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B – Glossary Terms

Created by: Melissa Werner
Posted : Monday January 01, 1900
 

baby blues
Mild depression that may last a couple of weeks following childbirth, usually the result of dramatic hormonal swings and the letdown after the excitement of labor and birth. See postpartum depression.

bilirubin
Bilirubin is a byproduct of the normal breakdown of old red blood cells. It causes a harmless type of jaundice in about 50 percent of newborns because their young livers can't metabolize it quickly enough.

birth canal
The passageway -- made up of the cervix, vagina, and vulva -- the baby travels through during birth.

bloody show
The discharge -- often mucus tinged with blood -- that appears as labor approaches. Sometimes refers to light bleeding, other times is used to mean the mucus plug that dislodges when the cervix begins to efface and/or dilate.

bradycardia
Slow heartbeat, usually less than 60 beats per minute.

Braxton Hicks contractions
Irregular or "practice" contractions starting around the eighth month that prepare the uterus for labor. May be painless and intense.

breech position
When the baby's bottom or feet -- rather than the head -- face the mother's cervix as labor nears. Three to four percent of full-term babies are positioned this way.

breech presentation
When the baby's bottom or feet -- rather than the head -- face the mother's cervix as labor nears. Three to four percent of full-term babies are positioned this way.



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