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Autologous Transfusion Definition

Transfusion is a procedure where blood is taken from the expectant mother prior to childbirth and stored for transfusion back to her after delivery. The purpose of this procedure is to reduce the risk of complications associated with allogeneic transfusions resulting in transfusion reactions, such as immunologic reactions or transmission of infectious diseases. Additionally, autologous transfusion may be used in cases where there is a shortage of allogeneic blood. Transfusion reactions can occur when incompatible blood types are mixed, such […]

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Pelvis Definition

Pelvis is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to refer to the lower section of the abdomen, located between the hips. It is a basin-shaped structure of the bones and joints of the lower limb consisting of four bones: the two hip bones, the sacrum, and the coccyx (tailbone). It is bounded above by the pelvic girdle or hip bones, below by the knees, and behind by the sacrum and coccyx. The pelvis serves to support the […]

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Umbilical Cord Definition

The umbilical cord is a cable-like structure that connects the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. The umbilical cord is typically about 50cm long and 2cm in diameter and is composed of three blood vessels: two arteries and one vein. These vessels carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood (called cord blood) from the mother to the fetus, and carbon dioxide- and waste-containing blood from the fetus back to the mother. In addition to its function in connecting the fetus to […]

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Pre-Referral Definition

Pre-Referral is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to mean “the process of making a referral.” It can also be referred to as prenatal care, preconception counseling, or simply pre-referral. Pre-Referral typically occurs when a woman first visits her doctor or midwife for an initial consultation. The purpose of Pre-Referral is to provide information about medical risks and interventions that may be necessary during pregnancy and childbirth.  While Pre-Referral is a vital part of ensuring a healthy […]

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Monochorionic Twins Definition

Monochorionic twins are a type of identical twins where both babies share the same placenta. This happens when the fertilized egg splits into two separate embryos early on in development, usually within the first week.  Monochorionic twins are at higher risk for certain complications during pregnancy and delivery than other types of twins due to unequal sharing of blood, blood volume, placental nutrients, or a combination of these. These include: 1) Monoamniotic Twins: Also known as “mono mono” twins, these […]

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Low Birthweight Definition

Low Birthweight (LBW) is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to describe babies who are born weighing less than 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams). LBW is often used as a synonym for preterm birth, which describes any baby born before 37 weeks gestation.  There are many possible causes of LBW, including maternal malnutrition, smoking during pregnancy, alcohol consumption during pregnancy, drug use during pregnancy, infections, preeclampsia/eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, stress, multiple gestations, preterm labor, or low socioeconomic status. […]

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Rhogam Definition

Rhogam is a medication given to Rh-negative women during pregnancy and after giving birth, to help prevent their bodies from producing antibodies against the Rh factor. The Rh factor is a protein found on the surface of red blood cells. If you have the Rh factor, you are Rh-positive. If you don’t have the Rh factor, you are Rh-negative. Most people are Rh-positive.  If an Rh-negative woman becomes pregnant with an Rh-positive baby, her body may produce antibodies against the Rh […]

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Teratogen Definition

A teratogen is any agent that can cause physical or functional defects in a developing embryo or fetus. Teratogens typically work by interfering with the normal development of the embryo or fetus. This can happen during any stage of pregnancy, but the risk is greatest during the first trimester when the major organs are being formed. Exposure to a teratogen during this time can lead to serious birth defects, including heart defects, cleft lip or palate, and neural tube defects. […]

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Chorioamnionitis Definition

Chorioamnionitis is a general term used to describe an infection (bacterial, fungal, or viral) of the chorion and amnion, the two membranes that surround the fetus in the womb. This can happen before or during labor, or after delivery. It is a serious condition that can lead to preterm labor and delivery, as well as other complications such as sepsis (a potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection). The most common cause of chorioamnionitis is bacteria that ascend from the mother’s […]

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Naegele’s Rule Definition

Naegele’s Rule is a method used to estimate the due date of a baby. It is named after Franz Karl Naegele, the German obstetrician who first described the rule in 1806. The rule is simple: add seven days to the first day of a woman’s last period, and then count back three months. So, if a woman’s last period began on March 1, her due date would be October 8. This rule is based on the assumption that ovulation occurs […]