The 'tell it how it really is' pregnancy and birth glossary.

When I first found out I was pregnant with my first child I think i purchased every pregnancy and birth related book ever written. Sure, they were helpful in a ‘facts’ kinda way, I guess. If you’re into that kind of thing, go forth preggo friend and absorb the knowledge. But if you’re after a glossary of pregnancy and birth terms that tells you how it really is, this one’s for you.

The ‘tell it how it really is’ glossary of pregnancy and birth terms.

Braxton Hicks- Is it? Nope. Think of this as the pregnancy version of ‘duck duck moose’. False labour, false labour, false labour…. real labour! 

Breech birth– An experience which will make you feel a new sense of empathy for giraffe mothers.

Cervix- The gateway to baby town. Think of it as the gatekeeper to germs, Lord of the Rings style, if you want “You shall not pass!” 

Stretch and sweep- A tactic used to thin out your cervix as well as check your tonsils from a unique angle.

C-section- A surgical method of bringing a baby into the world. Usually involves you laying naked and paralysed in front of 8-10 strangers while they discuss their weekend golf game.

"I swear to god Gary, par four!" (istock)

Colostrum- Baby liquid gold. Very shortly after birth a midwife will likely start milking you of your liquid gold in an attempt to get your baby to feed. Yeah it's weird having a stranger milk you but you'll get used to it. 

Contractions- When your body starts acting like a faulty soft serve machine.

Crowning- The moment you decide on your religious stance and start making deals with relevant deities.

Let down- The moment a breastfeeding mother realises she and she alone will be responsible for all the night feeds.

Gas and air for pain relief- A funny joke hospital staff like to play on labouring women that results in many of them being punched in the genitals.

Embryo- The last technical term used to describe your baby in pregnancy books. From here on in, your child will be compared to different sized fruit.

Your baby, in fruit speak (istock)

Epistiotomy- The scary realisation that two holes are about to become one.

Forceps- Not oversized salad servers. Likely about to go up your lady bits.

Full term- Eviction notice.

Induction- 0-100 in two minutes if they're using 'The Drip'. It's pregnancy 'The Fast and The Furious' except with no nice cars and a distinct lack of Vin Diesel. 

Kick count- The number of times you’ve been assaulted internally by your own human.

Latching on- The feeling of a small, toothless vampire attempting to navigate your oversized breasts.

Morning sickness- A deceitful term which fools people into believing that vomiting ceases at midday.


Oxytocin- the devil in drug form. Useful for getting labour started and testing your true character.

Pelvic muscles- Your baby’s very own tiny trampoline and the reason you’ll never go on a real one again without wee’ing your pants.

Placenta- An organ which provides nutrition to your unborn baby while in the womb. Also the focus of Pete Evan’s latest cookbook.

Round Ligament pain- Pain which occurs as you lose valuable personal real estate interally. It may sound like a slight discomfort but in truth feels as though small elastic bands inside your belly are stretching to breaking point. 

Rupture of Membranes- (Also known as waters breaking)- Clean up aisle five.

Mucous plug- Recently voted ‘Pregnancy term most likely to make husbands uncomfortable’ as well as 'the number one thing other people do not want to hear about over dinner'. 

Anesthetist- Will appear as a needle bearing angel in your time of need and will likely replace your husband as your all time most adored person. 

Transition- The exact moment you change your mind about the whole childbirth thing and start packing your bags to go home.

Ultrasound- Baby’s first instagram #nevertooyoung

Active labour- Not the time for your partner to get himself a coffee.

Afterpains- Nature's cruel joke when you thought it was all over.

Baby blues- the reason you’re crying because you no longer recognise any characters on 'Home and Away' 3 days after birth.

Back labour- The feeling of being repeatedly kicked in the lower back by a convulsing hyperactive donkey. Not for the faint hearted.

Birth plan- a funny fairytale you hand to the midwives upon arrival at the hospital to break the ice.

'Yep, just pop your birth plan right down there next to the bin and I'll be with you when I finish up here.' (Love child)

Assisted breaking of waters- A real life tutorial using a crochet hook in ways you never thought possible.

Conception- The moment 2 bottles of chandy changed your life.

Stretch marks- The closest you’ll get to achieving your lifelong dream of becoming a sumatran tiger.

Dropping- The moment baby drops into your pelvis in preparation for birth which leaves you waddling like a constipated hippo.

Due date- The first time your child will ignore your request to be on time.