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MoonDragon's Midwives Vocabulary
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - F



Fallopian Tubes

The pair of narrow ducts in a woman's abdomen that transport ova from the ovary to the uterus. When a mature egg is released by the ovary, the Fallopian tubes open and draw it in.

Family & Medical Leave Act

Unpaid leave - up to 12 weeks in duration--for individuals to care for a newborn, an ill child, parent, or spouse.

Failure To Thrive

Abnormally slow growth and development of a child, as compared to the usual pattern for children of their weight at birth.

Family Practitioner
(FP)

A health care provider, usually a physician (medical doctor [MD], naturopath [ND], osteopath [DO], chiropractor [DC]), who provides care for the entire family.

Fertility Specialist

An obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) who specializes in fertility problems.

Fertilization

The union of egg and sperm.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Physical and mental birth defects due to a mother consuming excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy. Signs are mental retardation, small head, upturned nose, and wide-spaced eyes.

Fetal Distress

When a fetus has problems regarding oxygen levels or heartbeat.

Fetal Monitoring

Fetal monitoring is a procedure of regular fetal checks involving listening to fetal heart tones, with or without contractions, for normal or abnormal heart beat regularity and intensity. Fetal monitoring may be done using a stethoscope, fetoscope, or an electronic device. See electronic fetal monitoring.

Fetal Presentation

The orientation of the fetus in a mother's pelvic region.

Fetal-Maternal Exchange

Exchange of oxygen and nutrients from the mother's blood through waste and from the baby's blood through the placenta.

Fetoscopy

A prenatal diagnostic procedure in which a laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in a pregnant woman's abdomen and uterus wall to look for any abnormalities in the fetus.

Fetus

An embryo after 8 weeks in the womb until birth.

Fever
(Pyrexia)

When body temperature rises a couple of degrees above normal - 98.6°F - usually indicating an infection.

Fine Motor Skills

The type of small movements that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue.

Floppy Infant Syndrome
(Hypotonia)

Limp, slack muscles in an infant.

Folic Acid

A vitamin of the vitamin B complex, used to treat anemia and believed to lower the incidence of spina bifida. Rich sources include, liver, beans, and green leafy vegetables.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone
(FSH)

Produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Produce estrogen and progesterone, too.

Follicles

The portion of the ovaries that produces eggs.

Fontanel

The 2 soft spots on a baby's skull that help him pass through the birth canal more easily. Covered by skin, they fuse as the baby grows but should be treated gently.

Forceps Delivery

A hinged, tong-like device placed on a baby's head to ease him out during birth if the delivery becomes difficult.

Foreskin
(Prepuce)

The fold of skin over the head of the penis.

Formula

A commercially manufactured substitute for breast milk. Can be dairy or soy based.

Fraternal Twins

Two offspring born at the same time who may or may not look alike. Occurs when two separate eggs are fertilized, each having its own placenta.

Full-Term

A baby born between 38 to 42 weeks gestation.

Fundal Height

The distance from the top of a pregnant woman's uterus to her pubic bone. Measured to determine fetal age.

Fundus

The upper, rounded part of the uterus.



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