I'm looking for a word or phrase that refers specifically to women who have just given birth, and I've found "emergent mother", but I haven't been able to confirm whether it's used only for women who have just given birth, or whether it also refers to expectant mothers (towards the end of pregnancy). If it refers to expectant mothers as well as to mothers who have just given birth, is there another word or phrase that is used only for mothers who have just given birth?

2 Answers 2


Like SoronelHaetir, I have never heard that phrase. I suspect that it is a typographical error for “expectant mother.” Auto-corrupt strikes again.

The medical adjective for a woman who has recently given birth is “postpartum.” I am not sure how many native speakers know that Latin loan word.

The natural, native phrase is “newly delivered mother.” She has delivered a baby and been delivered from the final weeks of pregnancy.

I slightly disagree with SH’s answer because “new mother” may mean a “mother with a first infant.” So, there is an ambiguity in her suggestion, but it was not sufficient to prevent me from up-voting her answer.

  • Thank you! "Newly delivered mother" sounds perfect! (I don't think "emergent" in this context is a typo though, seeing as it gets about 70 hits on UK pages only) Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 23:26

I have never encountered that coupling and if I did I'd have no idea what was being expressed.

The usual phrasing I have encountered )AME speaker) is "new mother". It would not cover those still expecting but the time that someone remains covered would be highly variable. Perhaps "brand-new mother" if you want to limit it to very shortly following giving birth.

If you want to cover just the time that the actual birthing process is underway, "in labor" is very typical.

  • Thank you! what I'm after is a word/phrase that specifically refers to a woman who has just given birth though (hence not a woman in labour (but thanks for the suggestion!)); I guess new mother would work, but – as you say – it's much vaguer. "Brand-new mother" is more specific, but sounds a bit colloquial to me (and I need it for a more formal/clinical context) – but perhaps it works in a clinical context too? Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 23:00
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    @SoronelH. I have upvoted your answer, but I do think “new mother” is somewhat ambiguous.. It may mean “the mother of a newly born first infant” or “the mother of a newly born infant.” Usually, context will clarify which meaning is intended. Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 23:15

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