15. Life Cycle Nutrition: Pregnancy and Lactation

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alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD)

malformations in the skeletal and organ systems (heart, kidneys, eyes, ears) associated with prenatal alcohol exposure.

alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND)

abnormalities in the central nervous system and cognitive development associated with prenatal alcohol exposure.

amniotic sac (am-nee-OTT-ic)

the "bag of waters" in the uterus, in which the fetus floats.

anencephaly (AN-en-SEF-a-lee)

an uncommon and always fatal type of neural tube defect; characterized by the absence of a brain.

blastocyst (BLASS-toe-sist)

the developmental stage of the zygote when it is about five days old and ready for implantation.

cesarean section (si-ZAIR-ee-un)

a surgically assisted birth involving removal of the fetus by an incision into the uterus, usually by way of the abdominal wall.

conception

the union of the male sperm and the female ovum; fertilization.

critical periods

finite periods during development in which certain events occur that will have irreversible effects on later developmental stages; usually a period of rapid cell division.

Down syndrome

a genetic abnormality that causes mental retardation, short stature, and flattened facial features.

eclampsia (eh-KLAMP-see-ah)

a severe stage of preeclampsia characterized by seizures.

embryo (EM-bree-oh)

the developing infant from two to eight weeks after conception.

fertility

the capacity of a woman to produce a normal ovum periodically and of a man to produce normal sperm; the ability to reproduce.

fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

a range of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

a cluster of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure, including facial malformations, growth retardation, and central nervous disorders.

fetal programming

the influence of substances during fetal growth on the development of diseases in later life.

fetus (FEET-us)

the developing infant from eight weeks after conception until term.

food aversions

strong desires to avoid particular foods.

food cravings

strong desires to eat particular foods.

full term

between the thirty-eighth and forty-second week of pregnancy.

gestation (jes-TAY-shun)

the period from conception to birth. For human beings, the average length of a healthy gestation is 40 weeks. Pregnancy is often divided into three-month periods, called trimesters.

gestational diabetes

glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.

gestational hypertension

high blood pressure that develops in the second half of pregnancy and resolves after childbirth, usually without affecting the outcome of the pregnancy.

high-risk pregnancy

a pregnancy characterized by risk factors that make it likely the birth will be surrounded by problems such as premature delivery, difficult birth, retarded growth, birth defects, and early infant death.

implantation (IM-plan-TAY-shun)

the embedding of the blastocyst in the inner lining of the uterus.

lactation

production and secretion of breast milk for the purpose of nourishing an infant.

let-down reflex

the reflex that forces milk to the front of the breast when the infant begins to nurse.

listeriosis (lis-TEAR-ee-OH-sis)

an infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which can be killed by pasteurization and cooking but can survive at refrigerated temperatures; certain ready-to-eat foods, such as hot dogs and deli meats, may become contaminated after cooking or processing, but before packaging.

low birthweight (LBW)

a birthweight of 5½ pounds (2500 grams) or less; indicates probable poor health in the newborn and poor nutrition status in the mother during pregnancy, before pregnancy, or both. Optimal birthweight for a full-term baby is 6.8 to 7.9 pounds (about 3100 to 3600 grams).

low-risk pregnancy

a pregnancy characterized by factors that make it likely the birth will be normal and the infant healthy.

mammary glands

glands of the female breast that secrete milk.

ovum (OH-vum)

the female reproductive cell, capable of developing into a new organism upon fertilization; commonly referred to as an egg.

oxytocin (OCK-see-TOH-sin)

a hormone that stimulates the mammary glands to eject milk during lactation and the uterus to contract during childbirth.

placenta (plah-SEN-tuh)

the organ that develops inside the uterus early in pregnancy, through which the fetus receives nutrients and oxygen and returns carbon dioxide and other waste products to be excreted.

post term

after the forty-second week of pregnancy.

postpartum amenorrhea (ay-MEN-oh-REE-ah)

the normal temporary absence of menstrual periods immediately following childbirth.

preeclampsia (PRE-ee-KLAMP-see-ah)

a condition characterized by hypertension and protein in the urine.

prenatal alcohol exposure

subjecting a fetus to a pattern of excessive alcohol intake characterized by substantial regular use or heavy episodic drinking.

preterm (premature)

prior to the thirty-eighth week of pregnancy.

prolactin (pro-LAK-tin)

a hormone secreted from the anterior pituitary gland that acts on the mammary glands to promote the production of milk. The release of prolactin is mediated by prolactin-inhibiting hormone (PIH).

sperm

the male reproductive cell, capable of fertilizing an ovum.

spina bifida (SPY-nah BIFF-ih-dah)

one of the most common types of neural tube defects; characterized by the incomplete closure of the spinal cord and its bony encasement.

sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

the unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently well infant; the most common cause of death of infants between the second week and the end of the first year of life; also called crib death.

umbilical cord (um-BILL-ih-cul)

the ropelike structure through which the fetus's veins and arteries reach the placenta; the route of nourishment and oxygen to the fetus and the route of waste disposal from the fetus. The scar in the middle of the abdomen that marks the former attachment of the umbilical cord is the umbilicus (um-BILL-ih-cus), commonly known as the "belly button."

uterus (YOU-ter-us)

the muscular organ within which the infant develops before birth.

zygote (ZY-goat)

the initial product of the union of ovum and sperm; a fertilized ovum.

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