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Glossary of Maternity and Women's Health Terms

APGAR SCORE: A test for evaluating a newborn's physical condition, usually performed one minute and five minutes after birth. It rates five factors that reflect the infant's ability to adjust to life outside of the mother's womb.

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION: Surgical reconstruction of the breast, including both augmentation and reduction.

EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA: Denotes the production of surgical analgesia by local anesthetics. That is, the epidural solution is concentrated enough to provide for analgesia labor discomfort or specific surgical procedures.

FETAL MONITORING: Physiologic or biochemical monitoring of the fetus. Usually done during labor and may be in conjunction with monitoring of uterine activity. May also be prenatal as when the mother is undergoing surgery.

GESTATIONAL AGE: Age of the conceptus. In human, may be assessed by medical history, physical examination, early immunologic pregnancy tests, radiography, ultrasonography, and amniotic fluid analysis.

INTRAPARTUM CARE: Care of the fetus, mother, and family during the period that begins with progressive cervical dilation and contractions and ends with the delivery of the placenta and membranes.

LABOR STAGE, FIRST: Period from the onset of labor through complete dilatation of the cervix.

LACTATION: Production and secretion of milk after childbirth.

MECONIUM: Material that collects in the intestines of a fetus and forms the first stools of a newborn.

NEONATOLOGY: A subspecialty of pediatrics concerned with newborn infants and their special problems.

PERINATAL CARE: Care of childbearing families who are at risk for increased maternal, fetal, or neonatal mortality.

POSTNATAL CARE: Care of the mother from the time after the delivery of the placenta and membranes to the return of the reproductive organs to their non-pregnant condition (approximately six weeks).

POSTNATAL PERIOD: Period after childbirth up to one year. Not confined to the period of involution.

PREGNANCY TRIMESTER, FIRST: First 14 weeks of pregnancy.

PREGNANCY TRIMESTER, SECOND: Weeks 15-28 of pregnancy.

PREGNANCY TRIMESTER, THIRD: Weeks 29-42 of pregnancy.

PREMATURE INFANT: Any infant whose calculated gestational age from the first day of the last menstrual period is less than 37 completed weeks.

PREMATURE LABOR: Onset of labor before term but after the fetus has become viable.