Our midwife clues you in on the medical language that will be used as you go into labour…
Time for an orchestra and more tape measures – or so you’d think. Doctors sometimes need to help your baby find her way out, and that can lead to some strange words being bandied about…Centimetres dilated
When your midwife asks if she can examine you to find out, “how many cm dilated your cervix is,” she isn’t heading for your vagina with a tape measure! A gentle vaginal examination using two fingers will give her an estimation of how far open your cervix is. She’s done this a lot, hence being able to estimate ‘how far’ dilated you are.Instrumental birth
No live orchestra for this one – it means that the doctors may need to use special equipment to help with the delivery. These instruments include ventouse (a suction cup) and forceps (special metal tongs), both of which help to gently pull your baby out. A caesarean section is also sometimes referred to as an instrumental birth.Birth notes explained
Your birth notes will probably seem like a lot of scribbles and capital letters. Before you hit the Internet search engine, here are the main ones you might see:
Ah, Hollywood. It has a lot to answer for. There’s either the comedy ‘giving birth in an emergency’ scenario or the woman screaming, “just give me the drugs!” All this can leave a mum-to-be confused, so here are your basic options:
After the birth
The strange language doesn’t stop once you’ve given birth. From your milk supply to your healing ‘down there’, there’s more to come. Remember, if you hear something you’re not sure about, your midwife and health visitor are there to answer any questions.
Watch out for these being mentioned in the first few days after you give birth…
Read our other jargon busters about pregnancy and your bump.
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