Birth is the process in mammals by which a fetus is expelled from the body of its mother.


Medical meanings

  • Childbirth is the process at the end of a successful human pregnancy that results in a baby being born.
  • Birth defect is a physical or mental abnormality present at the time of birth.
  • Multiple birth is the birth of two (twins), three (triplets), four (quadruplets), etc., babies resulting from a single pregnancy.
  • The birth canal is the term used for the vagina during birth, as it is the route through which the infant passes during a vaginal birth.
  • Cesarean section is surgical birth through the wall of the abdomen.
  • Birth control methods are devices, medications or behavior patterns to reduce the probability of pregnancy. Birth control pills are contraceptives which are taken orally.
  • Infertility treatments are devices, medications, or behavior patterns to increase the probability of pregnancy.
  • Birth pangs are the pains felt by the mother during labour, resulting from contractions of the uterus and pressure on nerves and organs.
  • Premature birth is the birth of an infant before the full term of pregnancy.
  • Stillbirth is the birth of a dead fetus or an infant.
  • Birth trauma is a theory in some branches of psychology and alternative medicine that the baby experiences "extreme" pain during the birthing process and that this pain influences the child later in life.
  • Rebirthing is a branch of alternative medicine.

Legal meanings

  • Birthday is a day to commemorate one's birth. It is an annual event based either on the anniversary of a person's date of birth, or on astrological birthtime calculations.
  • Birth certificate is a legal document describing details of a person's birth.
  • A nuclear family comprising the father, mother, brother or sister, is an institution where the members are related by birth.
  • A person is considered of illegitimate birth if he is born of parents not validly married to each other.

Spiritual meanings

  • Astrology is based upon the belief that an individual's life is influenced by the geocentric positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets in the sky or below the horizon at the moment of birth; a natal chart is calculated using the exact time, date, and place of birth in order to try and interpret these cyclical influences on a person's life.
  • Virgin Birth is the Christian doctrine that asserts that Jesus Christ was born without the participation of a human father.
  • Rebirth is a belief that a person is born again after death based on the karma of his previous births.

Metaphorical meanings

The term birth is used metaphorically to refer to a beginning, especially of a natural phenomenon, one that is impressive in its scope or complexity, or one that is viewed favorably.

  • Stellar evolution is the field of study the deals with the birth of stars and its lifecycle.

Birth in literature and the arts

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