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Delivery of the baby through a cut in the abdomen and uterine walls.

The neck of the uterus or womb which is sealed with a plug of mucus during pregnancy. During labour, muscular contractions open up the cervix until it is about 10 cm / 4 inch wide so that the baby can pass through it into the vagina .

Slight discoloration of the skin, usually on the face, which occurs during pregnancy and disappears within weeks of the birth.

A screening test for genetic handicap which can be done as early as 11 weeks. Cells are taken from the tissue that surrounds the fetus and are then analysed.

A fluid that the breasts produce during pregnancy and immediately after the birth. It is full of nutrients and contains antibodies which will protect the baby from some infections.

The fertilization of the egg by the sperm and its implantation in the wall of the uterus.

An abnormality or deformity that exists from birth. It is caused by a damaged gene or the effect of some diseases during pregnancy.

Regular tightening of the muscles of the uterus as they work to dilate the cervix and push the baby down the birth canal.

The moment when the crown of the baby's head appears in the vagina.