Definition of PERINATAL


Perinatal functions as an adjective describing the period encompassing the late stages of pregnancy and the early days after childbirth, typically referring to the time from the 20th week of gestation to the first week after birth. It is used in medical contexts to denote the period surrounding childbirth and encompasses both prenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) stages of development and care for both the mother and the newborn.

Medical Context and Care: In medical terminology, perinatal refers to the time frame surrounding childbirth and includes prenatal care provided to pregnant individuals as well as postnatal care provided to mothers and newborns in the immediate aftermath of delivery. This period is crucial for monitoring maternal and fetal health, managing complications, and ensuring the well-being of both mother and child during the transition to parenthood.

Prenatal Care: During the perinatal period, prenatal care focuses on monitoring the health and development of the fetus, screening for potential complications or risk factors, and providing support and guidance to expectant mothers to promote a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal visits may include medical examinations, ultrasounds, screenings for genetic disorders, and discussions about nutrition, exercise, and childbirth preparation.

Childbirth and Delivery: The perinatal period extends through childbirth, encompassing labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period. Obstetric care providers play a crucial role in supporting women through labor, facilitating safe delivery, and monitoring maternal and fetal well-being during and after childbirth. The delivery process marks the transition from pregnancy to parenthood and initiates the postnatal phase of care for both mother and baby.

Postnatal Care: Following childbirth, perinatal care shifts to postnatal care, focusing on the health and recovery of the mother and the well-being of the newborn. Postnatal care includes medical assessments of the mother’s physical and emotional health, breastfeeding support, newborn screenings, immunizations, and guidance on infant care, bonding, and postpartum recovery. This phase of care is essential for promoting maternal-infant bonding, addressing postpartum issues, and ensuring the healthy development of the newborn.

Maternal and Infant Health: The perinatal period is critical for promoting maternal and infant health, preventing complications, and reducing the risk of adverse outcomes for both mother and child. Access to comprehensive perinatal care, including prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal services, is essential for improving maternal-infant health outcomes, reducing disparities, and enhancing the overall well-being of families.

Research and Advances: Ongoing research and medical advances in perinatal care contribute to improving outcomes for pregnant individuals and newborns, enhancing prenatal screening and diagnostic techniques, developing interventions for high-risk pregnancies, and optimizing obstetric and neonatal care practices. These efforts aim to address maternal and neonatal mortality, improve birth outcomes, and promote the health and well-being of families during the perinatal period.

In conclusion, perinatal refers to the period surrounding childbirth, encompassing the late stages of pregnancy and the early days after delivery. It is a critical phase for maternal and infant health, encompassing prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care for pregnant individuals and newborns. Comprehensive perinatal care plays a vital role in promoting healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and positive outcomes for mothers and babies, reflecting the importance of holistic support and medical intervention during this transformative period of life.

PERINATAL in a sentence

  • The hospital offers specialized care for perinatal conditions and high-risk pregnancies.
  • Perinatal mortality rates have declined significantly in recent years due to advances in medical technology.
  • The doctor discussed the potential risks and complications associated with perinatal infections.
  • The study examined the impact of maternal nutrition on perinatal outcomes.
  • The clinic provides comprehensive perinatal support services for expectant mothers and their families.
  • Perinatal depression affects many women during pregnancy and after childbirth.
  • The hospital has state-of-the-art facilities for perinatal care, including neonatal intensive care units.
  • The researchers conducted a longitudinal study to investigate perinatal factors influencing child development.

Etymology of PERINATAL

The term perinatal is derived from the combination of two Latin roots: “peri-” meaning “around” or “about,” and “natalis” meaning “pertaining to birth.” In medical contexts, perinatal is used to describe the period encompassing the time just before and after birth, typically including the weeks leading up to and following delivery.

  • Peri-: From the Greek “peri,” meaning “around” or “about,” this prefix is commonly used in medical terminology to indicate a time or space around a particular event or condition.
  • -natal: Derived from the Latin “natalis,” meaning “pertaining to birth,” this suffix is often used in medical terms to refer to aspects related to birth or the newborn.

The term perinatal is widely employed in healthcare settings to describe the care, processes, and conditions associated with pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period. Its etymology underscores its focus on the time “around birth” and highlights its relevance in the medical field.


  • Antenatal
  • Prenatal
  • Obstetric
  • Postnatal
  • Maternal
  • Childbearing
  • Pregnancy-related
  • Labor and delivery


  • Non-pregnant
  • Non-obstetric
  • Non-maternal
  • Non-childbearing
  • Preconception
  • Non-natal
  • Non-postpartum
  • Pre-labor


  • Maternity
  • Newborn
  • Obstetrics
  • Labor
  • Postpartum
  • Childbirth
  • Parental preparation
  • Maternal health

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