longed labor, infection, and hemorrhage; and recognition and resuscitation of neonates who fail to initiate respiration at birth.

Small for gestational age (SGA) (also called “small-for-dates”):

Lower than 10 percent on a birth-weight-for-gestational-age, sex-specific, single/twins growth reference curve.

Spina bifida:

Incomplete closure of the spine through which the cord and meninges may or may not protrude.


The death of a fetus weighing at least 500 g (or when birth weight is unavailable, after 22 completed weeks of gestation, or with a crown-heel length of 25 cm or more) before the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother. Synonymous with late fetal death.


The systematic collection and analysis of data in order to make management decisions.

Term birth:

Baby born between 37 and 42 completed weeks of gestation.

Total births:

All births, live and stillborn (late fetal deaths).

Traditional birth attendants:

Lay persons who assist women in many rural settings during labor and delivery. They have minimal formal education, minimal or no medical training, minimal or no medical oversight, and generally a low caseload.

Unsafe abortion:

Unsafe abortion is termination of an unwanted pregnancy by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both. An abortion can be considered as unsafe when it is performed under circumstances in which there are risks of morbidity and mortality over and above those inherent in the procedure when performed under optimal conditions—that is, under conditions of asepsis and with appropriate skills and equipment.

Very early neonatal period:

First 24 hours of a newborn’s life.

Very low birth weight (VLBW):

Less than 1,500 grams.

Vital registration:

Identifying and recording every live birth and every death of a pregnant woman, late fetal death (22 or 28 weeks, depending on the jurisdiction), infant death (neonatal or postneonatal), and maternal death.

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