I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of friends who are pregnant. Maybe it’s because of lockdown, or maybe it’s because I have a lot of friends in this stage (part) of life, but it seems like more and more people around me are having babies. When I talked to some of my German friends who have had a baby recently, I realized that I didn’t know any pregnancy vocabulary in German! Sometimes, you don’t know some vocabulary words until you encounter (come across, find) them irl (in real life). This is why I thought it was important to cover pregnancy vocabulary in English.

Have you been pregnant or do you know someone who is having a baby soon? Then this pregnancy vocabulary may be useful for you. Here you’ll find some of the most common pregnancy vocabulary and phrases you’ll hear in English. Hopefully you find this useful!

Due date

If someone you knows tells you that they are pregnant (are going to have a baby), one of the first things you’ll probably want to know is when the baby is going to come (be born). In English, this is called the due date. The due date is the day that doctors expect the baby to be born, although it’s not always an exact day. The baby may come early or late, and sometimes the doctors change the due date later in the pregnancy, but the due date gives you the general day to expect (find something likely to happen) the baby.

For example:

  • I’m so excited that you’re having a baby! When is the due date? Do you know yet?
  • Her due date was May 24th, but the baby came a few days early. Her daughter was born on May 21st!

How many weeks are you?

If you want to know how far along (how long they’ve been pregnant for) someone is, then you can ask, “How many weeks are you?” Pregnancies are about 40 weeks long, and this phrase can be useful at the beginning of a pregnancy. A woman may not look pregnant, yet when they tell you that they’re going to have a baby, and then this phrase will be very useful. It can be a great phrase at any phase (part) of pregnancy, though, if you want to know how much further (longer) a woman has to go before she has a baby.

For example:

  • – I’m pregnant!  – Wow, that’s fantastic! Congratulations. How many weeks are you?
  • – I’m going to have a baby in June.  – That’s great! How many weeks are you?

Trimester

As we said above, a pregnancy is about 40 weeks long. Because pregnancies are about nine months long, they’re divided (separated) into trimesters. One trimester is about three months long, and are separated into the first trimester (first three months), second trimester (second three months), and third trimester (last three months). Different parts of pregnancy are associated with different trimesters, and a woman may experience different feelings in different trimesters. They may be able to do different things depending on how far along they are (how many weeks they are!), and whether they’re in the first, second, or third trimester.

For example:

  • She’s pretty far along in the third trimester. Her baby will be coming any day now, so she’s very excited to meet her baby!
  • I’m only in the first trimester, so I can still do most things. I’ve had to adjust my workout schedule, though, and I’m not hitting the gym (going) as hard (often) anymore.

To deliver/ to go into labor

What do you call the process of when the baby comes into the world / is born? How do you talk about the time that a woman is giving birth to a baby? In English, we would say that a woman is delivering a baby or is going into labor. When it’s time for the baby to make its grand entrance, the woman will go into labor. This means that her body starts the process of moving the baby from the womb (where a baby lives in a woman) to the outside world. A labor may take many hours, or it may be pretty quick! There’s no way to tell how long it will be in advance (before, beforehand). A synonym for going into labor is to deliver a baby, and it’s up to the person which phrase they use.

For example:

  • She went into labor at 1am, and her baby was born around 10am. Things seemed to go pretty quickly!
  • She went into labor on Thursday afternoon, but her baby wasn’t born until the next day. It took a long time!
  • The baby was delivered at 12:52 pm on Wednesday. She was so happy to finally meet her child.

Midwife

Who helps a woman while she is in labor? She may have a midwife, who is a person, typically (usually) a woman, who helps a woman while she is delivering a baby. A midwife knows all about pregnancy, birth, and the time after birth, and is able to help a woman through the whole process. A midwife can assess (examine) women, deliver babies, and examine babies after they are born. Midwives can assist women through all parts of pregnancy, and are very knowledgeable about the process of pregnancy and birth!

For example:

  • She had the same midwife throughout the pregnancy and birth, so they got to know each other very well. She really trusted her midwife’s opinion.
  • As soon as I went into labor, I called my midwife. She met me at the hospital and helped me throughout the whole delivery.

Do you know anyone who’s pregnant currently? Do you find any of this pregnancy vocabulary useful? Let us know in the comments below!


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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and can’t wait to meet her friends’ new babies!

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