Pregnancy glossary C - Cervix to Couvade


This is the opening of the uterus, from which the baby emerges.


A cesarean section ('c-section') is the delivery of a baby via a surgical incision to your abdomen. The most common method is via a transverse (or 'bikini') incision, along the top of the pubic hairline. These days, vertical ('classical') incisions are less common but may be required in certain circumstances.

Cesarean, elective

This is sometimes known as a 'planned cesarean' or 'scheduled cesarean', and means that it is a cesarean section delivery which has been scheduled at some point during the pregnancy, before labor has begun. Planned c-sections are sometimes chosen for reasons of multiple gestation, breech positioning, a previous c-section delivery, or other complications.


Being aware of your own fertility cycle can help increase your chances of conceiving. By charting this cycle, you explore your own physical and emotional signs of fertility and become more in tune with your body. Observance of your basal body temperature, as well as changes in your cervix and cervical fluid is part of this charting process.


This patchy brownish discoloration of the skin on the face is caused by pregnancy hormones which cause an increased production of the pigment melanin. It's also called 'the mask of pregnancy' and usually disappears after delivery.


This is the name given to structures found in the nucleus of a cell, which contain the genes. Chromosomes come in pairs, with a normal human cell containing 46 chromosomes - 22 pairs of autosomes and two sex chromosomes, x and y.


The successful union of a sperm and an ovum.


A tightening of the uterus. When you are in labour, the force of the contractions help the baby progress down the birth canal.

Cord prolapse

Premature expulsion of the umbilical cord in labor before the fetus is delivered. Women who experience this should seek urgent medical attention


This is when the baby's head appears at the vaginal opening, shortly before delivery.


It's from the French term for 'to hatch,' and usually relates to the partner, who can sometimes experience signs of false pregnancy, including morning sickness, fatigue and even weight gain. Some experts believe that couvades can be a sign of anxiety or other psychological stresses related to the birth or impending fatherhood.

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This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot New Zealand.

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