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



This inflammation of the breast tissue is caused by bacteria that infects your milk or gets into your milk ducts during nursing. A bad latch, blocked ducts or cracked or sore nipples can cause this infection, generally in one breast that will become painful and swollen. Medication is needed to treat it and, even if it seems counterintuitive, having your baby suck at the infected breast to keep it as empty as possible can help resolve these symptoms. Nearly one in five breastfeeding women are affected by mastitis. Don't worry, your milk will remain safe!


/mee·zuh lz/

Measles, also known as rubeola, is experiencing an outbreak in the U.S. right now in 22 states. Travelers are bringing back measles from other countries and this coupled with low vaccination rates (because of misinformation about autism links) is leading to contributing to these heightened statistics. This contagious disease comes with serious risks for the unvaccinated especially for young children, the elderly and pregnant women (with several adverse events including increased risk of hospitalization and pneumonia and risks to the fetus). The two-dose series of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and is 97% effective at preventing measles infection. Note that the MMR vaccine, given to children after birth, is not pregnancy safe.


/mi·koh·nee·uh m/

The fetal form of poop that your baby will expunge in the first few days of life. The issue comes when babe might pass it while still in your belly. When the stool is passed and enters into the amniotic fluid, your baby can then inhale it. That’s called Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) and can be potentially dangerous. Although air can flow past the meconium as the baby breathes in, meconium can become trapped in the airways when the baby breathes out. The meconium irritates the baby's airways and makes it difficult to breathe.

Although 6% to 25% of newborns have meconium-stained amniotic fluid, only about 11% of them will have some degree of MAS. Treatments depend on the amount and thickness of meconium, but if your amniotic fluid looks to have meconium, your doctor might incorporate a technique called amnioinfusion during labor, where she’ll insert a small tube through your vagina into your uterus to infuse the amniotic fluid with sterile fluid.

Membrane Sweep

/mem·bryn· sweep/

This relatively gentle and simple procedure is done to start labor (especially after the due date). As part of an internal vaginal examination, your midwife or doctor puts a couple of lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina, inserts their index finger into the opening of the cervix and, using a circulate movement, tries to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac from your cervix. This releases hormones called prostaglandins and prepares the cervix for labor.



If you're looking for a more holistic vibe, you may want to choose a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), who helps you through birth but intervenes only when necessary. Births assisted by CNM’s have fewer interventions, like continuous electronic fetal monitoring, epidurals + episiotomies. According to The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), a nurse-midwife not only helps you make decisions around birthing, but she’ll also perform regular exams throughout labor. These badass women actually have advanced clinical nursing training with most holding a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Following birth, a midwife can teach you to breastfeed and provide postpartum care to both you and babe.



The loss of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy that ends on its own is a miscarriage. Half of cases of early pregnancy loss are caused by a random event in which the embryo receives an abnormal number of chromosomes. Bleeding and cramping are the most common symptoms of early pregnancy loss. The likelihood of early pregnancy loss occurring increases as a woman gets older. After a miscarriage, many women go on to have a totally normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Molar Pregnancy

/moh·ler· preg·nuh n·see/

This rare complication of pregnancy is characterized by the abnormal growth of trophoblasts, which turn into the placenta and feed your baby. There are two types of molar pregnancies - complete molar pregnancy and partial molar pregnancy. In a complete molar pregnancy, the placental tissue is abnormal and swollen and appears to form fluid-filled cysts. There's also no formation of fetal tissue. In a partial molar pregnancy, there may be normal placental tissue along with abnormally forming placental tissue. There may also be formation of a fetus, but the fetus is not able to survive and is usually miscarried early in the pregnancy. Bleeding and cramping are the most common symptoms but this type of malady requires early detection and treatment.

Morning Sickness

/mawr·ning· sik-·nis/

Morning Sickness is that awful, icky feeling of being totally nauseous in the morning, but, let’s be honest, most women with morning sickness feel like sh*t all day. It’s most common in the first trimester when your hormones are RAGING (specifically hCG) and it should start to wean by your second trimester. While not all remedies will work, you might find some relief with the following hacks:

Keep Your Stomach Full: Give yourself extra time in the morning, and keep some dried cereal or crackers near your bed so you can eat the second you wake up.

Eat smaller meals more often: Eat portioned out meals throughout the day to avoid getting too full or too hungry. Because progesterone slows down the speed of digestion, you’ll also want to keep yourself from getting too full. Also, drink plenty of fluids before and after meals, but not during.

Avoid Greasy Foods: We encourage you to give into any craving your preggo heart desires, but if you’re nauseous, you should stay away from grease and spice! Keep it basic and bland until you feel better.

Eat tummy friendly snacks: Suck on a lemon, down some ginger (ginger-ale, tea, jam, snaps all work), sip some peppermint tea and keep those crackers handy. You WILL get through this. (we promise.)

Roll It On: Our Rescue Wellness Oil features a nausea relief aromatherapy oil blend, infused with ginger extracts so you can linger longer in bed...and not on your bathroom floor.

Multiple Births

/muhl·tuh·puh l· burths/

AKA meaning twins, triplets or any amount of children that’s more than one.