Genitals Definition

Genitals are the reproductive organs, including the penis and testicles in males, and the vagina, uterus, and ovaries in females. The main function of genitals is to produce gametes, which are then fertilized by sperm in order to create offspring. In mothers, the genitals are involved in the birthing process by providing an exit for the baby during delivery  specifically via the vaginal canal. The vagina is also where the placenta and umbilical cord are attached to the mother’s body. […]


Cord Compression Definition

Cord compression is a condition that can occur during pregnancy when the umbilical cord becomes compressed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including the baby’s position in the womb, the mother’s position during labor, or abnormalities of the umbilical cord itself. Cord compression can be a serious complication, as it can lead to decreased blood flow to the fetus and oxygen deprivation. If not treated promptly, cord compression can cause fetal death. Risk Factors There are several risk […]


Anencephaly Definition

Anencephaly is a neural tube defect (NTD) that occurs when the rostral (head) end of the neural tube fails to close properly during embryonic development. The neural tube is a layer of cells that forms during early development and helps to create the brain and spinal cord. When this tube will not close properly, it results in defects such as the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull and scalp. Anencephaly is a type of cephalic disorder. Babies […]


Complications Definition

The term “complications” is used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to describe a wide variety of potential problems that can occur during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. While some complications are minor and pose no threat to the mother or child, others can be life-threatening. The most common complications include labor that does not progress, abnormal heart rate of the baby, water breaking early, infection, perineal tears, shoulder dystocia, perinatal asphyxia, bleeding,  hypertension, and diabetes. Labor fails to […]


Back Labor Definition

Back labor is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to describe the pain and discomfort associated with contractions during childbirth. Back labor is characterized by intense lower back pain during contractions, as well as pressure on the rectum and vagina.  Back labor happens when the baby’s head presses on the mother’s pelvic bones, which in turn press on the nerves and muscles in the lower back. This can cause pain in the lower back that is different […]


Mammary Glands Definition

Mammary glands are a type of gland that is found in the breasts of mammals. These glands are responsible for producing milk for nursing young. The mammary gland is composed of two parts: the lobules, which produce milk, and the ducts, which carry the milk to the nipple. The mammary gland is surrounded by fat and connective tissue.  Mammary glands develop during puberty in response to hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. In pregnant women, mammary glands enlarge and produce […]


Chromosome Definition

A chromosome is a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells. The word “chromosome” comes from the Greek words chroma, meaning “color,” and soma, meaning “body.”  The function of chromosomes is to store and transmit hereditary information. This information is encoded in the sequence of base pairs that make up each chromosome’s DNA. During cell division, chromosomes are copied so that each new cell gets a complete set. When sperm and eggs […]


Antenatal Definition

Antenatal is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to refer to the period of time between a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth. This typically lasts for 40 weeks, or 9 months. The term “antenatal” refers to the period of time before childbirth. This includes the period of pregnancy and the weeks leading up to delivery. During this time, a woman will undergo various changes as her body adapts to carrying a baby. These changes can include […]


Leopold’s Maneuvers Definition

Leopold’s Maneuvers is a term used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to describe a specific set of actions performed in order to assess the position of the fetus during pregnancy and prior to delivery. The maneuvers are named after Austrian gynecologist Karl Leopold, who first described them in 1858.  There are four main types of movements performed during Leopold’s Maneuvers:  1) fundal grip – placing your hands on the top of the uterus and feeling for fetal landmarks 2) […]


Retroverted Uterus Definition

A retroverted uterus is a uterus that is positioned with its fundus (uppermost aspect) pointing towards the rectum, instead of the more common anteverted position where the fundus points towards the urinary bladder. This anatomical variation is present in around 20-30% of women and usually causes no problems. However, in some cases, it can lead to difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth. This condition is also known as a tipped uterus, backward uterus, or retroflexed uterus. The symptoms of having a […]