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S – Glossary Terms

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

An allergic response to mites that lay eggs under the skin. Scabies are spread through linens, clothes, or close contact with people, and are treated with prescription lotions or soaps.

A common pregnancy-related condition, caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which passes through the pelvis. Symptoms, which include pain, tingling, or numbness in the lower back and down the legs, often last only a few hours but can, in severe cases, linger throughout pregnancy.

Abnormal curvature of the spine.

separation anxiety
When an infant or toddler is anxious about being away from her primary caregiver. Infants can have this as early as 7 months, but separation anxiety usually peaks between a year and 18 months.

shaken baby syndrome
The severe injuries that result when a baby (or child) is shaken. Common are swelling of the brain, hemorrhaging, and neck injuries; in extreme cases, shaken baby syndrome is fatal.

sitz bath
A shallow, tepid bath often recommended to soothe the discomfort and pain of conditions such as hemorrhoids or episiotomy stitches.

sleep apnea
Often a complication of prematurity, sleep apnea refers to periods in which a baby stops breathing. Some full-term infants may also have periods of apnea, a factor that has been associated with SIDS (adults can also have sleep apnea).

small for gestational age
An infant who is not as big as could be expected given her gestational age is termed "small for gestational age." SGA babies are small because of slow development, not because they've had less time in the womb, like premature babies.

A cheesy lubricating secretion from the sebaceous glands of the penis that enables the foreskin to retract smoothly over the head of the penis.

spina bifida
A birth defect resulting from the incorrect development of the spinal cord that can leave the spinal cord exposed, spina bifida affects approximately one in every 2,000 babies born in the United States. Folic acid reduces the likelihood of spina bifida, and women are advised to take supplements before and during pregnancy.

stepping reflex
Also called the walking reflex, this is one of the reflexes present at birth. When held over a flat surface, a newborn will move her legs as if she's taking steps.

The death of a baby after 20 weeks' gestation but before birth. Stillbirths are mainly caused by genetic or congenital defects, problems with the umbilical cord or placenta, or a medical condition in the mother.

stranger anxiety
A dislike or mistrust of unfamiliar people, often beginning around a baby's eighth or ninth month. Wariness of strangers may last a short while or many months; some babies may never exhibit a fear of strangers.

sudden infant death syndrome
The death, with no clear cause, of an infant between 1 and 12 months old. Putting an infant to sleep on her back has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

sweat test
The standard diagnostic test for cystic fibrosis, which measures the amount of salt in a person's sweat. A high level of salt indicates cystic fibrosis.

symbiotic stage
The early, close relationship between mother and child.

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