Obstetrics Terminology

Alternative birthing room. One room accommodates low-risk vaginal births and is often associated with a less invasive approach that excludes technology and interventions such as fetal monitoring, episiotomy, and anesthesia. A forerunner to the LDR room, the alternative birthing room differs from the LDR in that design and use of the alternative birthing room is geared to, intended for, or appropriate for low-risk patients only. This room is generally smaller and has less equipment and mechanical capabilities than LDRs and LDRPs. Some organizations refer to this room as the birthing room.

Amniocentesis. Laboratory analysis of amniotic fluid. About two tablespoons worth of amniotic fluid is removed from the sac surrounding the baby, inside the mother’s womb, to determine if any genetic abnormalities exist. The test, typically performed during the second trimester, is extremely reliable and can also be used to determine the baby’s sex. (1)

Antepartum. Before labor or delivery. (1)

Cesarean Section. A surgical procedure, during which the fetus is delivered through an incision in the lower abdomen and the uterine wall. (1)

Embryo. A developing baby during the first trimester. (1); Conceptus between time of fertilization to 10 weeks of gestation. (2)

Epidural. Type of anesthesia administered through the back during labor. Not the same as a “spinal.” (1)

Estimated Date of Confinement (EDC). Also known as the due date. Calculated as 40 weeks—about nine months—from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). Keep in mind, though, that any delivery within 38 to 42 weeks is considered normal. The term comes from the fact that pregnant women were once confined during the last trimester of pregnancy. (1)

Fetus. A developing baby after the first trimester. (1); From 10 weeks of gestation to time of birth. (2)

Gestation. Pregnancy. (1)

Gestational Age. Time from first day of last menstrual period (LMP) up to present. (2)

Gravidity (G). Number of times a woman has been pregnant. (2)

Gynecology. The branch of medicine that involves care of woman’s health, including the reproductive system and breasts. (1)

Time of birth to 1 year of age. (2)

Laparoscopy. Direct visualization of the peritoneal cavity, ovaries, and the outer surfaces of the fallopian tubes and uterus by using a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a slender instrument—essentially a miniature telescope—with a fiber optic system that can illuminate the inside of the abdomen. (1)

LDR. Labor and Delivery Room. (2)
A single room accommodates the labor, delivery, and recovery phases of the obstetrical stay for both low- and high-risk vaginal births. Postpartum and cesarean patient accommodations require additional rooms.

LDRP. Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Post Partum Room. (2)
A single room accommodates all phases of the birth experience, including the postpartum period, for low- and high-risk vaginal birth patients. Inclusion of the postpartum phase in the same room differentiates the LDRP from the LDR model.

Obstetrician-Gynecologist. A doctor with special skills, training, and education in women’s health care. (1)

Obstetrics. Branch of medicine that involves care of a woman during pregnancy, labor, childbirth and after the baby is born. (1)

Parity (P). Number of pregnancies with a birth/abortion beyond 20 weeks GA or an infant weighing more than 500 g. (2)

Post partum. After delivery, or childbirth. (1)

Previable Infant. Delivered prior to 24 weeks. (2)

Preterm Infant. Delivered between 24-37 weeks. (2)

Term Infant. Delivered between 37-42 weeks. (2)

Traditional hospital labor and delivery area and postpartum unit. Four separate rooms accommodate the phases of the obstetrical stay-labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum. Patients must be moved by the hospital staff to the appropriate room during each phase of their stay.

Trimester. A time period of three calendar months. Gestation is divided into three trimesters. (1)

First Trimester. Up to 14 weeks of gestation. (2)

Second Trimester. 14 to 28 weeks of gestation. (2)

Third Trimester. 28 weeks to delivery. (2)

Viability. 24 weeks by definition, age at which fetus is believed to have all organs formed (though immature). (2)


1- http://www.totalwomanhealth.com/glossary.php
2- http://www.wikipedia.org

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