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

Natural Cycle Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer (NC-FET)

/nach·er·uhl· sahy·kuh l· froh·zuh n· thaw d· em·bree·oh· tranz·fur/

When frozen embryo transfers (FET) are scheduled during a woman’s natural cycles, timed to natural ovulation, so you don’t have the need for lots of medication.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

/nee·oh·neyt·l· in·ten·siv· kair· yoo·nit/

NICUs are for newborn babies who need intensive medical care at the hospital to receive special treatment featuring advanced technology and specialty-trained providers. Generally, NICUs are reserved for babies born prematurely, but there may be other health reasons as to why a newborn may need extra care in the hospital.

Neonatal Screening

/nee·oh·neyt·l· skree·ning/

The common screening tests your newborn receives before leaving the hospital. Blood is usually taken from the baby’s heel to test for various conditions, and a hearing test and skin test for oxygen levels are also performed. They are standard and, in some cases, mandated by the state.

Neural Tube

/noo r·uh l· toob/

This is what will later be the spinal column and starts to form early in the first trimester (like two weeks in). The neural tube grows longer, folds onto itself, morphs into a groove, and turns into a tube.

Newborn Jaundice

/noo·bawrn· jawn·dis/

This yellowing of a baby’s skin and eyes is common when babies have a high level of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, this ailment goes away on its own, especially as the baby begins to drink more milk which helps bilirubin pass through the body. In most cases, jaundice will disappear within two to three weeks. Jaundice that persists longer than three weeks may be a symptom of something else, so be sure to check with your pediatrician.

Nipple Thrush

/nip·uh l· thruhsh/

Thrush is a common infection during breastfeeding that causes painful, cracked and damaged nipples. It needs to be diagnosed early and treated promptly to avoid further pain and issues while nursing.

NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal testing)

/non·in·vey·siv· pree·neyt·l· test·ing/

A simple blood test performed as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy that looks at fragments of DNA (cell-free DNA or cfDNA) to provide accurate information about the likelihood of chromosomal conditions your baby may be exposed to. It screens for the most common disorders such as trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and can also tell you the gender of the baby. It’s recommended for women over 35 or anyone who wants to have all the information possible.

NT Scan

/n· t· skan/

An NT scan, or nuchal translucency is a super common screening test that happens in the first trimester of pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will give you an abdominal ultrasound to measure the size of the clear tissue (also called the nuchal translucency), at the back of your baby's neck. It’s not unusual for a fetus to have fluid or even clear tissue there, but too much of either can indicate Down syndrome or another chromosome abnormality. (Babies born with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21.) Downs can’t be cured + it causes developmental delays and distinct physical characteristics. It’s a condition that affects 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States.

The NT test will also include blood work to measure your levels of plasma protein and the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Abnormal levels of either may also indicate a chromosome problem. Your doctor will then calculate the risk of your baby having an abnormality. Just know that an NT scan CANNOT diagnose Down syndrome or any other chromosome abnormality. The test only predicts the risk. Talk to your doctor if your results require further testing or more clarification.