Glossary of Chapter Four - Prenatal Development and Birth

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miscarriage occurring usually before the 20th week of pregnancy when the fetus ordinarily weighs less than 1 lb
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
incurable & fatal disease, transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
placenta & other membranes that are expelled from the uterus following the birth of a child
condition in which there is an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain
Apgar scale
widely used standardized evaluation procedure for newborns that looks at their heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, color, and reflexive responses
artificial insemination
artificial breeding procedure often used in animal husbandry and sometimes with humans; this procedure eliminates the necessity for a physical union between a pair of opposite-sex individuals
Babinski reflex
reflex present in newborn children but disappearing later in life; the toes fan out as a result of being tickled in the center of the soles of the feet; normal adults curl their toes inward rather than fanning them outward
process whereby the fetus, the placenta, and other membranes are separated from the mother’s body and expelled
body mass index (BMI)
ratio of height to weight, computed by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height meters; normal BMI is between about 20 and 27 (somewhat higher with increasing age); indexes above and below these cutoffs indicate obesity or excessive thinness
Bradley method
method of prepared childbirth emphasizing relaxation training and tuning in to the mother’s body to find what is most comfortable
Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale (BNAS)
wide-ranging assessment scale for newborns that looks at many different reflexes and several dozen different types of behaviors
breech birth
an abnormal presentation of the fetus at birth; buttocks first rather than head first
referring to the direction of development beginning with the head and proceeding outward toward the tail; early infant development is cephalocaudal because children acquire control over their heads before acquiring control over their limbs
cerebral palsy
label for a collection of congenital problems associated with brain damage and manifested in motor problems of varying severity, and occasionally in other problems such as convulsions or behavior disorders
small circular opening to the womb (uterus) that dilates considerably during birth to permit passage of the baby
cesarean delivery
common surgical procedure in which the fetus is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus
highly common STD, especially among women, often asymptotic (without apparent symptoms), especially in its early stages, and therefore often undetected and unreported
diethylstilbestrol (DES)
drug once widely prescribed to lessen the probability of miscarriages, it has been linked with medical problems in offspring
a small cut made in the vaginal opening to facilitate the birth of a child, an episiotomy prevents the tearing of membranes and ensures that once the cut has been sutured, healing will be rapid and complete
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
a collection of symptoms in newborns associated with maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and sometimes evident in varying degrees of neurological, mental, and physical problems
germinal period
first two weeks of prenatal development
methyl mercury
mercury compound that tends to accumulate in fatty tissue, and that is associated with birth deformities and malformations in offspring
umbilical cord
a long, thick cord attached to what will be the child’s navel at one end and to the placenta at the other, it transmits nourishment and oxygen to the growing fetus from the mother

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