When you become pregnant with your first child, it feels like there's a whole new world of information out there about expecting, raising, and thinking about children. Everyone from your next-door neighbor to your best friend has tons of advice for you, and it can feel like there's too much information to sift through.
There are many pregnancy and parenting-related terms that you will come across in your research and reading. The more you know, the better prepared you feel. Here are 10 terms like "rainbow baby" and what they mean.
10 Rainbow Baby
Having to say goodbye to your infant is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult things that you can imagine. You may have heard the term "rainbow baby" before, which describes this tragic situation.
According to Healthline, this term refers to someone experiencing a stillbirth, miscarriage, or a baby not making it for any other reason, and then giving birth to a baby. As the website explains, it "comes from the idea of a rainbow appearing in the sky after a storm, or after a dark and turbulent time."
9 Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is another term that you should know about. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au explains that when a woman experiences this, it's not usually "viable."
We learn in health class that when a woman becomes pregnant, the egg and sperm meet and the fertilized egg goes from the fallopian tube to the uterus. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, this doesn't happen and the egg is actually in the fallopian tube and not in the uterus.
8 Baby Blues
You have probably heard the term "baby blues" before. While sometimes this phrase is used in the discussion of postpartum depression, they aren't the same thing.
Betterhealth.vic.gov.au explains that this term is because of a woman's changing hormones after having a baby and calls it "mild depression." As WebMD explains, the "baby blues" aren't going to last as long as postpartum and will improve, and postpartum has some more serious indicators, such as not connecting to the infant. If you are suffering from postpartum, you should see a doctor and talk to someone.
"Breech" is another pregnancy-related term that people talk about a lot. This term means that when your fetus isn't in the typical position in order for you to give birth. As Family Doctor explains, the infant is usually "headfirst" but with a breech case, it's "feet-first" or "bottom-first."
If your infant doesn't get into the "headfirst" position by itself, your doctor can move it in something called "external cephalic version (ECV)." They will do this on your belly and typically when you're 37 weeks along in your pregnancy.
6 Braxton Hicks
You have likely heard the term "Braxton Hicks" before. According to American Baby and Child Law Centers, this term means "false labor." The website explains that the woman's uterus starts getting ready for the labor part of the process and "tightens briefly."
You may have seen women on TV shows or in movies experiencing Braxton Hicks when their due date is almost here. It can totally feel like you're about to give birth, which is why many women will go to the hospital or call their doctor.
5 Amniotic Fluid
Have you heard the term "amniotic fluid" before? It definitely sounds pretty intense and serious... but in reality, it's something that is really good for your baby. According to Healthline, there is a lot in this fluid: "hormones, immune system cells, nutrients, your baby's urine."
This fluid is going to be around your baby when they're in the womb. American Pregnancy describes it as being made "mostly of fetal urine and water."
4 Glucose Screen
According to the Women's And Children's Health Network, the "glucose screen" is a "blood test to see how well your body uses sugar."
This is also done to look out for gestination diabetes. When you're getting ready to have this done, you'll have some juice and then have a blood test 60 minutes later, as What To Expect explains. This blood test is typically when you're 24-28 weeks along.
When you're expecting a baby, it's very likely that "gestation" is one of the terms that you're going to hear quite often. It sounds like a very serious medical word, doesn't it? It even sounds a bit unpleasant.
The Women's And Children's Health Network explains that "gestation" refers to the "number of weeks pregnant." It's one of those pregnancy-related terms that sounds intense but has a simple and easy to understand meaning. The term "gestational diabetes" is related here (and basically means that you are experiencing diabetes during your pregnancy).
2 Cradle Cap
"Cradle Cap" is another term that you might come across in your research or see new moms posting about on social media.
Kids Health explains that this means that your infant has "slightly red scaly or crusty yellow patches on the scalp." This is also referred to as Seborrheic Dermatitis. How old would an infant with cradle cap be? This can happen to a two-week-old infant and also one who is one year old. Kids Health suggests that parents use a toothbrush to make the "scales" go away and also use a shampoo daily that will be "tear-free" and right for sensitive scalps. The website also mentions that this won't last forever.
1 Mucus Plug
Granted, the term "mucus plug" doesn't sound very pleasant. There's no getting around the fact that each word is kind of gross.
According to WebMD, this is helpful since it prevents bacteria from getting into an expectant woman's cervix. You will "pass your mucus plug" as it is called and that means that you're getting ready to have your baby. WebMD notes that this doesn't mean that you're about to give birth so you can't use it as a clue in that sense. Although it's not the greatest name, it's something that is definitely important.