Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
A naturally occurring mineral used to prevent and
treat seizures in preeclampsia - eclampsia.
Mask of pregnancy (melasma)
Massively parallel genomic sequencing
Technologies capable of determining the order of the nucleotide bases (adenine,
guanine, cytosine, and thymine) in an enormous number of DNA molecules at the same time.
Inflammation of the breast, usually caused by infection in a woman who is breast-feeding
or has recently delivered.
Signs of mastitis include painful, tender, red, swollen breasts, and fever.
Breast engorgement, cracked or damaged skin around the nipple, and blocked milk
ducts appear to predispose the new mother to mastitis. The condition is treated
with antibiotics, and the mother may continue to breast feed while being
Maternal mortality ratio
The number of maternal deaths directly or indirectly related to pregnancy per
100,000 live births in a given time period.
According to the ICD 9 " A maternal death is defined as the death of a woman
while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of pregnancy, irrespective
of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or
aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or
Maternal deaths are further subdivided into two groups
- Direct obstetric deaths: those resulting from obstetric complications of the
pregnant state (pregnancy, labor and puerperium); from interventions, omissions
or incorrect treatment; or from a chain of events resulting from any of the
- Indirect obstetric deaths: those resulting from previous existing disease or
disease that developed during pregnancy and that were not due to direct
obstetric causes but were aggravated by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
Some include both liveborn and
stillborn infants in the denominator for less-developed areas.
MAP (Mean Arterial Pressure)
The average blood pressure in a person's arteries during one cardiac cycle.
MAP = (CO × SVR) + CVP OR MAP ~ [(2 x diastolic blood pressure) + systolic blood
pressure] / 3.
CO= cardiac output, SVR =systemic vascular resistance, CVP= central
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
The average red blood cell size expressed in femtoliters (fl).
One femtoliter (fL) = 10-15L = 1 cubic micrometer (μm3).
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
The average amount of hemoglobin inside a red blood cell (RBC) expressed in picograms (pg).
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
The average concentration of hemoglobin in the red blood cells expressed as a percent.
The thick, mucoid, dark green contents of the fetal
intestine which is the first rectal discharge from the newborn. Meconium is composed of the
bile secretions of the liver, intestinal glands, amniotic fluid, lipids, blood
group substances and fetal skin cells.
An abnormally small head (a head circumference of 3 standard deviations below
the mean for the gestational age) usually associated with abnormal neurological
findings and mental retardation. Microcephaly be
caused by a chromosomal abnormality, a gene defect, an infection such as
rubella, cytomegalovirus, or toxoplasmosis, exposure to drugs such as alcohol,
aminopterin ,or hydantoin, or a maternal condition such as phenylketonuria (PKU).
Microcephaly occurring with no neurologic defect (other than mental deficiency) and no other
malformation is called primary microcephaly and may be inheritable.
An abnormally small jaw (mandible).
Micrognathia may occur as an isolated
finding or may be found in association with many syndromes including trisomy 18, Treacher-Collins syndrome, Pierre Robin syndrome, Russell-Silver
syndrome , Seckel syndrome, Progeria, and Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
Shortening of all the long bones (humerus, radius,
ulna, femur, tibia, and fibula) of the extremities.
Micromelia is a
characteristic of many forms of skeletal dysplasias including, thanatophoric dysplasia, homozygous achondroplasia,
osteogenesis imperfecta Type II and III, achondrogenesis, diastrophic dysplasia, short rib polydactyly syndrome, Chondroectodermal dysplasia, Campomelic
dysplasia, Kniest dysplasia, dyssegmental dysplasia, hypophosphatasia (perinatal lethal).
A person who provides pregnancy, birth and postnatal support
for normal births. There are three types of midwives practicing in the United States:
- Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses who
are also trained in midwifery. They receive certification from the American College of Nurse Midwives.
- Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
A certified professional midwife is trained in midwifery and has met the
standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives.
- Lay Midwife
An uncertified or unlicensed midwife who was educated through informal routes
rather than through a formal program.
Milia (milk spots)
Tiny, 1 to 2 mm, white bumps (nodules) found on the face and nose of newborn infants. They also
may be found on the mouth or roof of the mouth. Milia in the
newborn are epidermoid cysts believed to occur in sebaceous glands
that are not fully developed. The bumps usually disappear within a few weeks
of delivery without treatment.
(spontaneous abortion, SAB)
A pregnancy loss before 20 weeks' gestation calculated from the date of onset
of the last menses. Spontaneous abortion occurring before 12 weeks' is called
early abortion. Abortion
12 to 20 weeks' is called late abortion. Up to 20 % of all recognized
pregnancies end in miscarriage with 80% occurring during the
Symptoms of miscarriage include bleeding with or without cramping.
The risk of miscarriage recurring in a woman with no live births after one
miscarriage appears to be approximately 13 %, after two prior miscarriages 25%, and after
three miscarriages 50%. However,
if she has had a least one live birth the risk having another miscarriage after
3 prior miscarriages is 30%.
1. Stenchever MA, Droegemueller W, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 4th ed. St.
Louis: Mosby, 2001p. 413-415
2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Education Pamphlet
AP090 -- Early Pregnancy Loss: Miscarriage and Molar Pregnancy 2002
shape of a baby’s head caused by pressure on the
head during childbirth
A bluish-gray birthmark over the lower back and rump of
infants that may be mistaken for bruising. Mongolian spots are most commonly
seen in infants of African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American descent. The
spots are believed to be caused by entrapment of the
cells that produce skin pigment (melanocytes) in
the the innermost layer of skin (dermis).
They are harmless and most will have completely faded by the age five.
One amniotic sac (bag of water)
Monozygotic twins (identical twins):
Two separate embryos
conceived from a single fertilized egg. Identical twins account for about 30% of naturally
occurring twins in the United States
Montevideo units (MVUs)
A measure of uterine contractile force defined as the sum of the uterine
contraction pressures above the resting tone for all contractions in a 10 minute
interval, or the average uterine contraction pressure above the resting tone for all contractions
in a 10 minute interval multiplied by the number on contraction in ten minutes.
4 contractions are each measured to have a pressure of ~ 50 mm Hg above the baseline
in a ten minute period . 50 + 50 +50 +50 = 200 Montevideo units (MVUs)
50 mm Hg X 4 contractions= 200 Montevideo units (MVUs)
Caldeyro-Barcia R, et al. A quantitative study of the action
of synthetic oxytocin on the pregnant human uterus. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1957;
121:18.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1957 Sep;121(1):18-31. No abstract available.
Mucus plug (cervical mucus plug)
An accumulation of thick clear secretions in the cervical canal.
A woman who has been pregnant more than once regardless of whether she carried
the pregnancy to term.
A woman who has given birth to a viable infant at least once before. A multiple
gestation counts as a single birth.
Myelomeningocele (meningomyelocele , spina bifida cystica)
A birth defect in which the spinal cord and the membranes covering the
spinal cord (meninges) protrude through a cleft in the bones of the spine (veretebrae)
usually in the lower back or tailbone (lumbosacral) region.
is a form of spina bifida that typically results in paralysis and loss of
sensation below the level of the spinal defect.