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Glossary

Epidural:

Episiotomy: A deliberate cut made in the perineum (the muscle between the vaginal opening and anus) in order the enlarge the vaginal opening during birth.

Multiparious: A woman who has given birth at least once before.

Nulliparious:  A woman who has never given birth before.

Oxytocin: A complex neuropeptide produced in our brains and responsible for many important behaviors such as bonding and social interacting.  During labor, it is responsible for stimulating contractions, pain reduction, and that intense euphoric feeling of love between the mother and baby after the birth.

Pitocin: The artificial form of oxytocin often used in hospital births to “jump-start” or induce labors.  It does not create the feelings of bonding or euphoria that oxytocin does, but it does create contractions that are far more intense (and therefore longer and more painful).

Spinal Tap: