The prenatal period is a preparatory time for the mother to prepare herself both physically and psychologically. It is a time of immense anxiety, excitement, and learning. The best way to ensure the health of both the expectant mother and her infant is through early and attentive prenatal care. Close supervision will allow health care professionals to identify and possibly treat maternal disorders that may have been preexistent or developed during the pregnancy. This lesson will include what occurs during the prenatal visits.
Abortion. Termination of pregnancy before the fetus is viable and capable of extrauterine existence.
Conjugate. An important diameter of the pelvis, measured from the center of the promontory of the sacrum to the back of the symphysis pubis.
Ischial Spines. Two relatively sharp, bony projections protruding into the pelvic outlet from the ischial bone that form the lower lateral border of the pelvis. They are used when determining the progress of the fetus down the birth canal.
Ischial Tuberosities. A major bony, sitting support; important in measuring a transverse diameter of the pelvis.
Miscarriage. Spontaneous abortion; lay term usually referring specifically to the loss of the fetus between the fourth month and viability.
Placenta Abruptio. Premature separation of a normally, implanted placenta.
Placenta Previa. A placenta that is implanted in the lower uterine segment so that it adjoins or covers the internal os of the cervix.
Term Pregnancy. A gestation of 38 to 42 weeks.
Toxoplasmosis. A congenital disease characterized by lesions of the central nervous system which may lead to blindness, brain defects, and death.