Pregnancy lingo for clueless dads-to-be

Congrats, you’re a father in waiting! Now, wise up to pregnancy terms your wife and the Ob-Gyn will routinely utter…


Getting involved early in your wife’s pregnancy will not only ease her journey, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. And the best place to start is to have a proper understanding of pregnancy terms and what to expect during labour!

We’ve rounded up a basic list of terms to get you started…

Amniotic fluid Refers to the liquid in the water bag (or amniotic sac, which is located inside the womb). The amniotic fluid cushions the foetus from sudden blows and movements and protects it from injury. It also helps your foetus maintain a constant body temperature and prevents heat loss. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can be a cause for concern as these are known signs of possible foetal distress.

Baby blues In the first couple of days following the baby’s birth, a new mum may get upset over trivial things, feeling low and sad. The baby blues can be triggered by physical changes, emotional factors, or both. Your hormone levels drop after delivery. If these emotions extend beyond the first two weeks, she is most likely experiencing a bout of postnatal depression (see below).

Big baby Also called macrosomia or large-for-gestational-age-baby, a baby is considered “big” when he weighs 4kg or more at birth. The average weight of a newborn is typically between 3 and 3.2kg. Your ob-gyn will usually carry out a pelvic examination to examine the size of your foetus and then decide if vaginal birth is still a viable option.

Bloody show The release of a small amount of blood or blood-tinged mucus (see mucus plug below) through the vagina near the end of pregnancy. It can occur just before labour or in early labour as the cervix changes shape, freeing mucus and blood.

Breech You deliver your mini-me buttocks or feet first, instead of head first.

Braxton Hicks contractions Also referred to as a false labour, these are irregular contractions of the uterus that can start from as early as the fourth month of pregnancy or during the second trimester. Unlike actual labour, this tightening of the abdomen comes and goes and does not increase in frequency, duration or intensity. To ease these contractions, you can try changing the position you are seated in, drink sufficient fluids and get enough rest.

Chemical pregnancy An early miscarriage that happens before 6 weeks. 

Cervix The passageway of tissues and muscles that connect the vagina to the uterus. The cervix produces cervical mucus, which changes in consistency to promote or prevent pregnancy. It also dilates during childbirth to allow the baby to pass through.

Contractions Often one of the first signs of labour and feels like more intense menstrual cramps felt in the lower abdomen. Even when you change positions or relax, labour contractions don’t stop. The frequency and intensity of these contractions increases progressively during labour.

Cravings These are caused by the fluctuations in hormones and the way your wife perceives tastes and smells. Cravings usually start in the first trimester, peak in the second and declines in the third. More importantly, her cravings may be a sign that her body is pining for a certain food nutrient. For instance, a yen for pickles and processed cheese can be her body’s way of signalling a need for more sodium in her diet. The good news is you’ll definitely be able to find a 24-hour eatery near your place.