary is that you may not even experience any symptoms, but your doctor should be screening you for it at your prenatal visits.

Preeclampsia commonly starts in the last trimester, but it can happen at any time later in pregnancy, even during labor, or up to six weeks following delivery. It can become severe quickly or progress slowly. If left untreated, it can lead to dangerous health problems for you and your baby. Preeclampsia causes the blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and a reduced blood flow that can affect organs in the body, ie the liver, kidneys, and brain. These changes cause small blood vessels to "leak" fluid into tissues, which can result in swelling. When these tiny blood vessels in the kidneys leak, protein from the bloodstream spills into urine. Bottom line is it’s dangerous.

Most women who get preeclampsia develop it near their due date and are TOTALLY FINE. But the earlier you develop the condition, and the more severe it is, the greater the risk is for you and your babe as preeclampsia raises the chance of serious complications. Not to stress it, but that's why some women may need to deliver early if the condition is severe or getting worse.

Premature/Preterm Labor

/pree·muh·choo·r· pree·turm· ley·ber/

Preterm labor is defined as delivering your baby before 37 weeks. Some preterm babies are born intentionally early due to health conditions (i.e. preeclampsia or growth issues), while others are known as spontaneous preterm births. Whether or not your baby survives preterm labor depends on how close they are to the full term/40 week mark. Premature babies born between 34 and 37 weeks are usually OK, although they’re still at an elevated risk for short and long-term problems compared to babies born full term. On the flip side are the babies who are born extremely premature. These days, some babies born as early as 24 weeks have a great chance of surviving, but these extremely preterm infants require significant medical interventions and long stays in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Prenatal Depression

/pree·neyt·l· dih·presh·uhn/

Though less common than postpartum depression, prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy in 14-23% of women and causes anxiety, mood swings and sadness. It’s important to check in with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression because if left untreated, it can cause complications in your pregnancy and health issues for mom and baby.

Prenatal Visits

/pree·neyt·l· viz·it·s/

Your first appointment with a healthcare provider should be at around 8 weeks after your last period, or as soon as you know you’re pregnant. At the appointment, your doctor will check your medical history and perform a physical exam, ie a pap smear, cervical culture and possibly an ultrasound if you’re far along enough. She’ll also draw blood and run several tests, including hemoglobin, RH Factor and blood type, Rubella screening + other vaccination screenings, Hepatitis B and C testing and an array of genetic testing, if you haven’t had them done already. She’ll also check you for HIV.

She’s also going to break down your new very healthy new habits, such as dental care (hello floss) and prenatal vitamins, pregnancy safe exercise and diet, nutrition and weight gain details. She’ll go into ALL of your commonly asked questions like travel, working out, headaches, sex, nausea + risks of miscarriage.

You might want to bring along a series of questions, such as whether there’s a nurse line to call if you have questions, what they consider an emergency, and what kinds of testing they recommend. You may also want to get their thoughts on various forms of pain medications, cesarean rates, what situations would lead to an episiotomy or labor induction and how long they’ll let you go past your due date. Take your time and get the answers you need.

Prenatal Vitamins

/pree·neyt·l· vahy·tuh·min·z/

Prenatal vitamins are a non-negotiable when it comes to prenatal care. They’re stocked full of vitamins + nutrients that are essential for healthy fetus development, like folic acid, calcium and iron - each at increased levels you can’t produce on your own. But if combing the vitamin aisle at CVS has your stressin’, know that prenatal vitamins can vary greatly in price, brand + nutritional focus. To get the full breakdown, check in with your doctor in determining the right option for you.

Preterm Labor

/pree·turm· ley·ber/

Defined as delivering your baby before 37 weeks, some preterm babies are born intentionally early due to health conditions (i.e. preeclampsia or growth issues), while others are known as spontaneous preterm births. Whether or not your baby survives preterm labor depends on how close they are to the “full term” 40 weeks. Premature babies born between 34 and 37 weeks are usually OK, although they’re still at an elevated risk for short and long-term problems compared to babies born full term. On the flip side are the babies who are born extremely premature. These days, some babies born as early as 24 weeks have a great chance of surviving, but these extremely preterm infants require significant medical interventions and long stays in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Pruritic Urticarial Papules

/proo·rahy·tik· ur·ti·kair·ee·uhl· pap·yools/

Also known as the plaques of pregnancy, this itchy rash appears as small, pink pimples in stretch marks on the stomach during late pregnancy. The rash is triggered by the stretching of the skin, and it’s more common with first pregnancies and when you’re carrying multiples. It affects 1 in 150 pregnancies. PUPPP usually begins on the abdomen and its hive-like spots can spread to other extremities within a few days, like the butt, thighs, arms and legs. A PUPPP rash can be very itchy, especially at night. While your healthcare provider may prescribe a topical steroid or antihistamine, the most common relief is giving birth.

Pruritic Urticarial Papules

/proo·rahy·tuk· ur·ti·kair·ee·uh·l· pap·yool·s/

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) is an itchy rash that appears as small, pink pimples in stretch marks of the stomach during late pregnancy. The rash is triggered by the stretching of the skin and it’s more common with first pregnancies and when you’re carrying multiples. It affects 1 in 150 pregnancies and while it starts around the belly button, it often spreads and may form large, red, scaly patches (think psoriasis). It can be treated with topicals like steroids, creams and oral medication but it shouldn’t harm baby in any way.

Rainbow Baby

/reyn·boh· bey·bee/

Like a rainbow after a rainstorm/thunderstorm, a rainbow baby (or miracle baby) is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillborn or neonatal death. Of course, this brings along with it feelings of happiness but can also trigger sadness, fear and guilt for the parents.



Most pregnant women have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially heartburn, at some point during their pregnancy, often in the second and third trimesters. Hormones cause the digestive system to slow down and the muscles that push food down the esophagus also move more slowly when you are pregnant. So, as the uterus grows, it pushes on the stomach forcing acid up into the esophagus and causing heartburn. Tums, Zantac, Pepcid AC are all pregnancy safe but check with your doctor if you’re concerned.

Rhesus Disease/Rhesus Factor/RH Factor Test/RH Status

/ree·suh·s· dih·zeez/

Blood types are determined by the types of antigens (proteins on the surface of blood cells that can cause a response from the immune system) on the blood cells. The Rhesus factor (RhD) is a type of protein on the surface of red blood cells. Most people who have the Rh factor are Rh-positive (85% of people). Those who do not have the Rh factor are Rh-negative. If your blood is RhD negative, it isn’t usually a problem, unless your baby happens to be RhD positive. Rhesus disease occurs during pregnancy when the mother and baby’s blood types are incompatible. If a small amount of the baby’s blood enters the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy or birth, the mother can produce antibodies against the rhesus positive cells that can cross the placenta and destroy the baby’s blood cells, leading to a condition called rhesus disease that can lead to anemia, jaundice and brain damage in the baby. Rhesus disease is uncommon these days (so don’t worry) because it can usually be prevented using injections of Rh immunoglobulin (RhIG) at around 28 weeks to stop your body from making antibodies for the rest of your pregnancy. You’ll receive many blood tests during your prenatal testing during which your doctor will tell you whether your blood is RhD negative or positive.



Rubella, commonly known as German measles, is a contagious disease that affects the skin and lymph nodes and manifests in a fever and rash. Rubella is serious in pregnant women because of its risks including hospitalization and pneumonia and risks to the fetus (your immunity will be tested at your first prenatal appointment). The two-dose series of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to young children, is safe and is 97% effective, but it is not pregnancy safe so it’s good to get a blood test prior to getting pregnant to confirm you’re still immune.

Secondary Infertility

/sek·uhn·der·ee· in·fur·tl·ity/

This refers to the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy after you’ve successfully delivered a child. It’s fairly common and many couples resort to fertility treatments to carry another child, but if you have had one successful pregnancy, you’re more likely to have another. Maternal age (if you’re over 35), sperm count, weight and whether you drink or smoke in excess may be a factor in getting pregnant again.



Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are terms used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than one year old when the cause isn’t clear. These deaths often happen during sleep or in the baby’s sleep area which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) has updated its guidelines to suggest the safest ways to put your baby to sleep (on their backs) and maintain their sleepy safety. About 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly each year.

Slapped Cheek Syndrome/Fifth Disease

/slap·d· cheek· sin·drohm/

Slapped cheek syndrome (also called fifth disease or parvovirus B19) is a viral infection and common childhood illness. In children, it’s very contagious (spread through hand-to-hand contact and blood) and starts with cold-like symptoms followed by a rash. If you get infected with fifth disease during pregnancy, it usually doesn’t cause problems but you can pass it to your baby during pregnancy, which can cause miscarriage and stillbirth (this is rare). About half of all pregnant women are immune to fifth disease because they had it in the past.

Spina Bifida

/spahy·nuh· bif·id·uh/

Neural tube birth defects (malformations of the spine/spinal cord and brain and the tissues that enclose them) like spina bifida and anencephaly happen when a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. Spina bifida can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of defect, size, location and complications and treatment depends on the level of severity.



The good news is that spotting is so super normal, especially within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It’s not usually a full on period, but generally lighter in flow and the color can range from pink to red and brown. Although it’s easy to get freaked out, do not panic! One cause of spotting could be implantation bleeding, when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This spotting often happens before you even know you’re pregnant and most women confuse this with a period. Another totes harmless cause of spotting is a cervical polyp (a growth on the cervix), which is more likely to bleed due to higher estrogen levels. As usual mama, if you’re feeling like any bleeding might NOT be normal, please contact your healthcare provider. The more you know!

STD Testing

/es·tee·dee· test·ing/

A sexually transmitted disease or infection during pregnancy can pose serious health risks for you and your baby so you’ll be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea even if you have been tested before. This will usually happen at the beginning and possibly at the end of the pregnancy. Be upfront with your doctor if you may have been exposed. The sooner it’s treated, the better.



A stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery, usually the term refers to babies lost after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Reasons for such a loss include issues with the placenta, umbilical cord, high blood pressure, infections, birth defects, medical complications for the mother and labor complications. Stillbirth affects about 1 in 100 pregnancies each year in the United States–about 24,000 babies.

Stretch Marks

/stretch· mahrk·s/

We prefer the term “Warrior Marks” or “Mama Marks.” After all, if you have stretch marks from pregnancy, why not rock them with pride?! But we get it. Sometimes you’re just trying to maintain that youthful, supple pre-preggo bod. Is that so wrong?! Of course not. The bad news is that in large part, stretch marks are hereditary, so if your mama had them with you, odds are you’ll carry on that genetic code. But some defenses exist in tackling stretch marks along the way.

One of the best stretch mark strategies is making sure your skin maintains maximum elasticity. You can achieve this by eating Vitamin-rich foods that help form collagen. Vitamin C in particular helps protect tissue from damage, while Riboflavin and Niacin are known to promote healthy skin. Also, drink at least 2 liters of water a day to help strengthen and renew skin.

In tandem with eating well, our best-selling Belly Oil is a nutrient-rich quick-dry oil that helps relieve itching + reduces the appearance of stretch marks. Its baby-safe botanical blend is formulated to support skin as it stretches + provides deep hydration without leaving a greasy feel. It’s a one-two, power packed hydration from the inside out AND outside in.



Gestational surrogacy helps those who are unable to have children become parents. It’s a process that requires medical and legal expertise because it’s not legal in 13 states, so you need to go through a lawyer to make sure the process is above board! Through IVF, embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic. Sometimes the intended parents use their own genetic material but sometimes, an egg or sperm donor is required. Then, 1-2 embryos are implanted into a gestational carrier, who carries the baby to term. Gestational carriers have no genetic relationship to the children they deliver and they are paid by the family for their services (along with their hospital bills).

Timed Ovulation

/tahym·d· ov·yuh·leyt·shun/

Timed Intercourse is the process of monitoring your ovarian cycle via ultrasound, and having sex around the time of ovulation. Fertility monitoring can help identify the optimal window for your naturally occurring fertility. This method will likely be done in conjunction with fertility medications like Clomid or Letrazole to assist in stimulating the ovaries to produce more eggs. If you’re having fertility issues, this will likely be the first step in the process followed by IUI (see above) and IVF (see above).



This magic wand uses sound waves to make pictures of your baby + your organs. You’ll have one, at a minimum, three times. You’ll have it once at the beginning to see how far along you are. Somewhere between 11-14 weeks, you’ll have one so docs can view the back of your baby’s neck. Folds or thick skin there could mean a higher risk of Down Syndrome. (They’ll also sample your blood at the same time) Then, at around 18-20 weeks to check your baby’s growth + organ development. If you’re having a more complicated pregnancy, you may get more ultrasounds + more chances to see babe!

Umbilical Cord

/uhm·bil·i·kuh·l· kawrd/

The umbilical cord connects a baby in the womb to its mother. It connects via the placenta to baby’s stomach in order to get your babe oxygen and nutrients and to remove waste into your bloodstream. After deliver, the cord will then be cut (there are no nerves so this isn’t painful) leaving a 1-1.5 inch stump on your baby's tummy, which, when healed, will form your baby’s belly button. Your midwife will usually cut the cord or, sometimes, you or your birth partner can do it.


/yew · tee · eye/

A urinary tract infection (UTI), or bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTI’s starting between weeks 6 and 24 because of changes in the urinary tract. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.

Vaginal Discharge

/vaj·uh·nl· dis·chahrj/

Normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy is called leukorrhea and is thin, white, milky and mild smelling. It is normal and nothing for you to worry about. Ask your healthcare provider if anything smells or looks funny or if you experience heavy spotting.

Varicose Veins

/var·i·kohs· veyn·s/

These enlarged veins are often find in the legs, but can even reach up to your butt. They’re one of the more unfortunate side effects of pregnancy, right up there with hemorrhoids and constipation. The reason is that during pregnancy, your blood volume increases, while the rate at which blood flows from your legs to your pelvis lessens. This can add pressure on the veins, which in turn cause varicose veins. Hormones are also to blame, as increased progestin can open up the veins. They’re generally harmless but they’re pesky and can be uncomfortable. Usually they’ll go down within three months to a year after giving birth. To combat, avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time, stop wearing wearing high heels, exercise, wear compression socks or maternity hosiery, elevate your legs once in a while to get that blood flowing, reduce salt and sodium intake to minimize swelling and drink plenty of water and eat healthy (as per usual).



A vasectomy—or male sterilization—is a simple surgical procedure done by a doctor in an office, hospital or clinic where the small tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm are cut or blocked off, so sperm can’t leave your body and cause pregnancy. The procedure is very quick, effective with little to no downtime. After 10 months of being pregnant and knowing you’re not going to want more babies, you may be eager to send your partner in for this reversible surgery.



Defined as vaginal birth after cesarean, this occurs when you deliver your second baby vaginally after already having a c-section. If this is something you’re interested in, discuss your concerns and expectations with your healthcare provider early on in pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will need to figure out the risks and likelihood that you'll have a successful VBAC.

Vernix Caseosa

/ver·nicks· case·o·sah/

When a baby's skin in still developing in the womb, it's covered with a thick, white, cheese-like layer called vernix caseosa. It’s there to protect delicate skin from the acidity of the amniotic fluid, maintain a proper temperature and to help keep infection at bay. Research shows that removing vernix after delivery is not necessary and leaving it on baby’s skin can actually provide antibacterial promotion, help develop a healthy microbiome and wound healing. The World Health Organization advises delaying baby's first bath for 24 hours.

Whooping Cough

/woop·ing· kawf/

This highly contagious respiratory tract infection is marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop." The CDC recommends that pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccine (T-DAP) during the third trimester of each pregnancy. The recommended time to get the shot is during your 27th through 36th week.

Yeast Infection

/yeest· in·fek·shuh·n/

Yeast infections are especially common during pregnancy because hormone changes can disrupt the pH balance of the vagina. Common yeast infection symptoms include vaginal itching and a white, thick discharge that looks like cottage cheese. Speak to your doctor about which over-the-counter or all-natural remedies are considered safe.