A New Beginning


mastitis: Infection of the breast causing breast soreness, fever and flu-like symptoms. meconium: A greenish material that collects in the bowels of a developing baby that is normally expelled after birth. It can stain amniotic fluid if expelled before birth. montgomery glands: Pimple-like structures near the border of the areola. These glands secrete a substance that aids in lubricating and cleansing the area. oxytocin: A hormone in a woman’s body that contributes to the start of labor and later stimulates the “let-down” response. pelvis: The basin shaped ring of bones at the bottom of the body that connects the spinal column to the legs. perineum: The layers of muscles and tissues between the vagina and rectum. phenylketonuria (PKU): Not enough of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase to process the essential amino acid phenylalanine. phototherapy: Treatment of jaundice in the newborn through light therapy. postpartum: The period of time following the birth of a child. prolactin: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that stimulates lactation (milk production). swaddle: To wrap (someone, especially a baby) tightly with a blanket. uterus: The muscular organ that contains the products of conception – the baby, placenta, membranes, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord. It contracts during labor to move the baby through the birth canal. It is commonly referred to as the womb. varicose vein: A vein that has enlarged and twisted, often appearing as a bulging, blue blood vessel that is visible through the skin. vagina: The lower part of the birth canal that is normally 5 to 6 inches long.

anesthesia: General or localized pain relief. areola: The dark area around the nipple. bilirubin: A yellowish substance formed during the normal breakdown of old red blood cells in the body. catheter: A thin, flexible tube. cesarean birth: The method used for birth of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. circumcision: The removal of the foreskin of the penis. colostrum: It is the forerunner to breast milk and may be yellow to almost colorless. It is present in the breasts during pregnancy and the initial fluid that baby will receive for approximately 3 days until breast milk is established. contractions: The rhythmical tightening and relaxation of the uterine muscles that cause changes to occur to cervix. engorgement: Filling of the breasts postpartum with milk that causes both pain and swelling of the breasts. epidural catheter: A thin flexible tube placed in the epidural space (fluid-filled sac (the dura) around the spine) to give the anesthetic to partially numb the abdomen and legs. episiotomy: A surgical incision of the perineum that enlarges the vaginal opening for birth of the baby. hemorrhoid: A dilated blood vessel inside the anus and beneath its thin lining (internal) or outside the anus and beneath the surface of the skin (external). hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that is carried through the blood stream and causes the function of another gland. jaundice: A newborn condition caused by excess yellow bilirubin pigment. Treatment may be required but it is generally not necessary. late preterm infant: Premature infant born between 34 and 36 6/7 weeks of gestation. let-down response (milk ejection reflex): The release of milk from the milk glands stimulated by the baby during nursing. lochia: The discharge from the uterus during the 6 week postpartum period.


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