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V – Glossary Terms

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

vacuum extraction
Used instead of forceps to help deliver a baby, vacuum extraction involves attaching a suction cup to the baby's head and then gently pulling to help ease the baby down the birth canal.

vaginal birth
The birth of a baby through the vaginal canal, as opposed to cesarean birth through a surgical incision in the abdomen.

vaginal birth after cesarean
The vaginal birth of a baby after a woman has already had a child by cesarean. While VBACs are increasingly considered a safe option, an estimated one percent of women attempting this will have a uterine rupture and require an emergency cesarean.

A test done on a man to determine whether his vas deferens is blocked, preventing sperm from being ejaculated.

vernix caseosa
This cheesy or waxy substance that coats the fetus in the uterus is believed to protect the skin from exposure to amniotic fluid. Premature babies will be covered with a lot of vernix caseosa, while post-term babies will have almost none.

very low birth weight
A baby weighing less than 3.3 pounds at birth is considered very low birthweight, and has a much higher risk of illness.

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