Pregnancy Glossary

H-N

Hemorrhage: Heavy bleeding.

Hormone: A substance released by glands to stimulate certain activity in the body.

Hydrocephalus: A congenital birth defect in which excessive fluid gathers in the baby's skull.

Induction: Artificial starting of labor.

Jaundice: Yellow discoloration of the skin caused by the inability of the body to break down excess red blood cells.

Labia: The skin folds on the sides of the opening of the vagina.

Lactation: Production of milk by the breasts.

Lanugo: Fine hairs present on the body of a fetus.

Lightening: The time when the baby descends into the pelvic cavity in preparation for birth. Also known as engagement.

Linea nigra: A dark line that appears on the abdomen during pregnancy.

Lochia: The discharge of blood, mucus, and other fluids from the vagina after childbirth.

Meconium: The bowel movement (feces) of a baby before, during, or soon after birth.

Miscarriage: Spontaneous ending of the pregnancy prior to 24 weeks' gestation.

Mucus: A sticky substance produced by glands.

Neonatal: Pertaining to a newborn infant.

Neural tube defects: Abnormalities in the spinal cord.

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