Technical and medical words
High Level Disinfection (HLD) A way to
remove most germs from an instrument or
tool, very similar to sterilization. In this
book, whenever we say a tool should be
sterilized, we actually mean it can be sterile
intestine A long, winding tube that carries
food from the stomach and then waste to
invasive procedure A medical procedure
deep inside the body or that cuts the skin.
kidneys Two large organs in the lower
back that make urine by cleaning waste
from the blood.
ligaments Strong fibers in a person’s body
that help hold muscles and bones in place.
membranes The bag that holds the baby
and waters (amniotic fluid) during
menstrual cycle The time and changes in
a woman’s body from the beginning of
one monthly bleeding to the beginning of
the next. This includes bleeding, some days
when a woman is not fertile, and the days
when the lining of her womb grows to
prepare for a possible pregnancy and an
egg is released from her ovary.
menstruation (monthly bleeding) When
bloody fluid comes out of a woman’s
womb and out of her vagina. It happens
about once a month and lasts a few days.
midwife A person who cares for a
woman’s health needs, especially during
pregnancy and birth.
obstetrics The branch of medicine that
deals with the care of women during
pregnancy and childbirth.
premature Before full development. A
baby is premature if born before 37 weeks
prolapse When part of the body drops or
falls. When the cord comes out before the
baby is born it is a prolapsed cord.
Rh factor A blood type that can cause
problems in pregnancy. A person with a
certain protein in her blood is said to have
“Rh+” blood. People who do not have this
protein have “Rh-” blood. If a woman with
Rh- blood is pregnant, and her baby has
Rh+ blood (this can only happen if the
father has Rh+ blood), her body can
produce antibodies that fight any future
pregnancies she has. This can cause
miscarriages or other problems in those
future pregnancies. If a woman has a
miscarriage or stillbirth, and does not know
why, you could have a laboratory check
her blood. If she is Rh-, she may be able to
get a medicine called Rho(D) Immune
Globulin during her next pregnancy to
protect her baby from problems.
scrub Washing the hands, fingernails, and
forearms carefully and thoroughly for
several minutes to remove most germs.
sterilize To kill or remove all the germs on
something. Tools must be sterile or HLD to
be safely used for invasive medical
tissue The material that makes up the
muscles, fat, and organs of the body.
uterus (womb) The organ in the body
where monthly bleeding comes from and
where a baby grows during pregnancy.
virus A germ that can cause infections
and sicknesses. Viruses cannot be killed
with antibiotics, but there are some new
drugs that can help fight some viral
A Book for Midwives (2010)