Sometimes patients have NO idea what anything is.
Or, sometimes they’ve read up so much on EVERY. LITTLE. THING. on our friend, the internet, that they have so many mis-guided notions about things I want to scream!
Frankly — I’m not sure which is worse. :)So, here’s some basic labor vocabulary, so you’ll go in with at least a little bit under your belt. This pregnancy medical terminology is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re wanting to know more about deliveries — check out this class that will get you prepared before D-day!
Normal Delivery Vocabulary
Pitocin is a hormone used at delivery
It’s a synthetic of what your body is already producing. Most often used after delivery to get your uterus to clamp back down so you don’t bleed to death (we like to keep your blood inside of you).
Also used to induce people (see below). Usually done IV, but can be done as a shot. Want to know more about Am I In Labor <– That page has tons of awesome info!
The Epidural is Used for Pain Relief in Labor
An infusion (like an IV, but it looks different) that goes into your epidural space in your back to make you fairly numb from about your boobs to your knees. It works in varying degrees on women. Some are totally numb, some feel a fair amount of pressure. Done by an anesthesiologist. Or,you could just use this special word. 😉
I have a whole series of posts on the epidural.
An IV is used in most hospital deliveries
Most doctors want you to have an IV if you are delivering in a hospital.
If you are not being induced, sometimes we can just leave a plastic tube in your arm to leave you more freedom to move.
Most often this is just infusing water to keep you hydrated. You can lose a LOT of blood in a short time span during delivery and we desperately want a way to help you if that happens.
If you drink a lot of water ahead of time, this makes the nurse’s job easier, hence making it easier on you. IV’s are often on birth plans — I have a free birth plan worksheet.
Your bag of waters (amniotic sac) is important at delivery
Your baby is being surrounded by a bag of waters (also called the amniotic sac) that contains mainly baby pee as well as a few other things produced by the mother. Most people’s water doesn’t break on their own, and often your doctor will come break it to speed up labor.
It’s normal, but if you have concerns, discuss it with your doctor. Is my water broken is one of my most popular pregnancy posts.
Understand the word induction before going to the hospital
Induction can happen in many ways. Induction is basically starting you in labor.
If you are being induced, the doctor will pick a way that they are most comfortable with, considering your cervix and how “ready” it seems to be. Most inductions will not happen until at LEAST 39 weeks, but often doctors want to wait until 40.
So, that’s my top five normal delivery vocabulary.
Related posts: Gifts for L&D nurses
If learning things like this, helps you know what to expect, I’d recommend checking out the Online Prenatal Class for Couples let me help simplify labor and delivery for you. Be sure to check-out the great reviews.
If you’re not ready for the full class I also offer a free beginning class which you can sign up for below.
This post was originally written in March 2014, and has been updated.