Guides

Medical words used during pregnancy

  • Chorioamnionitis: Inflammation of the membranes that surround the foetus (called the chorion and the amnion). Chorioamnionitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) tract: The main body system that runs from the mouth to the anus and where we digest our food. The gastrointestinal tract begins with the mouth, then becomes the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum and, finally, the anus.
  • Foetal membranes: The membranes surrounding the foetus.
  • Foetoplacental circulation: The blood supply in the foetus and placenta.
  • Intrapartum: Occurring during delivery (labour or child birth).
  • In utero: Within the uterus or womb before the start of labour.
  • Maternal-foetal micro transfusions: When small amounts of blood from the mother leak from the placenta to the baby during labour (or other disruption of the placenta).
  • Mucosal lining: The moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, vagina, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucous, a thick, slippery fluid. A mucosal lining is also called a mucous membrane.
  • Placenta: A temporary organ that develops in pregnancy joining the mother and foetus. The placenta acts as a filter. It transfers oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the foetus, and takes away carbon dioxide and waste products. The placenta is full of blood vessels. It is expelled from the mother’s body after the baby is born and it is no longer needed. It is sometimes called the afterbirth. The placenta is a good barrier including to HIV. It prevents HIV from reaching the baby throughout most of pregnancy).

Last updated: 1 December 2015.