Pregnancy Glossary


Now that you’re pregnant, you’re going to be hearing A LOT of terms you’ve never heard before. Use this handy guide to decipher your doctor’s “foreign” language.

Thanks to the March of Dimes for the infomation


afterbirth (AF-tur-burth) — The placenta that comes out of the vagina after a vaginal birth. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies food and oxygen to your baby through the umbilical cord during pregnancy.

afterbirth pain (AF-tur-burth payn) — Belly cramps caused when your uterus goes back to its regular size after pregnancy.

allergy (AL-er-jee) — A reaction to something you touch, eat or breathe in that makes you sneeze, itch, get a rash or have trouble breathing.

amnio (AM-nee-oh) — See amniocentesis.

amniocentesis (am-nee-oh-sen-TEE-siss) — Also called amnio. A test that takes some amniotic fluid from around your baby in the uterus. The test checks for problems with the baby, like birth defects or genetic problems. You can get this test at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

amniotic fluid (am-nee-AH-tik FLOO-id) — The fluid that surrounds the baby in your uterus.

amniotic sac (am-nee-AH-tik sak) — The sac (bag) inside the uterus that holds a growing baby. It is filled with amniotic fluid.

anemia (uh-NEE-mee-uh) — When the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells or the red blood cells are too small. Women get anemia when they don’t have enough iron in their bodies. It is common in pregnancy.

antepartum (an-tee-PAR-tuhm) — Before birth.

antibiotic (an-tee-bye-YAH-tik) — Medicine that kills infections caused by bacteria.

antibodies (an-tee-BAH-deez) — Cells in the body that fight off infections.

Apgar test (AP-gar test) — A test done on your baby right after birth. The test checks five things to make sure your baby is healthy: heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color.

areola (air-ee-OH-luh) — The dark area around the nipple on your breast. It may get darker or larger during pregnancy.

ART (ay-ar-tee or art) — See assisted reproductive technology.

aspirin (ASS-per-in) — A type of medicine to relieve pain and reduce fever.

assisted reproductive technology (uh-SISS-ted ree-pruh-DUHK-tiv tek-nollNAHL-uh-jee) — Also called ART. Any kind of fertility treatment where both the egg and sperm are handled in a lab.

Next: B