Pregnancy can bring about a lot of physical bodily changes, but it can also introduce a whole new vocabulary as well. In today’s episode, Doula Rachael and Dr. Shannon highlight terms that can help you navigate your prenatal journey. with more ease and confidence.
From basic anatomy definitions of common organs, organ systems, and tissues that are ever-changing during pregnancy to common terms you might be hearing at your prenatal exams. This list is not all-encompassing, but they hope to bring about more knowledge a nd awareness to help you navigate pregnancy with more ease.
From amazing facts about your placenta and uterus to understanding more about cervical exams and group B strep, this episode is a good start for increasing your prenatal vocab. And stay tuned next week for part 2 which is all about common birth termanology.
Resources mentioned in the episode:
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Hello, Hello friends, you're listening to the aligned birth Podcast. I'm Dr. Shannon. doula Rachel is here today we are the hosts of your show. And today's show is going to be about common prenatal pregnancy birth terms and we're gonna go into a little bit of the anatomy as well too because sometimes we need those reminders as our body is changing, and maybe we're not so aware of some of those changes that are going to happen and occur and pregnancy can bring about a whole new vocabulary and sometimes providers may not have all the time to sit down and really explain everything. So it's nice to have a little bit of that vocabulary already at hand. So that's we're gonna chat about today, but we have some fun, kind of upcoming updates that we have concerning our aligned birth. community. And so one of those things is kind of that community support, and really looking at and asking our community to come together and say, Hey, we love what is on the line birth podcast. We love the information that we're hearing and you know, what are ways that you can help support the show and so we've got it set up on it's going to be linked in the show notes, but we also have an on our Buzzsprout website of ways that you can support the aligned birth community financially to help us continue to do these episodes. We're trying to make it super, super easy for you guys to support us as well, because we absolutely love what we're doing and we're having a blast and we're growing and growing and growing. And so we're trying to keep up with that growth. And then we also have a new kind of opt in aspect of sharing your email address with us so we can let you know what is coming up on the show. Be the first to know join the aligned birth community. And yeah, we try to keep that really easy, simple, no spam, no bombardment, but we just have lots of really good things on the horizon. Again, like I said, the show has really grown we're really excited. So we're trying to kind of tap in and reach to that growth and we would love to have you our listeners as part of our aligned birth community. So stay tuned for those check out the show notes for those as well too. And, again, today we're talking about pregnancy, birth and terms. So hello, Rachel. It's so good to see you today and talk to you.
Hi, Kristina, and very excited to be having this conversation today. As always, I feel like today's gonna be a little bit mix of like childbirth, education, and then birth pros share and what they know about the terminology that is thrown around between the hearing with from our clients asking us, hey, my provider said this, I don't know what it means or you know, so we're kind of trying to mash those those things together a little bit chap with education, little bit of expertise from our own experience. And also just want to circle back to say thank you for anyone who is willing to to support us in any way it really is a low nominal, like you can do as little or as much as you want. It's there's no set amount for that support that community support. And we're hoping to use it to continue doing what we're doing and and eventually do maybe some support or shout outs or you know, offer some additional like special content for our supporters. But right now we just need like to be able to pay for editing you know, a little bit of our time. The you know, the research that goes into prepping for these episodes like it takes time. And energy and resources and so any little amount you can do is greatly greatly appreciated. So just want to say thank you.
Yes, we love it so much. We love love doing this and so we're excited to have people as part of our linebreak community. Yes, and like you said today's episode is very much kind of like that childbirth education, but then it's like glossary of terms for childbirth education that a little bit. A little bit there.
There are so many I felt like I started that we started this outline. We will be hat will have like 10 terms like in my mind, I was like wool and then you start writing I'm gonna write there's so many and these are like not uncommon ones like these are for the most part at some point in your pregnancy, you're probably going to hear some of these words. And it's like, the more you know,
and this call back to say to it doesn't include everything. We did actually have said that and I know originally we had started we wanted to do this. If this was going to be pregnancy, birth and postpartum terms and then we're like, no, no, no, it's just gonna be pregnancy and birth. So stay tuned. We're gonna have another episode right down the postpartum, more of that but you know pregnancy really does bring about a whole other vocabulary it can because you may not know a lot of what's going on with your uterus or your cervix, you know, those types of things outside of pregnancy you know, you know, kind of normal, maybe menstrual aspects of things, but there's a lot of changes that happen with pregnancy. So we want to jump into some of those. Some of those terms. We're gonna start with the anatomy aspect first though, so kind of give some baseline. Yeah, the anatomy,
like flipping the script to like, I know it's important to you, and how you speak with your clients super important for me and how I speak with my Doula clients. Like the words we use matter and have power and like throwing around loosely, terms like failure, failed, incompetent. Whatever, there's some other ones like advanced maternal age or geriatric pregnancy, which I don't even think I got those on the list, but like, we do sort of Yeah, words that like
they bring a certain feeling to you. Yeah, hear them and it's not necessarily a positive feeling.
Yeah. So trying to like understand what's it mean and you're not broken? You're not no one's failing. This is really not a pass or fail situation. And, and we like to give this knowledge so that people can root in their like innate abilities to bring about life and that sometimes providers or well intentioned, might throw around things loosely, not understanding or thinking about how it might hit you. So we're here to just dispel some of those things, pull back that veil be like, Hey, here's what it actually means. And you're not broken.
You're not broken and you did not fail. Yeah.
And so I think also, we wanted to start with a few anatomy terms to help sort of lay the foundation for some of the like, prenatal terms that you might hear at like a doctor's visit or midwife visit. So we are going to start by breaking down some basic anatomy and that's not basic. It's all pretty amazing and complex. But the placenta is one we have here. And so the placenta is a temporary organ that connects your baby to your uterus during pregnancy. And the placenta develops shortly after conception, and I do love the little fact that the cells of the placenta come from the sperm. So that usually gets dad excited when
they're getting good dad.
Education, right. And it attaches to the wall of the uterus very early on, and then the baby is connected to the placenta. By the umbilical cord. And together the plus agenda umbilical cord act as your baby's lifeline while in the womb. And there are many functions of the placenta. So this is super cool. Okay, I can get all kinds of Oh yeah, definitely. You know, it's provide your baby with oxygen and nutrients, removes the harmful waste and carbon dioxide from your baby. It helps produce hormones that help your baby grow passive immunity from you to your baby. And it helps protect the baby and the placenta can implant in different places in the uterus. Typically, wherever it implants, it's usually towards the back and above the cervix. And then as the uterus grows, so reminder, uterus grows from like a pear to a watermelon. It moves up with the uterus. So early on, we might hear terms like you have a low lying placenta. Typically, most placentas will move with the uterus and move well out of the way of the cervix
so it stays implanted. But as it grows, it's growing in that upward it's not kinda like foot ramp. Yes. Growing with uterus. Yes,
exactly. Yeah. So that's really important again, because I do I've had several we've had several clients, maybe you've heard it to where they like maybe at the anatomy scan or something, maybe they mentioned a low lying placenta and that might be alarming. Yes, I wish they would follow it up with like the percentage of which placentas continue to move out of the way. But I guess if it's low enough, and it is something they would want to check on later to make sure it moved out of the way because if it stays low line, it can cover the cervix. So the cervix is at the bottom of the uterus. And if the placenta is either partially or completely covering the cervix, that is that necessitates a cesarean it's very dangerous to have give birth, vaginally or even let labor begin when the SIRT when the placenta is covering the cervix. Very, very, very rare. But it is important information to know
and they're seeing where it's at, you know, that's why they're tracking it.
Yeah, but that low lying I would say I would tend to give that encouragement of course like take take a peek at it later on in the pregnancy. Make sure it move but rest studies, most likely it's going to keep on moving up with a uterus and be just fine. And then the location it can it's for most its posterior. So the back side of the uterus are facing more towards your back. Some people have anterior placentas, so anterior is the front of the body. And so that would mean the placenta is on the front of the uterus. And that doesn't necessarily that's no cause for alarm that's a degree of normal. It's just an organization show sometimes it can mean like it's a little bit harder to find heart tones and fetal movements, fetal movement palpating the baby just because you got a big ol placenta between the outside of the belly and the baby. So, again, kind of knowing what's normal and safe and healthy. There. And how cool the placenta is. Yeah, and the placenta, you give birth to the placenta. I was gonna say you need to say this. You also give birth to the placenta. So you grow right temporary organ, you grow it and then you expel it. Some people don't even know that that's like a thing that happened that I can give birth. To the baby and that there's then a neck, another birth that happens and it's the birth of your placenta. It's much much much much much much easier than the birth of the baby. But you do like baby comes out and then you know, five to 45 minutes later your placenta comes out but it doesn't have any bones. So it's pretty easy to get out.
Yes, but we do need to get rid of it. Yeah, because yeah, anymore. Now I do. I think it was and I think sometimes too. It can almost have like, like a heart shape to it. You know, when you see it sometimes and how it's like laid out it looks like a tree root and I don't know and all the blood vessels like it's yeah, it's pretty cool.
Yeah, so the fetal side of the placenta, the side that faces the baby. So another cool fact about placenta is the blood doesn't mix like so the the fetal side of the placenta is the baby's blood and then the maternal side is the mother's blood and they, they if they mix it, very, very, very, very, very, very little, but it's not like this flow. And so baby has like their own blood and then to that side of the placenta. When it's birth, you can look at the inside of it, and it looks literally quite literally like a tree of life. And some people do imprints of their placenta, which is super cool. Yeah. And then when you imprint it on like you some paint or the blood or whatever, it looks like a tree so yeah, it's super cool. If you're interested at all like after you get birth, you can ask her your midwife or OB to give you a little tour of it. And that may not be your jam at all. But you know, it's a pretty cool thing that you just grew and it's sustained your baby's life for the duration and
yeah, and remember to the dads should be really like excited to look at it be like hey, look, look what I did what I mean for me, here's your art hanging on the refrigerator. Um, alright, so let's get into it. Now we have amniotic fluid and so this is what the fluid this is what the baby is kind of floating in, I guess you could say you know,
yeah. And some people think it's actually made up of water, which early on it is by like the end of pregnancy. It's mostly urine. It's changed. Yep. Super culture, babies urine, but it's the most sterile urine in the world. Because it's just your babies. There's like nothing there. But like I say that in our childbirth class, and people are like, Oh,
I know, right? Yes. I think it's pretty cool. I know.
Yeah, yeah. So the amniotic fluid. You know, cushions and protects your baby. Keeps a steady temperature around your baby. helps their lungs grow and develop because your baby actually breathes in the fluid helps your baby's digestive system develop because they're swallowing that fluid. So breathing digestion temperature, helps with their baby with their muscle tone develop because they can move around in the fluid and it keeps the umbilical cord from being squeezed. So yeah, also fascinating.
I know so yeah, like you had said to it does contain I think you just said it or you know it switches to it starts off at mostly water and then switches to mostly urine but also contains like nutrients, hormones, antibodies to help fight infection like it's yeah, it's really cool. And it's important. It's important liquid for your baby to be surrounded. Yeah, and allows them to be like free floating and moving, you know?
Yeah. Which serves them and their muscle tone and not getting too tangled up in the cord. And yeah, I mean, it really is facilitating a lot of their their like developmental needs once they're out of the womb. And understanding that that fluid kind of is creating an environment so when babies hear some parents are wondering why their baby's not soothing and understanding like inside that womb atmosphere, like their body temperature is constantly regulated. They're constantly having food, they're constantly comfortable for the most part like they have all their needs met. So how can you can stimulate that outside of the out of the womb and it can help address like soothing needs for your baby when you realize like they are getting their all their needs met food, breathing, digestion, comfort, position, temperature, it's gonna help them a place to sleep. Yeah, it's like, you know, it's a perfect little environment for them. And you know, so amniotic fluid there. Can be variations of that you can have like excessive amniotic fluid and you can have all of them yeah floated, which we do talk about in our next section of like prenatal terms, because something that could come up is like low amniotic fluid
or it's a common I feel like I hear that most often.
Yeah, and the one client was excessive with too much fluid, which so if you're on either side of that, then that's, you know, reason to sort of look further for things going on. It doesn't necessarily mean an emergency, but there are degrees of normal that you would want to investigate a little bit further.
Yeah. And then also keeping in mind that why I think Rachel and I both with our patients and clients talk about so much of like, Are you drinking enough water because that amniotic fluid like you filter it out, too? So it's this it's this you know, your kidneys are working extra hard and so when you can replenish your body with water, you can filter out the excess that is there as well to replenish it because I know a lot of times if if we're on that low wish side, I always say really? Just let's drink a lot of water and see if that can really impact that amniotic fluid. So and I know it's hard to reason you're paying you know, literally every two seconds but it is directly related. So
yeah, we tell people in departments we hydrate like it's your job. Even if it does make up often that's also not bad to be sitting on the toilet emptying your bladder all that has been a fit too, but the amniotic fluid is directly related to can be directly influenced by your hydration levels. So yeah, drink lots of water soaking in an Epsom salt, like bath for a couple hours like can really help your fluids, the fluid, amniotic fluid levels stay so long as there's not an actual issue. Which is very rare.
Yeah, exactly. And you had mentioned umbilical cord in that. And so this is also kind of relates a little bit back to placenta because the umbilical cord is how you are attached the baby how baby is attached. To you and that exchange of information and nutrients there as well. Let's see. Got three blood vessels. So you said one vein that carries food and oxygen from a placenta to your baby and two arteries that carry waste from baby back to the placenta. There's a lot of I think there's variations in I feel like I mean, there's a lot of variations in placenta but there's like a lot of variations in the cord as well to in the length of the cord and the size of the cord. You'll hear some people talk about like knots in the cord and so I don't know Do you want to speak to any of those kinds of variations that you have seen with birth as well too?
Yeah, well, where the cord is connected to the placenta matters. So this is something else that they look at your anatomy scan, which is usually around 20 weeks. It's an events of all the ultrasounds I think that's an important one to have. I'm not one for overdoing ultrasounds at all but that 20 week scan, they can look at the placenta see where it is in the uterus, and also try to see where that cord is implanting into the placenta typically want to see it towards the middle. If it's towards the it's like a marginal court insertion where it's like towards the edge that could pose some complications. So knowing that information can be helpful for supporting your birth it doesn't mean necessarily like a cesarean or anything, but just how that birth is supported would be maybe slightly differently. The cord can range on average in length that's up to 20 or 22 inches is about the average. So just under two feet, but it can be shorter and it can be much much longer. I've seen way way long cords and that's better. It's better to have a bit longer cord than short cords when you have a shorter cord sometimes like when the baby comes out it might hasten the delivery of the placenta because it like creates traction on the cord. I mean a super short cord can also prevent baby from like descending down or if it's like wrapped up too much. It can impact the delivery for the most part, the cord doesn't. It has a substance called Wharton's jelly that cushions and protects those blood vessels. So like the cord is can be compressed like it can be wrapped up and and all kinds of ways but that Wharton's jelly protects those vessels from being actually restricted. And then you have your amniotic fluid helping with that too. So now
I think some people think it's kinda like it, they might think it's more like a hose. You know, like I hear a lot of moms Oh, my baby came out and he had the cord wrapped around his neck but when you think about it's not necessarily dire straits. It's not like a hose. We get that kink and nothing is coming through. Exactly what you're saying is it's got that onesie like it is made to adapt to that because it knows as baby's moving and flipping around that can definitely happen.
Yeah, yep. And so it's it is is designed to be able to be wrapped around and in those positions to to try them out and it is a degree of normal to have a nuchal cord to have the cord around the baby's neck. And suddenly that's observed when the when the baby is coming out for the midwife or the OB whoever supporting you will acknowledge it, and then they unwrap it as babies coming out. I'd say nine times out of 10 like not a not a problem. It's a degree of normal but it can sound alarming. Anything around the neck feels just like that description is alarming, but with the chord not always such and they can be a knots and still work. It's always just that's always like a fascinating thing of a if that's discovered. And you know there are in certain situations where if the cord is compressed and positional changes, or contractions or certain things are happening and we're not seeing like if you're not especially during labor, checking on the heart tones and stuff, you're not seeing the baby recover well then that could be a sign that it's it's problematic but more times than not a position change is going to help resolve any sort of compression that's restricting flow for the baby. And then that cord so if it's a little short when the baby's born, that you'll be instructed by your midwife or OB if that's if they're supporting you at your birth to just keep the baby low on your abdomen. It's not a sign of panic it just means you don't want to really put too much traction. So keep the baby low on your abdomen versus bringing them all the way up to your chest. And then you wait for the placenta to come out or for the cord to stop pulsing and then they can clamp and cut the cord and then you have you can bring the baby all the way up. And then like Yeah, I think that's all Yeah, that's about as much as I'll share on that. Yeah.
Yeah, um, okay. Another big player in our anatomy terms would be the uterus. I think it's a pretty cool organ. I think it's pretty cool. And it is that pear shaped organ there are variations as well. Anything Yeah, with with the shape of the uterus as well too, but it is where fertilized egg implants during pregnancy where baby develops and it does grow and change and then even outside of pregnancy, obviously, we know that it is part of a menstrual cycle as well too. So, you know, the whole the bleeding cycle as far as when we're not when there is not, you know, fetal implantation. It's part of that normal cycle as well too. So there can also be lots of other things outside of prayer like I we do a whole show on the uterus, because there can be so many other variations and aspects of it as well too, sometimes commonly called womb and it gets pretty big. And it takes over like if I just love to digestive organs or just like, I need to find this picture. I saw it online, and it was so cute. It was like uterus and baby were all like big and happy and then like this organs and then like the stomach was like and the bladder was like I was like this is so true, but oh my gosh yeah. 100 miraculous, but how the uterus is like, I'm coming in gonna take
over, take over and squish all those organs and that's why like maybe you're, you know, you get indigestion or stomach issues or
changes in bowel movements. Yes. Yes.
pressure rise. You have extra weight of the uterus and the baby and the placenta and all that has weighed in that put pressure on for Okay, so yeah, the uterus is is the worker of labor for sure. It's made up of a bunch of muscles, as I say it's a muscle to it's like all different directions and so like when, and it's covered in oxytocin receptors and so oxytocin is the hormone of, you know, that helps the uterus to contract. And so those, the oxytocin receptors build up with oxytocin over the course of labor and then those contractions get longer and stronger, and to the point of where the uterus is pushing the baby out all by itself, it can and it pushes it builds up, you know, from the bottom of the uterus, and then by the end of labor, all those contractions are really coming from the top, it builds up on the top of the uterus and just really pushes down in a downward motion. But the uterus is typically like we said, fist sized, pear shaped ish, and it lives inside your pelvis. But then at about 16 to 20 weeks it comes out of your pelvis and continues to grow with your baby like Shannon said to about the size of a watermelon. So and then it has to
shrink back down and it goes back down. Yeah, so
understanding that that's a muscle that it needs oxytocin and wrist, and nutrition and hydration to restore to its state before it's designed to go back down but really resting taking an easy lots of skin to skin and gesture breastfeeding if you're doing that can help that uterus return to its normal size and help with your bleeding because the where the placenta was attached is about the size of a plate, or you know, this if you're watching on video. And after it detaches, it leaves a wound and so your uterus at the after the birth is contracting to help that wound stop bleeding just as it does during your menstrual cycles, or helps to like shed the lining and pass like the lotia and like, you know it serves a purpose and so having your uterus contract is a good thing. And you want that happening and breastfeeding can help with that and then helping it get back I mean it takes the full six weeks.
It takes at least and it's a smooth muscle you know so it's like the digestive muscles as well to those can really expand as well with food intake and then come back down to it's kind of that same thing but you it's you know, involuntary control. It's not like your skeletal muscle where you're like I'm gonna bend my arm or not cardiac muscle that is you know, stimulated with that electrical impulse like it's it's a different type of muscle. So, but it needs to be healed as well. Yeah, yes.
And it takes time just takes time. So at the base of the uterus is the cervix, and the cervix is you know, this, this beautiful portal for your baby through the opening right. The lower part of your womb or the uterus, and it opens to the top of the vagina which is the birth canal so it goes uterus, cervix at the bottom and then into the vagina, birth canal, whatever you want to call it. During pregnancy, the start the cervix stays firm and closed. until late in the third trimester, and then it opens, shortens and gets thinner and softer so that your baby can pass through the birth canal during labor and birth. And so that cervix staying firm and closed during pregnancy is vital. It's important so that your baby doesn't try and join us to too soon. And then towards the end of pregnancy begins to do its thing. Why now time Yeah, it's all about how labor progresses. It's not just like a you know thing a lot of people know the cervix going from zero to 10 centimeters as like the main measurement of labor progression, but it does a lot more changes positions. Like if you're familiar with tracking your cycle. Like at certain parts in your menstrual cycle, your cervix is like tucked away and thicker and firmer. That's like not when you're ovulating. No, yeah, it says no. Right. And then as you're beginning to ovulate, that cervix moves forward. It gets softer, it actually opens up so it's similar process happens during labor, which is super cool. And I didn't learn about this until after I had my baby. Oh, yeah, the the similarities in that so learning about your cycle and how it correlates. to birth is like,
I know so much more about pregnancy and birth 1310 years post birth than I did when I was kind of just our body so everything that we're saying now it's like this is if you're hearing this and you're pregnant Well, way to go. It's your your Yeah You're like the game.
If you're hearing this before you've decided, and you're like, wait a second I can track, learn about my sound like Get to know your survey, get
to know your cycle, and you, we need to do a whole. Okay, I want to talk about mucus plug.
So what is mucus plug related to cervix?
That's a great word that people hear probably they haven't heard it and it's a great term that it's a good example of what we're trying to do here is talk about these things. So, plug is literally what it sounds like. It's a glob of mucus that forms around the cervix like in and around the cervix, through the course of pregnancy and it protects the cervix to therefore protect the uterus and the baby. And as your cervix towards the end of pregnancy, as your cervix begins to change, maybe it's thinning, maybe it's softening. Maybe it's opening a little bit then that big glob of mucus will come out. And this looks different for some people. Everybody can come out with a glob and it's very once you see like people like goo mucus plug that's interesting. Once you see it, are you experiencing ah this is it. It's very like exactly what it sounds like. And or it can come out in pieces. So that can be more confusing for people. Because it's like I think I lost my mucus plug
right or just weird like discharge like what is yeah
right. Sometimes it can be blood tinged, which is a degree of normal, and sometimes it can be just like clear or yellow. So yeah, it's one of those cool, I think cool things that happens like our class where they enter pregnancy. Like I think I lost my mucus plug in. We're like,
gross. Like that's so cool. And you may not even see if you lost it like you, you know, yeah, just past times.
It just happens like when you're going to the bathroom. And like unless you're kind of looking forward or expecting the toilet like you may not even know it. So yeah. And it's it's a sign of change in your body but it's not necessarily a sign of imminent labor. And if Labour doesn't begin that act, that mucus plug will regenerate, so you can lose it multiple times.
That's pretty cool.
That's what it sounds like labor may or may not start and if it doesn't, don't worry another form. So I mean, you're definitely getting close your body showing some signs. Yeah, it's not necessarily like oh, that's for sure happening.
That's usually what I'm you know, if moms come in and talk about that, or like I lost my mucus plug or something, I'm like, Oh, well, we've got some good changes like cuz you know, because doesn't really mean those things are happening. So those are kind of our a little bit of our anatomy terms. So let's go into our I guess we got prenatal terms. I don't know it's all kind of connected and stuff though too because
that's we did the anatomy overview because I feel like everything else is was related.
to that. So I was gonna say I want to keep with because since we just talked about the cervix, let's go back. Yeah, let's stick with like the cervical like checks and exams and what is involved with that, why are they doing it and what are they looking for? Because you're gonna hear certain words associated with the cervical exam. If you do allow or would like to have a cervical exam, it's not necessary. You know, it's something that you can research and know what they're doing. And that way you can say, Yes, I want to be checked or No, I don't want to be checked. And so, yes, do you want to talk a little bit about the cervical exam?
Yeah, so the cervical exam is something that may or may not be proposed by your, your healthcare provider, midwife or obstetrician towards the end of pregnancy. I haven't. I'm like the earliest I've heard is about 36 weeks which is mind boggling to me. And they are sometimes offered as if they are routine like they are. They're done as part of your visit and some people don't even know that they're optional. And and then if they do get them what it even means and so right first and foremost, they are optional. Getting a cervical exam is your choice. It should be on your terms permission should be asked. And you should know that it doesn't tell. It gives a baseline for where you're at in that moment. It does not tell like the the phrase The saying is like your cervix is not a crystal ball. It does not say when you are going to go into labor. You can be completely closed and not softening at all and have your baby the next day. You could be five centimeters and walk around for a few weeks.
And I think that's where sometimes knowing that is key because I have dealt with moms and knowing that like Holly I've been at this dilation for so long, and nothing's there and you can start to feel those is my body failing, what is going on? And so that's where I like folks to be know, you know, to know what's going on with the exams. Why are they doing them? You know, it's for Doctor information, I guess as well too. But that you can you can say no you know uh you know if it's if you know that that like hearing something is going to put something in your brain that's like, oh, gosh,
yep. And understanding if you decide to get it, it's not a pass or fail it doesn't mean you're going to have your baby you're not going to have it like all of you are going to have your baby if you're pregnant. Like you're gonna have your baby it just cervical exam. Is not the pathway to knowing when I think it's one of those interventions that happens before pregnancy that is, is has the greatest downside effects. In my opinion, it leads to maybe unnecessary intervention. I think it leads to the overall like decline in morale for the birthing person. If they like for the example you just gave like maybe there was some dilation there or some some positive like signs, and then nothing happened. So they start to question themselves and that the seeds of doubt are planted and that is all on necessary. And knowing that beforehand can greatly influence either your decision to get them so it's not to say you shouldn't get them but understanding truly that what it means and like having that the right mindset when you go in and if you feel like at all it's going to affect you negatively. I say say no. And then further along, if you're further along in your pregnancy and really want to know what's going on or you're needing to make some decisions, maybe about an induction then having some information about what's going on with your cervix could be helpful. But I mean, I went to 42 weeks with both of mine and opted to not get checked until I was in labor. And then even at that it was minimal because I knew it wasn't a change my decision if I got the 42 weeks I needed to have an induction at that point then I would have decided to have one because it helps make the decision about the type of induction you have. But outside of that like it just didn't change it would not have changed the outcome. It could have increased intervention though it could have increased like my if I was feeling more antsy and feeling like okay, let's just go ahead and do it. Or because I didn't think it was gonna happen. Who knows what I what it could have changed.
Yeah, and I know I was very much in the boat of like, oh my gosh, I had been in labor for 18 hours. This feels like exhaustive pain. And they told me I'm only a five or a four and I've been there forever. It was very like demoralizing and I was like this is my body's doesn't know what's happening doesn't know what's going on. So yeah, that's worth checking in. Yeah, checking in with that, but knowing to some of the terms that they use with it and
dilation aha, that's what I always talked about, like I think a lot of people measure their like progression solely on dilation, and that is one of several so there's dilation, which is the opening of the cervix, zero centimeters to 10 centimeters, and then there's a face SMent so that's how thick or thin your cervix is. So it's typically you know, it's a inch and a half or so thick. Maybe. I think there's probably a huge range there but like it's thick, and it begins to thin and that is measured on a scale that percentage. percentage scale. Yeah, yeah, it goes like it might be 30% of face 50% of face all the way up to a one to 100 like 90 to 100% that's where it's truly like sending out tissue paper thin and then disappearing. So that's called a basement or thinning of your cervix. There's also like the rightness of your cervix like how soft or firm is it and firm is like your nose and soft is like your cheek or your lip. So that's the subtle it's very subtle difference. But the thing that helps your cervix soft is the hormone prostaglandins, and those are released from the baby like when the baby's lungs are fully developed. It sends a signal to your body to release the prostaglandins which is a hormone settles in your cervical mucus and begins that process of softening the cervix. So we needed to soften and then began to thin and then dilate and those can happen simultaneously or sort of like staggered, but you can't really finish dilation. Without being really soft and really thinned out or all the way then down. And then like we are talking about the position of the cervix, it's during pregnancy, it's posterior so it points towards your tailbone, and then during labor, it's anterior, so it actually moves in position for labor to begin. So if you get checked, and I tell you, it's like really hard to get to that, like it's posterior and it still needs to move forward. That can happen without you even knowing it. That's like getting those checks like learning that your cervix is still posterior. It's like well, you saw plenty of time like if your pre labor that usually happens and you don't know it. Some softening happened something might happen without you know, you can even have some dilation without really like being in labor. And early Labor's like zero to six centimeters for talking about putting the construct of dilation on it. Because typically after six centimeters when we see like a good steady pattern, and a more predictable, like, course of labor, where's everything up to that is very unpredictable. So if you're anything less than six, know that it can be like a start and stop. situation. It can take several days like it's okay. For that to take its sweet time, especially in first time. birthers. So, again, it's all about mindset and understanding the normal progression of of labor, and how to measure labor progress in regards to the cervix. So that if you do get checked and like let's say you get checked in you're 50% effaced and like one centimeter dilated or something, and the next time you get checked, you're 80% effaced, and two centimeters. Some people might be like, I'm only two centimeters, but you're 80% of face like that is labor progress that happened. All of these changes are necessary for your baby to be born. So celebrating the small victories, if you are getting checked and hearing a little bit of progress, then you have that information. So I know it's a lot. Encourage learning more about it. And knowing that it's, there's information there but it's also there's no clear if this, then this and labor, if you're this many centimeters, if they're this thin, it's gonna take this amount of time. It's a mystery, right? Like we can measure these things, but when they're measured, it's literally about that exact moment in your labor. So that's it. It doesn't tell you you're gonna have your baby or not like it's
this information that they gather, but yeah, I know. It's hard. They and sometimes they'll talk about the station of the baby. So kind of how high the baby is, you know, above the pelvis, or are they just sitting and so sometimes you might hear because negative five like baby is very much floating. Just sometimes like negative to negative one, negative three is kind of like head above the pelvis, zero is more head at bottom of pelvis kind of fully engaged and then we head into the plus numbers plus one plus two plus three, like within the birth canal crowning also as well. So sometimes those are common things that you you might come across or you might even hear while you know your
most people they're confused or like what Uh huh,
yeah, and that's why I'm always like, Okay, that's good to know. And good to understand.
Yeah, so the negative numbers is really not fully engaged in the pelvis and then zero is really well engaged, and then 1234 out the door.
There, there are some terms and we talked a little bit about and I guess we'll go into this in maybe a minute as well too, as far as like a failed induction or failure to progress, but there is a term called incompetent cervix. And it's one of my least favorite terms. I've had several moms come in with it. I guess I like cervical insufficiency a little bit better. But it really has to do with when the cervix and all the terms we went through it shortens weakens opens too soon. So it's a little bit you know, definite prematurely labor having baby too soon, like those type of things. So it's, you need to know it. We need to know those things. I just don't like the term sometimes, you know, and it's just like my cervix is not
good. There's no good way to say it because it really is. It's a it's a it's a challenging thing to navigate. When the cervix is going through basically what it does in labor before it's time for labor, and there's a high risk of preterm delivery to depending on when that happens in your labor. If you've not had given birth before, then you may not know for people who've experienced it before there they tend to be more proactive with putting a suture into a sir collage, as they call it to help the cervix stay together. So it's a challenging thing to navigate regardless, but then to call given the turnaround and to navigate terms. Yeah, and then competence because it is a thing that happens, but I don't like the wording around it.
Yeah. So it's, you know, I want to there should be no shame with the head. Words promote and I'm ashamed but anyways, that's not Yeah,
that's one that might be tossed out. But like if you're 40 weeks pregnant, and you're, you get a check and nothing's happening with your cervix yet. That doesn't mean your cervix is incompetent or that anything failed or anything like that. And we do talk about failure to progress. And that terminology and what that means later,
um, you might have heard to like they'll do measurements when you go in so kind of like top of belly to pubic bone fundus that's the fundal height. So it's top the uterus to the pubic bone. They're just measure many
people don't know what they're doing when that happens in their appointment. They're like, they just get a tape out and they measure
measure. Yeah. But there's degrees of normal as far as how far along you are in your pregnancy and what that fundal measurement should could be so and that's all they're going for, you know, but just so you know, it's a way to
track it's, it is a way to track growth, healthy growth in the pregnancy. And so it's top of the pubic bone to the top of the fundus, which is the top of your uterus. So it's the fundal height and that correlates one centimeter to every week of pregnancy. So if you're 30 weeks pregnant, your fundal height should be 30 centimeters. Give or take two centimeters. If it is off, more than two centimeters, for two visits in a row, then that's cause for concern. If it's off by one centimeter regularly, fine. That's offered by two centimeters one time, fine. It's something to pay attention to. It does not mean something is wrong wrong, but they get like the soft that soft like sewing tape measure. Yeah. And they measure your belly and knowing what they're doing and looking for. So if that's happening to you, and you're not sure be like, Hey, tell me what's going on. Tell me what this means. What are you looking for? Just happen sometimes that people knowing exactly.
Um, let's see. Now sometimes they'll do obviously they'll do ultrasound. So this is another tool that's used for tracking baby. I will never forget when we went in for our first ultrasound after taking the pregnancy testing coming back positive. And I think my husband was like, because it was not on the outside of the belly, right? That is a
no ultrasound, which was
that and then he was just like, and I was like, wow, that was rather that's rather invasive. Um, so sometimes to know those things, though, right. To know what to expect. Yeah.
You're like I don't know. It varies on people but like 1011 12 weeks you might be able to get an external ultrasound sound. But for most in that first trimester, they'll do that vaginal, solid. Baby and yeah, that is something they don't tell you. And I mean they do with before. They're doing it there. It's so easy for them that they're like, Hey, I have this wand. It's gonna be covered in a piece of plastic and there's gonna be lube put on it and then I'm gonna put it inside of you like it really don't walk through it unless you're like, hey, walk me through this. Yeah, and of course you want to see your baby and everything's fine, but it is like whoa, whoa, whoa. So if you don't want that, just know that getting the ultrasound you might have to wait a little bit longer until the baby so you can actually see something Yeah, before you can see something on the outside. And so at least around here in my experience, most provider that if you're, you're pregnant and you peed on a stick, you know it, they probably won't do that first appointment until about 10 weeks. You can request to go in early if you're feeling some anxiety if you want to confirm with bloodwork or have them do a urine sample, you know, you can go in and you probably won't get that ultrasound until 1011 weeks, nine 910 11 ways you
can actually see. Yeah,
yeah. And so being prepared for that. And then with ultrasounds you know doing if you know you're pregnant early getting that first ultrasound is most accurate for dating. Like for kind of giving a good estimate for your due date. Based on like knowing your site like your last menstrual cycle combined with the dating does provide with a good, accurate estimation of the due date. And then they'll do another ultrasound around 20 to 22 weeks and that's called the anatomy scan. And they're they're looking at the whole body organs. had legs, feet, fingers, placenta, so many
things. They track a lot of things with that. Yeah, they they'll say do female measurements. Yeah.
Even some homebirth midwives that I know really do. They're not big on doing all the ultrasounds but they do like the anatomy scan because it can be helpful for identifying any sort of things that could present a problem later on. I'm not a huge fan of doing unnecessary ultrasounds just because that can be a topic of its own. If you're curious and learning more we do recommend doing your own research we do know like people love seeing pictures of their babies and that's great. But they're not necessary all the time. Right?
Definitely. Definitely. Um, let's see we've got fetal heart tones. So this is using the Doppler like sound as with the things where you actually hear so this is this is definitely done outside the belly of anything internal at this point, you know, with things but this is listening to baby's heart rate and a lot of times to so many moms coming in and saying like asking you about baby positioning and they're concerned if baby you know is head up, head down those type of things and a lot of times to where where you hear the fetal tones can give a good indication of where the head is as far as like if we're feeling or hearing them really low or really high. There are averages and ranges I think it's fun with I didn't we didn't do any sort of gender assessment like with my pregnancy, so we didn't know what the gender was with either one of mine and it was always fun because they can do they do look at some differences
in boys versus girls as far as fetal like those heart tones, you know,
is it girls tend to run a little bit faster heart rate, I can't remember what it is. I feel like
I get all mixed up all the time.
But you know, that's not 100 physical. Yeah, that is I always had so much fun with those things just to kind of see, you know, what's gonna happen, but they're just listening for normal, you know, heart rate heart tones, and 110 to 160 is
in those normal ranges.
for them to the exams. Um, what do we have? Next?
I wanted to talk about some of the terminology around like dates. Okay, so there's at birth, so term birth is going to be between 37 and 42 weeks. That's when the vast majority of babies are born. 95% of babies are gonna be born before 42 weeks. preterm birth is anything before 37 weeks, so going all at 36 and six would be considered preterm birth. And then early term so like if you're like in that 37 Like your your term, but your early term 37 to 38 weeks. Your due date is 40 weeks. Only 5% of babies are born on their due date. And then post dates is anything beyond 42 weeks. So some people say post dates, they use it for anything after their due date. And it is actually after 42 weeks.
Okay, now, those are good terms. To know. Um, a non stress test this is this is definitely something that's done like later in pregnancy. And maybe if you're in that at the due date kind of aspect of things. They're maybe not seem to make changes they want to track they want to check some of the uterine contractions but also baby well being so you kind of have this like belt strapped to you and you just have to sit there for a while and they're just kind of gathering like information and data about fetal movement. Fetal heart tones, uterine contractions, and making sure you have enough yeah, just making sure like everybody's good I remember I had to go in for and it's kind of to me it's a misnomer. I'm like okay, I'm kind of stressed because I'm have to go in for a non stress test, you know, like, oh my gosh, what's, what's going on? Why do I have to go in for this? So I feel like sometimes sometimes all these things can be like, why are we doing this? What is going on?
Now it shouldn't be done too early. Like it should be like after you're like around 40 and 5113. Like kind of like beyond 40 and five. I would say some people might want to do it at 40 minutes. It's an extended look at the heart rate. So you're gonna get the quick Doppler for heart tones as part of your routine care, but doing the non stress test is an extended look at how baby is tolerating the womb. That's one level. That should come up again, once you're sort of beyond your your due date. The next level would be a BPP, which is a biophysical profile. So that's taking it a step further and bringing ultrasound into it. They are going to look at baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement and breathing. And it also looks at the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. And so looking at these five areas helps the provider know like how well they're doing in the womb. This doesn't normally come in my experience. I don't think it should until even after like like 41 and after maybe or even beyond 41 It's kind of or if there's a concern, like if there's a concern, right like, you could take a take a full snap a full picture. So it's really looking at at everything. They can see how well your your babies practice. Breathing, making sure they're moving good.
But is that something that everybody has done? You know, like, because not everybody's going that far.
But again, some people don't even know until they go to their Yeah, they're going beyond 41 weeks or something then that go we're gonna do a BPP and you're like a b What?
Yeah, I That's why I was like, maybe not stress test. I'm stressed.
And it can be like, alarming of like, are you doing this because something's wrong. And actually you're just doing it as a way to measure make sure baby's doing okay. And I encourage people if you you know, with your provider, asking them how they support you going beyond your due date, and then asking them what it looks like it 14 541 41 In fact, like, what's it looking like and what tests are they offering? And another option is like, Okay, if they're, if they are saying, Hey, you're 41 weeks, let's move towards induction. You could say, well, let's wait a couple days and do some more monitoring. I'll do I can do a BPP. Let's do another nonstress test. I'll come in every couple of days, we can keep making sure baby's doing good. And if baby's doing good, and I'm doing good. Is there any downsides to continuing this pregnancy? And so you can kind of advocate in that way of knowing these tests exists to assess the full picture and then decide about continuing or not
exactly, exactly. Something else that you know every appointment you're going in, and if you're doing you know, traditional OB hospital, although potentially do with midwife, just not as often with some of the appointments. The way you just always great.
So there you go. Say they weigh and you gotta pee in a cup. And they're checking your blood pressure, like there's, you know, it's good. Those are good things. There's things along there that they do, or suggest but one of those with peeing in the cup. They're actually like doing some, like gluco tests, so they're looking for things in the urine that they don't necessarily want to see. So just shorter sugars, proteins, those type of things outside of urine, so there is the gestational diabetes test, and they do this too, because they're looking at baby health as it pertains to outcomes with moms who have gestational diabetes and having to do with like, birth weight and health of the baby growth of the baby. So that's kind of where the basis says comes from. I remember and we've talked about this book before by Lily Nichols the real food for pregnancy, but that was the basis for her book, I believe, was really looking at the importance of diet as it pertains to gestational health than gestational diabetes in in so a big role but they have to you have to there's other options that you have that they will have you kind of do like a fasting glucose test. And so then they're checking to see you know, are their sugars more than should be and then making recommendations based upon those results. But what's cool is that you don't have to necessarily do the because drink that they give you and I think we've talked about this in other episodes. I can't remember what it was because I remember you talked about jelly beans. Did you talk about jelly beans in an episode or something like that? And then I put a link in here to because there's another thing called Fresh test. I have some moms that don't want the typical glucose drink that's given because there might be additives in it something that they don't necessarily want. And so there are I think what's cool is that there are other options as well. I didn't know that was fine. I was just okay, you want to do this. I'm going to do this. So I think it's important to know you've got some other options and even asking them a little bit more to as far as what they're looking for and why they're doing this.
It's a screening that tradition to do every every person gets and if you're doing a home birth, they're going to offer it, they're not going to require it but in a traditional medical model of care there are going to quote unquote, require it and what I see is when you decline it that they will treat you as if you have it. So it can be an uphill battle. I'm not saying it's not worth fighting, just knowing that if you have any sort of history of diabetes in your family or for yourself, it's definitely I would prioritize that. If not, then you could explore other options. I definitely love not, you know, looking at other things besides that bucola If you don't want to do that, you can do the glucose that's fine. It's in the office. It's accessible. It's quick, do you do your thing or do the fresh test? I think the goal is if you're going to eat something like jelly beans or do something else has to be 50 grams of sugar, and you have to eat it in a certain amount of time to kind of do the test. Another option we actually just had a client do this recently, she declined the gestational diabetes test altogether and opted to track her numbers with the ometer is like four times a day for two weeks and then like a certain number of times a day for two weeks after that. And she was able to confirm she didn't have it. So that's a lot of work. Not everyone's able to do that or willing to do that but she was and was able to say you know I don't have it and was happy with that. So again, all about options, you know, for the glue Cola, or even any glucose test that you're doing with your provider they do a one hour and then if you fail that, then you do a three hour which is a little bit more in depth look. And then if you feel that you'd be quote unquote, diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and then there's a whole course of action that comes with that. That's, you know, they know what the medical model of care does is like, statistically speaking, birthing people with gestational diabetes and this can be you can have this without having diabetes, not pregnant and you are more prone to developing it during pregnancy for one reason or another. But they statistically speaking, like you said, the babies on average tend to be larger, like outside the range of normal. So they want to monitor that to make sure maybe it's not too big. Again, there's a lot there that would just require further investigation, but just knowing that like where they're coming from, and so they would want to monitor that as well as how the baby's going to tolerate sugar levels after they're born. That they want to be proactive in that so that that baby can stay well unhealthy. Same thing with the birthing person to make sure their sugar's are doing well, in that immediate postpartum to avoid any negative effects or outcomes. It's a complex conversation. We are linking. I think evidence based birth has a lot of really helpful resources. It's more than we can probably cover here but we wanted to bring up the term gestational diabetes test because at some point in your pregnancy, it will come up you do have options exploring them and deciding what's right for you is the goal.
Yeah, and I think really, your if you are in a traditional medical provider, they may not be talking about diet as much as someone else and I think that that kind of really impact that can really impact those numbers. So
people have success with Yeah, lifestyle management. Like if they learned especially again, knowing early that you have or are leaning tending towards gestation IVs can help you be more proactive. Like we had a client that was eager, she was like I feel like I probably have it I've had it with my other two pregnancies. She was like eager for that positive test so that she could it was going to be her like motivation because she knew with diet and lifestyle that she could control it but she needed that confirmation. But we've had so many clients with lifestyle be able to control their numbers and
or leave in 10 minutes.
Right. So that Lily Nichols is book Yeah, highly recommend her book because she has real food for pregnancy and real food for gestational diabetes. So like if you're prone to it or know it like I would start that diet and that that research that is sooner rather than later if you really want to avoid it being an actual issue in pregnancy. Not that's a guarantee but it's a good approach.
Exactly. Exactly. You know, something else that wasn't on our list, but I want to add is preeclampsia because sometimes that comes up it's not for everybody because there is the aspect so they are because when we were talking about how they measure they do the urine sample and super that they're looking for sugars in the year but they're also looking for protein and those are things that shouldn't be there. And so you can have high blood pressure in pregnancy but not have preeclampsia as well. But preeclampsia typically has the aspect of you've got the high blood pressure, you do have excess protein in the urine and then more swelling in hands and feet. So you're kind of that's those those three things that they're really looking for, but you can also have just high blood pressure and pregnancy. These are things that they want to track and manage because those are numbers that are beneficial. To know you know about your health and wellness and and some of those things can be affected with with diet aspects things but preeclampsia. That is that's the definition of that. So sometimes that's why they are that's why keeping an eye
on high blood pressure is Yeah, not a definitive preeclampsia diagnosis. Instead it's more like hypertension. And you know, if it's fluctuating it could be just at your doctor's visits, it's elevated and then you monitor it on occasion when you go to the pharmacy or at home and it's it lowers and is consistent with or when you combine it with those other factors. It can become medically indicated reason to investigate further and consider maybe induction right thing is always said
rest are those though that's Kevin
areas. Yeah. Yeah, but knowing people. We will take blood pressure reading this like delineation so typing versus preeclampsia and knowing that preeclampsia is not anything to I wouldn't like, write that off as like, Oh, it's just preeclampsia. It's usually a signal to the body from the body. Yeah, that there's something going on. Yeah,
no, definitely. And I know I bought a blood pressure monitor when during my pregnancy, because I'll never forget I had I guess they asked at one point What did you have for breakfast and I started to freak out because I go well, what's wrong with my results where he asked me what I had for breakfast I guess I had like cereal or something which I usually don't eat cereal, but it was during pregnancy. I was craving sincere I think it's a curious which has you know, a ton of sugar and I think I just had like abnormal and so from then on my blood pressure was like so high because I was just nervous about everything. And so I would track it at home and gave me peace of mind to so I actually liked it and it didn't bother me so much. But now I still anybody wants to take my blood pressure. I'm like, Ah, so high, because I get freaked out.
Oh my gosh, you nervous?
Oh yeah, it makes me nervous. Um, okay. Let's go on to we've got another thing that people will hear about. I feel like you've heard about this. I mean, you hear about it every pregnancy but it's been more evident now lately like I've been hearing more and more and more the group restrict
streptococcus strep. Yes and brought it's it's a routine test that occurs during pregnancy, but the conversation has been hot lately. I think on it. There's some new
evidence I was gonna say so I want to know what some of that new evidence is. Well,
my thought on it though. There's a lot it could be a whole episode. And if we want to stay on track, I'm going to link the evidence based based broadcast
because she just did a new update on it.
Well, yeah, we have a and a what is that other group I really love those ladies at home with Kelly and Tiffany. They also have a podcast on preventing GPS so they are home birth midwives. And I think even evidence based birth has even gone into some some studies that are talking about preventing GBS so I think evidence based birth has as well as this other at home with Kellyanne Tiffany. So knowing that there are some things that have been proven that you can do to prevent GBS but like what is GBs? Let's start there. And I guess what I was gonna say is I don't think we're gonna go as in depth surface level station. It is surface level, something that we want you to know it's a test that comes up during pregnancy, you have options. There are some ways to prevent it. And we encourage you to explore it further. But again, learning kind of what what does it mean when you hear Group B strep? It's also called GBs. It's a common type of bacteria. So tiny organisms that live in and around your body that can cause infection. Usually GBS is not serious for adults, but it can hurt newborns. Many, many people carry the strep around. This is not something you are not dirty or gross or infected with something like the vat of there's a huge number of people that have it. I think it's like 70% It's high. And it may never make you sick.
I was gonna say it's gonna be something that it's maybe not part of the normal flora, but you know, it could be so it's yeah, it's definitely something Well, some
people are just more prone to it, right. So if you are more prone to like yeast infection type things and UTIs like I would be like super proactive in it, but sometimes it's out of your control, right? But that's why there are now some options for talking about preventing it because before it was sort of like either you have it or you don't. And now it's like well, can we be proactive and if you want to avoid unnecessary intervention with like, antibiotics, prophylactic antibiotics for you or your newborn, or anything like that, I would explore this conversation in depth. But let's see, it can cause some minor infections like bladder or urinary tract infection. That's why like if you're more prone to those things like you might have it so being proactive is important. Let's see if you are pregnant, you can pass it to your baby during labor and birth. One out of four women so there's that percentage one out of four carry GBS but then it's like of the ones that have GBS, like the percentage of with which you pass it to your baby is really low and then the percentage of those that even have it getting severely ill ill is really
slow. So it's the percentage of the percentage of yes, yeah, it's like
really? Yeah, it's like one of those things, of course, if it happens is not great. So like, no one wants to mess around with it
right? Right now can you? Can you have a positive? Like GBs. 10 isn't like the presence is here, but it's not an active infection. Is there a difference there?
Are you there? Yeah, you have. Okay, if you haven't, or you don't, it does ebb and flow. Like all flora and bacteria, right? So they've just determined though testing at I think they do it like 38 weeks, or whatever point in pregnancy they do it it's like this. It gives a greater chance of being accurate in you having it at the time of birth. But some people say that like you can test positive for it at one time and then like at the time of birth actually be negative for it. So like I'm, I'm like, they don't have it. Why don't they have rapid GPS tests like so we can just like time of birth, as you're getting a quick GPS test you have it or not and avoid avoid unnecessary intervention then but that's I mean, I've heard some places do it but it's not readily available like in our area or anything like that. But knowing like you can it can be present at one moment and not present at another but statistically speaking, and generally speaking, like they say like if you have it like you're more likely to have it like right that's how they're drawing that sort of like conclusion. But that's not 100% accurate. So knowing that it has flows is important because it's your body and if you're going to advocate for yourself, you have to know this information. And so you test around 35 to 37 weeks just like a swab of your bottom area. I think maybe they do a little maybe just a little vaginal swab. It's like quick, it's not typical exam. Yeah, exactly. No, it's not super super. Of course. It's amazing. I mean, we've got to kind of get up and and, you know, expose yourself that it's super invasive, but it's quick.
I recommend so if currently traditional medical model of care if it is found positive that you have it, they will recommend you to get an IV antibiotics, a dose of IV antibiotics every four hours leading up to the birth and they want you to have at least two rounds. So it's one of those things like if your duty is positive, the provider might say if at once I begin to go ahead and make your way to the hospital because we want to make sure you get two rounds of antibiotics and before the birth experience. Like I'm laboring at home as long as I can hospital and pushing my baby out or whatever their plan is this feels like an intervention that does sort of derail their preferences and their plans. And then a lot of people are addicts we know. unnecessary use of antibiotics can wreak havoc on your digestive system,
that vaginal birth to give baby that first inoculation of amazing bacteria and set them up and you can be like, well, that's not how I wanted to set them up.
Yeah. And then they get the antibiotics and so it's it can impact their system. So I think antibiotics are an incredible advancement and technology that when used judiciously can save many many lives. I'm not like anti, but again, I love the word judiciously. Here, not just prophylactically across the board, because some people are if you don't want to get the antibiotics, you can decline them and then they just do they monitor the baby slightly differently. After the birth you might say like an extra 24 hours just to make sure they're not showing any signs of having the infection. We've had clients do that. So yeah, it's it's a hot one.
And I think it warrants just a lot further, like in depth research if that's something that is unsettling to you, or if you do come back with a positive test or something like that. There's had moms do lots of different things in trying to look at that kind of vaginal perineal mana for that is going on there so but don't it doesn't have to be so cut and dry. Right But exactly kind of just really looking at you know, your research and looking at the new research that has come out
as well too. Yeah, and like I said evidence base for puts it into very like consumable, understandable terms and giving options and it's not bias. It's not like don't do it, do do it. Right. Because again, I think understanding everyone has different different circumstances and that we should all have options and this is one it's very routine saying that so many people don't even know. Oh, yeah, it's happening, what it means and what it means what the downline impacted, or even now how to prevent it. So, you know, I think it's cool. I think it's cool to have some new information and ways to prevent it going on and a conversation around it. So I'm here for it. Me too. All right. So
that was our pregnancy terminology. So if you listened to the whole episode, and you listened to the beginning, and we said we're going to do pregnancy and birth terminology, you will know that right on I like to talk and so there's just too much there's too much information. I know I know. So she and I chatted while we paused our recording for a moment. So we could say hey, we're going to do a part two, so upcoming part two is going to be the birth terms. Because this was all setting the stage prenatal there was just a lot. And we needed to talk about this thing. And we didn't
even talk about everything. No, that's not even all encompassing, encompassing the birth terms conversation, but we could probably add something I know I thought I was thinking there's a lot but we love it and I love our I love it. So let's just we're gonna we're gonna let this be the end of this and done with this, you know, hope you enjoyed it. hope you enjoy the in depth conversation on some of these pregnancy terms that you might it's important to learn about As you are becoming pregnant or are pregnant, and then how to navigate those office visits and what might you know you have a bit more confidence going in there knowing what might come up and if you hear things that you're not familiar with. It's okay to say hey, I don't know what that is, can you tell me, because I think a lot of people feel intimidated in these settings to not.
like it's okay to ask them to explain it. And I think that's what I want more than anything because I know we shared a lot, you're probably not gonna remember everything. But more importantly, there's, there's a lot of brand new terminology that's going to come up. And we want you to feel like you know what's going on and if you don't care, that's cool too. But if you do ask, and we hope you've learned something here, and a reminder that we have started, the aligned work community for gathering community support in a financial monetary way. It's I think Shannon and I are beginning to learn about how to communicate about this request and this ask, but really, we pour our hearts into preparing for these episodes for doing the research for taking the time out of our you know, we work we have our main jobs, and we have our family. But I think both of us really, really enjoy the time we get to do with these recordings, and we've gotten really wonderful feedback, and we want to keep doing it but we've we've been doing it over a year now. And we recognize that as fun as it is that if we don't find a way to get some financial return from it, it's going to be hard to keep doing it. Right. That's just a reality. And it's been something I think probably that we both feel a little uncomfortable putting ourselves out there and saying, hey, send us your money. But we've also learned that if we don't ask don't happen, it won't happen. And so here we are asking for like, as small or as big of a donation you want to give and if you don't want to give and you want to just keep listening. Great. We're here for it. We love you. You're part of we're gonna keep going regardless. But any little bit of contribution you feel like you can make that you feel like it's bringing you back like if we if you feel like you're getting any value from this or you've shared it with people you've learned something that you know and you want to support us we would appreciate it more than you know. And we have big goals to bring more more things to you guys more resources and and more information and we can't do it unless we have some support. And another way and non monetary way to support us is by leaving reviews too. So if you're like I can't give you a few dollars, but I can give you my words. We were here for it. We love it and will appreciate it. So just wanted to say that as we close out you will be hearing us talk more about our community and growing this support in this way. So thank you for your patience. Thank you for being along with us. And stay tuned for part two next week.
I almost have orange juice on my on my actual news.
Yeah, check it out.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai