Being a father is both thrilling and terrifying. Preparation and planning are key to surviving the next nine months. You can save time and feel more in control by doing what you can before you need it. You will no longer feel in control after the baby arrives. However, you can still take an active role in the care of your newborn and support your partner throughout the postpartum period.
Your guide to delivery room jargon
It’s normal for you to feel totally out of your element when you step into a new environment, such as the delivery and labor floor. You may feel overwhelmed or intimidated if it seems like everyone speaks a different language. After you have a basic understanding of most terms used by medical personnel, you will find that they are quite simple. This guide will help you feel less overwhelmed when you get to the labor and delivery floor. Dilation This number ranges from 1 to 10. It indicates how far the cervix, the barrier that separates the uterus and the vagina, has opened. The centimeter is the unit of dilation. Staff refers to complete when they say that the patient is fully dilated or has reached 10 cm.
effacement: effacement is also a term that refers to the cervical area. It describes the extent of the cervix’s thinning or effacement. The percentage of effacement expressed in percentages, for example 50 percent effaced. The cervix becomes thin when it is 100 percent effaced. A thinner cervix will dilate faster than one that is thicker, so it must be thinned first.
Episiotomy Sometimes referred to by the name “pis” (pronounced “peez”) an episiotomy, or a cut in the vagina to allow the baby to come out easier. Routine episiotomies are no longer performed by many practitioners. Before you go to the delivery room, it’s a good idea to talk with your partner about this. Hook When a practitioner says “Give me an hook”, (no they won’t), they are planning to rupture the amniotic capsule with a plastic hook. This hook snags the membranes, and then tears a small hole. This is called “rupturing membranes” and it’s used to speed labor, attach an internal lead or check the amniotic fluid’s color.
Internal: An intern exam is a vaginal examination to assess the baby’s position, dilation, and effacement. If a practitioner states they will “place an intern,” that means they will attach a small wire on the baby’s scalp for monitoring the heart rate. This is much more precise than an external monitor. Meconium Also known as “mec”, and described as either thick or thin, meconium (or meconium) is the baby’s first stool. It can indicate that the baby is under stress if they pass meconium in their womb. The baby may pass meconium in the womb at any time during pregnancy. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are under stress at the moment.
Station This is the term that describes how deep the baby has fallen into the pelvis. Minus 3 indicates that the baby is still above the pelvis, and hasn’t fallen yet. At +3 station, the baby is already on the perineum and ready to come out. Stat section This indicates that either the baby or your partner is experiencing stress. Your practitioner will want to have the baby taken away immediately. This is a trigger for staff to take immediate action.