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7 Words I Had Never Heard Before Pregnancy

Pregnancy has a way of expanding your vocabulary. You go from normal words that you’ve used your whole adult life to an entirely new vernacular; one that you’re expected to pick up and understand right away. There are special words to describe just about everything. The top of your uterus is no longer just the top of your uterus, your cervix has special adjectives, and just about everything that comes out of an orifice has a special new label.

Pregnancy is complicated.

I feel like every time I talk to one of my friends or go to a doctor’s appointment I pick up a new, and often horrifying, word. Some of them are not so bad, but every once in a while a totally creepy one will sneak in. And while I’m sure that I’m far from learning all the words that come along with being pregnant, these are the top 7 terms I had never heard before pregnancy. You can thank me for the definitions later.

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  • Mucus Plug 1 of 7
    Mucus Plug
    Let's start with a gross one, shall we? So, a mucus plug (you're welcome for the abstract picture, by the way) is a literally a glob of mucus that seals off your cervix during pregnancy. As a word to the wise, never, ever google this term because the images that pop up on the google results page will ruin your day. But yes, if you're pregnant and not close to delivery, you too have a mucus plug in your body.
  • Diastasis Recti 2 of 7
    Diastasis Recti
    Simply put, diastasis recti is when the major abdominal muscles separate down the middle. This becomes a problem when they separate more than a normal amount because they can't fuse themselves back together after delivering the baby. This is one of the reasons you should avoid strenuous abdominal exercises while pregnant. Your rock hard abs can wait until after the baby is here.
    Image from DiastasisRecti.org
  • Linea Nigra 3 of 7
    Linea Nigra
    This one was definitely new to me. In Latin it literally means black line, and that's actually a pretty good description. It's a dark line that some pregnant women get that runs from their belly button to the pubic symphysis. I've had a light one for about 2 months, I'm told they typically fade once the baby comes. I'm mostly weirded out that mine is slightly off center. If I'm going to have lines on my growing belly, I'd at least like them to be in the middle.
  • Membrane Stripping 4 of 7
    Membrane Stripping
    I had actually heard this term before, but truly had no idea what it was. According to medscape, membrane stripping is when
    "The health care provider puts her or his finger into the cervix -- the mouth of the uterus -- and uses the finger to gently separate the bag of water from the side of the uterus near the cervix. It is easily done in the office during a regular pelvic exam."
    I have a hard time with the idea of this being gentle in any way, shape or form. But it seems to be something that a lot of women go through as a way to get moving towards labor, so it must be pretty effective.
    Get more information from Medscape.
  • Bloody Show 5 of 7
    Bloody Show
    Because I like you guys I went with another non-literal picture. A bloody show is basically when your mucus plug comes out. It is apparently often blood tinged and is a sign that you are on your way to labor, though according to my doctor, losing your mucus plug could mean that labor is still weeks away. Also, notably, some women never experience a bloody show at all, even if they go into labor on their own.
  • Fundus 6 of 7
    Fundus
    The fundus is just a fancy science word that means the top of your uterus. Your doctor will measure your "fundal height" which is the distance along your belly from your pubis to your fundus and then tell you if you need to stop eating Butterfingers. I mean, if the baby is growing on track.
  • Quickening 7 of 7
    Quickening
    This is apparently the official name for those first baby kicks. I'm not going to lie, it makes me think of a weird religious event of some kind. And what they should really call it is butterfly uterus, because that's what it really feels like. Most people experience this feeling between 16 and 22 weeks, and I promise you, you'll feel it and immediately go, wait, was that gas?

What new words did you learn during pregnancy?

Read more from Katie on Overflowing Brain!

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