Created with linguists and medical professionals to redefine the language of pregnancy and motherhood: we’re starting the #RenamingRevolution.
In an effort to shine a light on the outdated terminology that women experience throughout fertility and motherhood, we started a viral campaign called the #RenamingRevolution.
Thousands of you came forward to share the hurtful terms you’ve experienced first-hand, like incompetent cervix, geriatric pregnancy, and spontaneous abortion (yes, these words are still being used in 2022!).
It was clear to us that something needed to change.
So today, we’re announcing the launch of the #RenamingRevolution Glossary.
“Peanut’s glossary is the first step in transforming some of the negatively-charged terms that are too often used during the most sensitive and vulnerable times in women’s lives” ‒ Michelle Kennedy, founder and CEO of Peanut
The #RenamingRevolution Motherhood & Fertility Glossary
With help from linguists and medical professionals, this glossary aims to redefine the negatively-charged terms that are too often used during the most sensitive and vulnerable times in women’s lives.
We’ve worked to make these terms as inclusive and clear as possible, but if you have any suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us ‒ we want to hear from you, and we always want to do better.
Some topics referenced in the Glossary are sensitive and may be triggering, so if you need to click away and take time for yourself, you do you.
Are you ready? Let’s start the #RenamingRevolution.
First, we’ll start with some outdated terms used to describe various challenges or considerations for those who are TTC (trying to conceive) or just starting their fertility journey:
- Reproductive challenges: Replacing “barren”. When someone is facing fertility challenges and hasn’t had children yet.
- Family planning: Replacing “biological clock”. The time period when people may consider starting a family.
- Non-implantation: Replacing “failed embryo transfer” or “implantation failure”. When an embryo doesn’t implant or transfer to the uterine lining.
- Uterine lining implantation struggles (ULIS): Replacing “hostile uterus. When cervical mucus makes the movement of sperm challenging.
- Early cervical dilation: Replacing “incompetent cervix”. When the cervix shortens and opens early without any other symptoms of labor.
- Reproductive struggles: Replacing “infertile”. Struggles to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
- Uterine lining challenges: Replacing “inhospitable womb” or “inhospitable uterus”. When uterine conditions make it difficult to become or stay pregnant.
- Early ovarian decrease: Replacing “lazy ovary” or “premature ovarian failure”. Ovaries stop functioning earlier than expected.
- Low ovarian reserve: Replacing “poor ovarian reserve”. When the number and development of eggs is lower than expected.
- Difficulty responding: Replacing “poor responder”. Someone whose ovaries and body do not respond to fertility medications.
- Posterior cervical position: Replacing “shy cervix”. A cervix that tilts back toward the spine.
- Fertilization unable to occur: Replacing “total fertilization failure”. When no oocytes are able to fertilize.
- Reproductive challenges unrelated to ovulation or anatomy: Replacing “unexplained infertility”. When ovulation is regular, fallopian tubes are open, and sperm is normal, but conception is still a struggle.
- 6-10 week pregnancy scan: Replacing “viability scan”. Determines if embryos are present and if the pregnancy is progressing.
Pregnancy loss is hard, and something so many of us experience.
And unfortunately, the terminology around this sensitive subject still needs work.
Here are our suggestions:
- Early pregnancy without an embryo: Replacing “blighted ovum”. When a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but doesn’t develop into an embryo.
- Early pregnancy loss: *Replacing “chemical pregnancy”. When an egg is fertilized but never fully implants in the uterus.
- Compassionate removal: Replacing “evacuation of retained products of conception”. Removal of the pregnancy tissue from the womb.
- Ectopic pregnancy: Replacing “external mass”. A pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus.
- Pregnancy that will not carry to term: *Replacing “failed pregnancy”. A pregnancy that will not carry through to term.
- Stillbirth: Replacing “fetal demise”. Loss of life in the uterus or after the 20th week of gestation.
- Recurrent miscarriage: Replacing “habitual aborter”. Three or more consecutive pregnancy losses before 20 weeks of gestation.
- Early stillbirth: Replacing “late miscarriage”. Loss of a pregnancy between 14 and 24 weeks.
- Compassionate induction: Replacing “medical termination”. Ending the pregnancy by taking medicine.
- Miscarriage without symptoms: Replacing “missed miscarriage”, “missed abortion”, or “silent miscarriage”. When the embryo hasn’t survived but hasn’t been released yet.
- Pregnancy unable to continue: Replacing “non-viable pregnancy”. When the fetus of baby is unable to be born alive.
- Pregnancy tissue: Replacing “products of conception”. The tissue derived from the union of an egg and a sperm.
- Pregnancy loss: Replacing “spontaneous abortion”. Loss of pregnancy naturally before 20 weeks.
- Pregnancy bleeding: Replacing “threatened miscarriage” or “threatened abortion”. Abnormal bleeding and abdominal pain that occurs while the pregnancy still continues.
- Tubal loss: Replacing “tubal abortion”. When the embryo is passed through the fallopian tube into the abdomen.
- Miscarried multiple: Replacing “vanishing twin”. A multiple gestation pregnancy that results in a single delivery due to loss.
Even the terms used throughout pregnancy can be loaded with harmful meanings.
We’re looking to change that.
- 35+ pregnancy: Replacing “advanced maternal age”. Pregnancy at the age of 35 or older.
- Estimated date of delivery: Replacing “due for confinement”. The estimated delivery date of a pregnancy.
- 35+ pregnancy: Replacing “elderly primigravida”. Pregnancy for the first time at the age of 35 or older.
- 35+ pregnancy: Replacing “geriatric pregnancy”. Pregnancy at the age of 35 or older.
- Approaching 35: Replacing “geriatric territory”. When someone considering pregnancy will soon be 35 years old.
- Life-limiting diagnosis: Replacing “incompatible with life”. When an unborn child is diagnosed with life-limiting conditions.
- Irregular contractions: Replacing “irritable uterus”. Non-labor inducing contractions that occur frequently.
- Uterine atony challenges: Replacing “lazy uterus”. When the uterus does not contract back on its own after pregnancy.
- Pregnancy nausea: Replacing “morning sickness”. Nausea and sickness at any time during pregnancy.
- Smooth pregnancy: Replacing “uneventful pregnancy”. When the second half of pregnancy is without medical complications or challenges.
Birth can be an exhilirating and sometimes traumatizing experience for many mothers.
And the terminology around birth can definitely be improved to help counter some of that trauma.
- Birth difference: Replacing “birth defect”. A physical or biochemical difference present at birth.
- Birth preferences: Replacing “birth plan”. Plans, priorities, and wants for one’s labor experience.
- Ineffective induction: Replacing “failed induction”. An unsuccessful attempt at induction, indicating the need to try again or have a cesarean birth.
- Trial-led cue for cesarean: Replacing “failed trial of labor or VBAC”. When a challenging attempt at vaginal delivery suggests that cesarean birth will be safer.
- Blocked descent: Replacing “failure to descend”. When baby gets stuck in the birth canal.
- Slowed labor: Replacing “failure to progress”. When labor slows and delays delivery of the baby.
- Baby experiencing heart rate pattern changes: Replacing “fetal distress”. Indication that baby has not been receiving enough oxygen.
- Baby-led cue for cesarean: Replacing “fetal intolerance to labor”. When changes in baby’s heart rate pattern indicate a cesarean brith will be safer.
- Irregular positioning: Replacing “malpresentation”. When the baby is in an unusual position as the birth approaches.
- Vaginal birth or surgical birth: Replacing “natural birth”. When a baby is born vaginally or via cesarean birth.
- Pushing challenges: Replacing “poor maternal effort”. When maternal exhaustion and labor fatigue interferes with fetal descent.
- Amniotic sac release: Replacing “rupture the membranes”. The release of amnniotic fluid from around the fetus at any time before labor starts.
- Assisted birth: Replacing “trial of forceps”. Assistance during labor with obstetric forceps to help deliver the baby.
- Non-dilated cervix: Replacing “unfavorable cervix”. A cervix that is not prepared for vaginal delivery.
Even after birth, there’ still outdated terminology to describe parenting and children’s development.
- Non-breast feeding or NBF: Replacing “artificial feeding”. Formula feeding or bottle feeding.
- Nourished is best: Replacing “breast is best”. A healthy baby with a full belly is the most important thing; every mother’s feeding situation is different.
- Slow to grow: Replacing “failure to thrive”. When baby is under a certain percentile.
- Full-time childcarer: Replacing “full-time mom”. A mother who cares for their children full-time.
- 35+ mom: Replacing “geriatric mother”. Mother at the age of 35 years or older.
- Low milk supply: Replacing “insufficient milk supply”. Lower milk production when breastfeeding.
- Independent: Replacing “non-committal”. Having children before marriage or being a single parent.
- Full-time childcarer: Replacing “stay-at-home mom”. A mother who cares for their children full-time.
Feel free to browse the entire #RenamingRevolution Glossary here:
We hope our glossary will serve as an important resource for anyone who speaks to women about their maternal experiences moving forward, and be a part of creating a stigma-free future.
We’re also sending out printed copies to clinics, classes, and more ‒ if you’d like to request one, click here.
Thank you to everyon who made this #RenamingRevolution Glossary possible: Amanda Montell (author and language scholar), Dr. Viviana Coles (doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Houston Relationship Therapy), Dr. Somi Javaid (OB-GYN doctor, surgeon, and founder of HerMD), Dr. Jessica Zucker (psychologist and author), Chrissy Teigan (model, influencer, and activist), and you, our Peanut community.
We couldn’t have done this without you and your support.
If you want to be part of our Peanut community, we’d be happy to have you ‒ we think you’ll fit right in.