Active Labour – When your contractions come closer and closer together. This stage is generally when your cervix dilates from 4cm through to the full 10cm.
Cervix – The cervix is the neck at the base of the uterus that joins into the top end of the vagina.
Colostrum – Colostrum is the first milk baby drinks before more mature milk comes in. It is a yellowy/orange colour and clear. It can start appearing as early as 5 weeks into pregnancy and once baby starts feeding, will change into mature milk within a few days.
Dating Scan – A scan that is done between 8-12 weeks gestation. This age is the best for determining the due date for the baby. The older and larger the baby is, the more inaccurate scans will be in regards to due dates.
Dilated – This means the cervix has begun to open up to allow baby to pass through and be born. It needs to be dilated 10cm for birth to occur. Some women may be dilated up to 2-4cm for weeks before going into labour.
Estimate Due Date (EDD) – This is the date that the baby is expected to arrive on, usually the 40 week mark. However it is completely normal for a baby to arrive anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks. The EDD can be up to a week out either way, depending on your cycle and scan accuracy. Most babies are not born on their EDD.
Effaced – The cervix is thick and long but as labour nears it gets shorter. The shortening is referred to as being effaced. When you are fully effaced and dilated, you can push the baby out.
Full Term – Although this generally is used to mean a mother who is 40 weeks pregnant, it really applies anywhere between 37-42 weeks. It basically means that the baby is fully grown and ready to meet the outside world without any difficulty that may be cause by a premature birth.
Gestational Diabetes – This is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. In most cases it will disappear after the birth of your baby. A test is usually done to check if you have it between 22-28 weeks. If you do, you’ll need to be tested and treated regularly to avoid an oversize baby. However as long as you receive treatment, it should not be a major complication in your pregnancy or birth.
Glucose Test – A test done at 22-28 weeks to see if you have gestational diabetes. The test involves drinking a sweet glucose liquid and then having your blood tested to see how you react. You need to avoid any sweet or sugary items before the test as these may skew the results. Read more about gestational diabetes and preparing for the glucose test.
Induction – If you have medical complications or the baby is postdate/overdue, your doctor may recommend an induction. This means bringing on labour through medical means. Induction can be as simple as breaking your waters but if active labour does not begin within a certain time frame, you may need a drip or different gels and medications. You can read more about what to expect in a medical induction here.1 | 2