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MoonDragon's Midwives Vocabulary
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - S



Scabies

A contagious disease caused by parasitic mites that burrow under the skin, making it itch and break out in a rash. Treat with special creams or ointments and by washing everything in boiling hot water.

Scarlet Fever

A contagious febrile disease in the streptococcus family characterized by a rash, sore throat, and high fever. Can be treated effectively with antibiotics in the early stages.

Sciatica

A common pregnancy-related condition. Pain in the leg, lower back, and buttock caused by pressure of the growing uterus on the sciatic nerve. Apply heat and rest to relieve the condition.

Scoliosis

Abnormal curvature of the spine.

Seizure

Convulsions brought on by involuntary, uncontrolled electrical currents in the brain. Can result from a high fever or may be a sign of other conditions such as epilepsy.

Separation Anxiety

When an infant fears being separated from his mother, father, or primary caregiver, resulting in tears and quieting down when that person returns. Babies go through several different stages, which can strike both day and night.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease
(SCID)

When a child is born without most defenses of the immune system. Often needs to be isolated or live in a "bubble" environment.

Shaken Child or Baby Syndrome

When a baby or child is severely shaken and injuries are sustained, including swelling of the brain, hemorrhages, and whiplash.

Shock

When blood flow to the body's tissue is reduced due to severe injury, blood loss, or disease, and characterized by clammy, cold skin, weak pulse, and very low blood pressure.

Sickle Cell Anemia

A chronic anemia inherited from one or both parents that causes the blood cells to assume a sickle shape. Most common among African-Americans.

Sitz Bath

A shallow, tepid bath to help soothe hemorrhoids, perineal pain, and episiotomy stitches.

Skin Disorders

Disorders range from rashes to psoriasis to birthmarks.

Sleep Apnea

Short periods during sleep when breathing ceases.

Sleep Disorders

When the state of reduced consciousness is disturbed. Disorders include sleep apnea, night terrors, and sleepwalking in older children.

Small Gestational Age
(SGA)

Refers to an infant who is small and of low birth weight not because of being premature, but rather because of slow growth in the fetus.

Solids

Food, other than breast milk or formula, introduced to an infant at around 4-6 months of age.

Sperm Bank

Organization that collects sperm from donors and sells it to health care providers or couples seeking artificial insemination.

Spermicide

Birth control method which kills sperm chemically.

Spina Bifida

Congenital birth defect when the tube housing the central nervous system fails to close completely.

Spinal Disorders

Disorders relating to the column of vertebrae extending from the pelvis up to the head or the nerves running up and down the spinal cord, including spina bifida and scoliosis.

Stepping Reflex

When a newborn lifts one leg and then the other - taking what may seem to be steps - if he is held upright on a table or other flat surface and supported under the arms.

Sterility

Permanent condition when a man or a woman is unable to have a baby.

Sterilization

A surgical method to render a man or woman infertile, usually as a permanent type of birth control.

Steroids

Hormones formed from cholesterol that are produced by the adrenal glands. May be used as birth control, to control respiratory problems in babies, or to ease joint inflammations.

Stillbirth

When a fetus dies in utero before delivery, usually after the 28th week.

Stranger Anxiety

When a baby is fearful of strangers.

Strep Throat

Bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils. Usually effectively treated with antibiotics.

Stretch Marks

Marks due to rapidly growing tissue. Commonly a side effect of pregnancy, usually apparent on breasts, abdomen, legs, and buttocks.

Subzonal Sperm Insertion
SZI)

A variation of in-vitro fertilization in which the sperm is surgically implanted into the egg.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
(SIDS)

Abrupt, sudden death of an infant, often with no concrete reason. Leading cause of death among infants 1 to 12 months. Reduce risk by putting baby to sleep on his side or back.

Surrogate Mother

A woman who bears a child for a couple who cannot have one themselves.

Sweat Test

A test in which the amount of salt and chloride in a person's sweat are measured to determine cystic fibrosis.

Symbiotic Stage

Early, close relationship between a mother and infant.



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