From Amnio to Zygote, peep our glossary of all the pregnancy and birth-related terms you never knew existed, 'til now.

Baby Nurse

/bey·bee· nurs/

A heaven-sent, caregiving goddess who helps you figure out WTF is going on when you emerge from the hospital in a diaper carrying a six pound alien who you have zero clue how to care for. Is a baby nurse totally necessary? Your call, mama. While different, a postpartum doula can offer similar support.


/bey·bee· moon/

The last trip you and your partner take before becoming parents. Your last chance to sleep late, get spa treatments, get laid or hang out in a cool destination without the never-ending concern over the livelihood of another human. Prepare for the epic emotional burden that is parenting....on vacay!

Bacterial Vaginosis

/bak·teer·ee·uhl· vaj·e·no·sis/

A condition that occurs when there is too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina that changes the normal balance. The cause of this STD is unknown, and symptoms include discharge, itching, burning and an unpleasant smell. Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have babies born premature or with low birth weight than pregnant women who don’t have it.

Basel Body Temperature

/bay·zuhl· bod·ee· tem·per·uh·cher/

The basal body temperature tracking method, similar to an ovulation test, can help you figure out the best days to have sex and make a baby! Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you're fully at rest, whereas when you ovulate, your body temperature may be higher (you should be most fertile before your temp increases). This tracking could help in predicting your ovulation schedule.

Biophysical Profile

/bahy·oh·fiz·ikal· proh·fahyl/

A prenatal BPP test is a combination of tests to check your baby's health. It measures body movement, muscle tone, heart rate during movement and amniotic fluid levels. It’s non-invasive and takes about 30 minutes. The first part involves a regular ultrasound followed by the doctor putting an elastic band with two sensors around your belly to measure the baby’s heartbeat.

Birth Plan

/burth· plan/

The last possible moment of your life you can try to control, with varying degrees of success. Creating a birth plan is a great exercise in determining how you think you’d like to give birth, ie vaginally versus c-section, with or without pain medication, in a hospital versus a bathtub. But the reality is that when that babe’s ready to come out, any notion of a plan can go out the window as quickly as your pre-delivery smudge stick session. Our advice? Have a loose guide, and be OK with a change of plan.

Blighted Ovum

/blihyt·id· oh·vuh m/

This common cause of miscarriage early on in pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but doesn't develop into an embryo. It’s also called an anembryonic pregnancy and the most common cause is genetics due to a chromosomal defect.

Braxton Hicks

/braks· tuhn· hix/

These non-labor contractions are like training wheel contractions for your body in the second and third trimesters. Think of them like a test run/rehearsal before the big day. These cramp-like feelings occur when the uterus tightens and they may get stronger as you get farther along–some women feel them and some don’t. Luck of the draw. But they don’t mean you’re in labor so you just try to relax and breathe through it.

Breech Birth

/breech· burth/

The typical scenario is that your baby is head down in the last month of pregnancy, but four percent of babies don’t want to cooperate and are breech (i.e. upside down/feet dangling down) in the last weeks of pregnancy. In this country, that means it’s unlikely they can be delivered vaginally and you may need a scheduled C-section or another form of medical intervention to turn/flip the baby to the safest position.