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P – Glossary Terms

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

pelvic adhesions
Scar tissue from laparoscopic surgery, a cesarean section, dilation and curettage, other surgery, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or other infections that can obstruct the reproductive organs.

percutaneous umbilical cord sampling
A genetic test that screens blood from a fetus's umbilical cord for abnormalities.

perinatal
Referring to the period of time before, during, and immediately after birth.

perinatal asphyxia
When a fetus or baby has too little oxygen in the blood before, during, or after birth.

phototherapy
The use of ultraviolet light to treat newborns with jaundice.

Pitocin
The brand name of a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin. The drug is used to induce labor.

placenta
A pancake-shaped organ that develops in the uterus just 12 days after conception, providing nutrients for the fetus and eliminating its waste products. Commonly referred to as the afterbirth because it's delivered after the baby.

polyps
An abnormal growth of a mucous membrane, often in the nasal passages, bladder, rectum, or uterus. Polyps, though often benign, have been associated with cancers and can be surgically removed.

postmature
An infant born at 42 weeks or more is considered postmature. As with prematurity, being postmature can lead to complications; the baby may be larger and less able to pass through the birth canal or the placenta may no longer be able to provide adequate oxygen or nutrition.

postpartum depression
More severe than the more common and milder baby blues, postpartum depression is characterized by sadness, impatience, restlessness, and inability to care for the baby.

premature
The term used to describe babies born before 37 weeks of gestation. Fewer than 10 percent of babies arrive this early.

premature baby
Born before 37 weeks of gestation.

preterm labor
Labor that begins after 20 weeks, when the fetus is considered viable, and before the 37th week, when the baby is considered full-term. Prompt medical treatment can occasionally halt or postpone early labor, improving the baby's chances for survival.

primitive reflexes
The reflexes that every baby is born with, including the rooting, sucking, startle, and grasp reflexes.

prolactin
The hormone that activates a mother's milk-producing glands. Delivery of the placenta signals a woman's body to begin producing prolactin.

prolapsed cord
In one of every 300 or so births, the umbilical cord slips out through the cervix ahead of the baby, which is dangerous because uterine contractions block blood flow to the baby. Unless the cervix is already dilated and birth is imminent, cesarean delivery is the usual solution.



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