HatchPedia

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

Diastasis Recti

/dahy·as·tuh·sis· rek·tahy/

This super common condition among pregnant women is when your belly starts to stick out as a result of your left and right ab muscles growing wider. Pregnancy can put loads of pressure on your abdomen, so sometimes your muscles in front can’t keep their shape. Diastasis means “separation” and Recti refers to your “rectus abdominis,” aka your ab muscles.

If you’ve had two or more back-to-back pregnancies, or if you’re on the older side, and/or carrying multiples, your chances of having Diastisis Recti are higher. It can also cause lower back pain, constipation, and in extreme cases, a tissue tear. (In this case, call your doc STAT.) The good news is that often times the muscle opening should shrink back after giving birth, but you may want to seek out postnatal PT or discover core strengthening exercises that specialize in this condition once babe is born. As always, if you’re concerned about it, chat with your healthcare provider.

Dilation and curettage (D&C)

/dahy·ley·shuh n· end· kyoo·r·i·tahzh/

A D&C, aka dilation and curettage is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. A medical specialist might perform a dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — like heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion. During a D&C, your doctor will use a small instruments or a medication to dilate/open your cervix and then use a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue.

Other instances where a D&C might be necessary include:

- abnormal uterine bleeding
- bleeding after menopause
- abnormal endometrial cells during a routine test for cervical cancer
- uterine polyps
- uterine cancer

Following a D&C, you may spend a few hours in a recovery room so that your doctor can monitor you for heavy bleeding and various complications. This also gives you time to recover from the effects of anesthesia. If you had general anesthesia, you may become nauseated or vomit, or you might have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe to help you breathe. With general anesthesia or light sedation, you may also feel drowsy for several hours. Normal side effects of a D&C may last a few days and include mild cramping, spotting or light bleeding.

Doppler Ultrasound

/dopp·​ler· ul· truh· sownd/

This ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of blood in your babe's vessels. It's used in high risk pregnancies to study blood circulation, as well as through the uterus and placenta.

This type of ultrasound is a well established technique used to diagnose problems during pregnancy by monitoring the speed that blood is moving in the umbilical blood flow. Your provider can then see whether the blood flow is normal, indicating that the fetus is healthy, or abnormal, indicating that the fetus is under stress. Your chosen health professional can then decide best practice for helping bring your fetus safely to term.

Doula

/doo·uh/

Doulas provide emotional and physical support throughout pregnancy, labor + delivery and work to create your ideal birthing experience. After delivery, a postpartum doula can provide you with a number of services, from companionship to lactation and infant help, to cooking and assisting you with household tasks. While doulas receive training in the birthing process, they do not perform clinical or medical services. Instead they focus on your emotional + physical needs to create an awesome environment in which to give birth.

Down Syndrome

/doun· sin·drohm/

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a lifelong condition in which a person has an extra chromosome (or set of genes) in their body. A baby is born with 46 chromosomes, but babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. Each person afflicted has different abilities and the disease manifests both physically and mentally in different ways. A CVS or amniocentesis along with genetic testing will test your fetus for Down syndrome.