Pregnancy Glossary


baby blues (BAY-bee blooz) — Feeling of sadness in the first few days after having a baby.

bacteria (bak-TEER-ee-uh) — Tiny organisms that live in and around your body. Some bacteria are good for your body, and others can make you sick.

bed rest (bed rest) — Reducing your activities while you’re pregnant. Bed rest may mean staying in bed all day or just resting a few times each day.

bikini cut (bi-KEE-nee kuht) — A cut used in surgery that goes across your belly, just above your pubic bone. It may be used in c-sections.

birth canal (burth kuh-NAL) — See vagina.

birth control (burth kuhn-TROHL) — Also called contraception or family planning. Things you can do to keep from getting pregnant. Using a condom and taking a birth control pill are examples of birth control.

birth defects (burth dee-FEKS) — Problems with a baby’s body that are present at birth.

bladder (BLAD-ur) — Where your body holds urine.

bleeding (BLEED-eeng) — Also called spotting. When blood comes out of your vagina during pregnancy. Call your provider if you have bleeding from your vagina during pregnancy.

blood clot (bluhd klaht) — A mass of blood and other body tissue that blocks blood flow.

blood test (bluhd test) — A test of your blood to check for sugar, infections and other possible problems. Blood tests are a regular part of prenatal care.

blood transfusion (bluhd tranz-FYOO-zhuhn) — Having new blood put into your body.

bloody show (BLUHD-ee shoh) — Bleeding from your vagina at the beginning of labor.

BMI (bee-em-EYE) — See body mass index.

body mass index (BAH-dee mass IN-deks) — Also called BMI. A measure of body fat based on your height and weight. It can help you find out if you need to gain or lose weight.

bowel movement (BOW-uhl MOOV-mint) — Solid waste that leaves the body through the rectum.

Braxton-Hicks contractions (BRACKS-tuhn-hicks kuhn-TRAK-shuhnz) — Sometimes called false labor. Contractions that help prepare your body for labor. They are different from labor contractions because they don’t get stronger or happen faster over time. They also may stop when you move around.

breastfeed (BREST-feed) — Feeding your baby milk that comes from your breasts.

breastmilk (BREST-milk) — Milk that comes from your breasts. Breastmilk is the best food for a baby.

breast pump (brest puhmp) — A pump used to help remove breastmilk from your breasts.

breech position (breech puh-ZI-shuhn) — When the baby’s bottom or feet are facing down right before birth.