Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_20-2



Gestation is the period of time during which the fetus develops in the uterus of a woman. It begins with conception and ends with birth.

The word originates from the Latin verb gestare, meaning to bear. When a woman is carrying more than one fetus, as is the case with twins or triplets, the term “multiple gestation” or “multifetal gestation” is used.

The term “gravida”, which originates from the Latin adjective gravidus, meaning pregnant or laden, refers to a woman who is currently pregnant. The term “primigravida” describes a woman who has become pregnant for the first time. A “nulligravida” is a woman who has never been pregnant before. The description “gravida 0”, “gravida 1”, gravida 2″, etc. refers to the number of pregnancies a woman has had including a current one.

The term “primipara”, which originates from the Latin verb parere, meaning to give birth or to produce, describes a woman who for the first time has given birth to one or more...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Urs M. Nater
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria