Common Terminology Used in Midwifery

Midwifery Terminology:

Midwifery is the health science and the health profession that deals with pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period (including care of the newborn), besides the sexual and reproductive health of women throughout their lives. During learning of midwifery subjects or giving care to pregnant women, you may come across some common important words. Here’s a list of common words that are described in this article.

Midwifery terminology
Midwifery terminology

Common Terminology Used in Midwifery:

Some common midwifery terminologies have described the below:


The term gravida comes from the Latin word. It is used to describe the total number of confirmed pregnancies a woman has had, regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy. Depends on conception, there are different types of gravida. Those are in the below:

1. Nulligravida:

A ‘’Nulligravida’ ’is a woman who has never been pregnant.

2. Primigravida:

A ‘’Primigravida’’ is a woman who is pregnant for the first time or has been pregnant one time.

3. Multigravida:

A ‘’Multigravida’’ or ‘’Secundigravida’’ is a woman who has been pregnant more than one time.


Para refers to the total number of pregnancies that a woman has carried past 20 weeks of pregnancy. This number includes both live births and pregnancy losses after 20 weeks, such as stillbirths. Different types of para are pointed out in the following:

1. Primipara:

A ‘’Primiparous’’ is a woman who has been given birth once.

2. Multipara:

A ‘’Multiparous’’ is a woman who has been given birth more than once.

3. Nullipara:

A ‘’Nulliparous’’is a woman who has not given birth previously (regardless of outcome).

4. Grand Multipara:

A Grand Multipara is a woman who has already delivered five or more infants who have achieved a gestational age of 24 weeks or more.

5. Great Grand Multipara:

A great grand multipara has delivered seven or more infants 24 weeks of gestation.


Termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is visible. Categories of abortion

1. Miscarriage:

Spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus without any medical intervention when there is a physical problem with a pregnancy during the first 12 weeks of gestation.

2. Induced Abortion:

An abortion that is the result of any procedure done by a licensed physician or someone under the supervision of a licensed physician to purposefully end a pregnancy is called an induced abortion.


Stillbirth as ‘a baby delivered with no signs of life known to have died after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy’.

Intrauterine Fetal Death (IUD):

Intrauterine death refers to babies with no signs of life in utero.

Categories of Term Pregnancy:

Various categories of term pregnancy have mentioned below:

1. Preterm/Premature birth:

Premature birth is the birth of a baby at less than 37 weeks of gestational age.

2. Full Term Birth:

Full term is the birth of a baby between 39 weeks through 40 weeks and 6 days.

3. Late Term:

Birth of a baby between 41 weeks through 41 weeks, 6 days.

4. Post Term:

Birth of a baby after 42 weeks and beyond.


 Trimester means ‘’3 months’’.  A normal pregnancy lasts about 9 months and has 3 trimesters.

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13 thoughts on “Common Terminology Used in Midwifery”

  1. Erastus Kahengutji
    this is good work but i want more, i am currently doing midwifery as a coarse at an instituition do you mind helping me with more information i want to be a good midwife.
    please kindly contact me privately to my email [email protected] if you are willing to help me out with more information

  2. Zy'keria Moultrie

    I’m a sophomore in college and working on having a career in midwifery, Would anyone have any great tips about starting out in midwifery and some requirements I’ll need?

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