Pregnancy Glossary


Bilirubin: Pigment in the blood, urine, and bile that results from the normal breakdown of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.

Breech presentation: Fetal position in which the feet or buttocks of the baby are closest to the mother's cervix when labor begins.

Cervix: The lower portion of the uterus which extends into the vagina.

Cesarean section: Delivery of an infant through an incision in the abdominal and uterine walls.

Chloasma: Discoloration of the skin, often on the face. Also known as melasma.

Chorionic villi sampling: An invasive prenatal test that looks for genetic abnormalities by sampling a piece of the placenta. Usually done at 10 to 12 weeks' gestation.

Chromosomes: The cellular structures that contain the genes.

Circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis.

Colostrum: The milk secreted shortly before and for a few days after childbirth.

Congenital: Present at birth.

Crowning: The point in labor when the head of the baby can be seen at the vagina.

Doppler: A machine that uses ultrasound (sound waves) to detect the fetal heart.

Down syndrome: A congenital chromosomal birth defect that results in mental handicap/limitations and possible physical problems.

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