afterbirth

noun

af·​ter·​birth ˈaf-tər-ˌbərth How to pronounce afterbirth (audio)
: the placenta and fetal membranes that are expelled after delivery

Examples of afterbirth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there are times when afterbirth cramps may be a cause for concern. Devan McGuinness, Parents, 3 Sep. 2023 For instance, a female desert elephant gives birth in a harsh environment ravaged by drought, taking a refreshing shower in the afterbirth—the first time this behavior has been caught on camera. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 21 Apr. 2023 She’s cleaned and dressed before the umbilical cord is cut and the afterbirth comes. Omar L. Gallaga, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2022 The objects lend some weight to one of two theories, currently under vigorous debate, that explain how planets are made in the afterbirth of stars. Rebecca Boyle, Discover Magazine, 31 Dec. 2020 But neuroscientist Mark Kristal says human mothers might be missing out on the benefits other mammals receive from gobbling up their afterbirth. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 30 Mar. 2012 From rodents to cattle to apes, new moms turn to the business of eating or licking up the afterbirth, including the liver-like placenta, as soon as the baby is out. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 30 Mar. 2012 The two doulas stayed on the phone with the couple to help with the afterbirth and cutting the umbilical cord. Sara Smart, CNN, 28 Dec. 2022 Then huddling slave women surround a bloody afterbirth plopped onto a cabin floor. Armond White, National Review, 12 May 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'afterbirth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

after- + birth entry 1

First Known Use

1527, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of afterbirth was in 1527

Dictionary Entries Near afterbirth

Cite this Entry

“Afterbirth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/afterbirth. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

afterbirth

noun
af·​ter·​birth ˈaf-tər-ˌbərth How to pronounce afterbirth (audio)
: the placenta and membranes of the fetus that are expelled after childbirth

Medical Definition

afterbirth

noun
af·​ter·​birth ˈaf-tər-ˌbərth How to pronounce afterbirth (audio)
: the placenta and fetal membranes that are expelled after delivery

called also secundines

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