There are certain pregnancy terms every new parent should know. Here are some of the most important to learn right from the start.
Never in my life did I ever think I’d find myself writing a dictionary. I didn’t even know writers could create a dictionary, I thought it was only left to people named Webster and a clan known as the New Oxford crew.
But there I was, for two months, researching and writing about pregnancy terms for The New Dad Dictionary. Terms like episiotomy, Braxton Hicks, cradle cap and gestational diabetes. Terms I’d heard during while my wife was pregnant with our two kids. Terms I’d never thought I’d know the definition of on demand. Pregnancy terms that every new parent should know.
Well, I do, and I thought I’d share some of the most commonly searched pregnancy terms and the “dadfinition” which is my wise ass take on the situation. Here are just a few pregnancy terms every new parent should know.
What is an episiotomy? An episiotomy, also known as perineotomy, is a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall generally done by a midwife or obstetrician during second stage of labor to quickly enlarge the opening for the baby to pass through.
Dadfinition: An episiotomy is one of the wince-inducing parts of labor that you—and your partner—would rather forget.
The procedures that accompany childbirth are ever changing. They’re much different now than when you were born and will continue to change and evolve as technology changes and more research is done on the long-term effects of birthing procedures. In the not-too-distant future there will hopefully come an end to any unnecessary slicing, tearing, clipping, and stripping of the human body when delivering a kid. Eventually humans will figure out a way to just have the child delivered via UPS. Rather than listen to someone recount a horrific labor story, imagine how much nicer it would be to hear, “There’s a note on the door. We must have missed a delivery. Oh, damn it, it was our new son! It says they’ll try again tomorrow. I’ve just got to sign this slip and they’ll leave him on
the back porch.”
What are gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (gestation) and just like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how the cells use glucose. Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect the pregnancy and the baby’s health. Expectant moms can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication.
Dadfinition: Imagine being a woman (if you’re a woman, this should be easy) and for nine months you’re allowed to eat whatever the hell you want without worrying about weight gain or your body because it’s going to go hell no matter what you do. And now imagine someone going “NOPE! CAN’T EAT THAT THOUGH!” and every bad, sugary, fattening food is taken away. Gestational diabetes is like being on The Biggest Loser, having to give up food, but actually gaining weight!
What is Braxton hicks? Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as prodromal labour or practice contractions, are sporadic uterine contractions that sometimes start around six weeks into a pregnancy. Sometimes referred to as “false labor”, Braxton Hicks contractions are uncomfortable but they do not cause labor or open the cervix.
Dadfinition: Braxton Hicks contractions are the lame duck wide receivers of the pregnancy world.
Imagine Braxton Hicks as a blue-chip wide receiver from an SEC school—the kid with the sure hands who goes top five in the NFL draft.
You pick him in the late rounds of your fantasy draft because he’s already been named a starter. Week one of the season Hicks puts up gaudy numbers for a rookie so you insert him in your lineup week two where he does absolutely nothing. You rotate him in and out of your lineup for weeks,but he always scores a ton of points on your bench but nets a big fat zero in your starting lineup.
Braxton Hicks the imaginary football player is a damn tease. Braxton Hicks the contractions aren’t much different. Every day closer to labor she’s going to tell you, “This is the day!” because her body is tricking her into thinking the child is on his way out. When this happens, tell her the story of the fictional Braxton Hicks. She could probably use the nap.
What is cradle cap? Cradle cap — or infantile seborrheic dermatitis if you’re being incredibly specific — is the term for the flakes of dry skin or the yellowish, crusty patches most often found on the top of a newborn baby’s skull. While cradle cap most often occurs on the top of the head, it sometimes occurs in other areas on a child including the ears and eyebrows, eyelids, and armpits.
The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown, but experts believe that the hormones a baby receives from mom at the end of pregnancy could be the culprit.
Dadfinition: Cradle cap is dry skin on your baby that will bother you more than any type of dry skin that you’ve ever had in your life. The good thing is that while it isn’t the most adorable thing to look at on a child, it’s harmless and usually clears up on its own in about six to twelve months.
If cradle cap persists and the constant flakes really bother you, there are a few remedies that could clear it up quicker like gently massaging the child’s head with your fingers or a brush or shampooing the hair a little more frequently. If all else fails, there are specific shampoos for cradle cap and even natural oils that can be applied.
It’s not caused by poor hygiene or allergies, and it’s not contagious and doesn’t seem to bother newborns at all (no matter how much it
might drive you nuts).
What is misophonia? Misophonia, literally means “hatred of sound”, and is a disorder commonly thought to be of neurological origin in which negative emotions like anger, flight, hatred, disgust are triggered by specific sounds. The sounds can be loud or soft. Many pregnant women claim their misophonia got worse, or appeared, during pregnancy.
Dadfinition: She’s going to get sick of hearing many sounds and, sorry guys, you’ll probably be one of those sounds she’s sick of.
For stuff like episiotomy, misphonia and even more hard to pronounce pregnancy terms new parents should know, check out The New Dad Dictionary: Everything He Really Needs To Know From A To Z.