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MoonDragon's Midwives Vocabulary
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - A



Apgar Score

The first test most babies are given (at one and five minutes after birth). Assesses five basic indicators of health: respiration, pulse, activity level, response to stimulation, and appearance.

Afterbirth
(Placenta)

A common term for the placenta after it has been delivered.

Alpha-Fetoprotein
(AFP)

Protein produced by the fetus's liver that can be detected in the mother's blood most accurately between the 16th and 18th weeks of pregnancy. High levels may be associated with a neural tube birth defect called spina bifida; low levels may be associated with Down syndrome.

Amniocentesis

A test to determine possible obstetric complications or genetic defects usually performed between the 15th and 18th weeks of pregnancy. Amniotic fluid is drawn from a pregnant woman's uterus by inserting a hollow needle through her abdominal wall.

Amniotic Fluid

Clear fluid in the amniotic sac in which the fetus grows. Cushions the fetus, allows for fetal movement, helps the lungs develop, stabilizes the baby's temperature, and provides a barrier against infection.

Anencephaly

A rare birth defect resulting in little or no brain and a malformed skull.

Anterior Position

When the baby faces the back of the mother's pelvis in utero and/or during labor.

Areola

The dark area on the breast surrounding the nipple, which may spread or darken further during pregnancy.

Asthma

A chronic lung and breathing disorder. Ranges from mild wheeziness to serious constriction of the bronchial tubes.



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