lightening

(redirected from lightenings)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

lightening

 [līt´en-ing]
the sensation of decreased abdominal distention caused by descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity, 2 or 3 weeks before labor begins.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

light·en·ing

(līt'en-ing),
Sensation of decreased abdominal distention during the later weeks of pregnancy following the descent of the fetal head into the pelvic inlet.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
The descent of the foetus, resulting in decreased fundal height, an event that occurs about 2 weeks before labour, caused by physiologic changes of the uterus; lightening is characterised by an abrupt sensation of ‘lightness’ or relief from the weightiness felt by the mother which corresponds to the drop of the baby’s head into the pelvis
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

lightening

Dropping Obstetrics The descent of the fetus deeper into the pelvis, resulting in a ↓ in the fundal height, an event that occurs from days to wks–usually 2 wks before labor and is caused by physiologic changes of the uterus; lightening is characterized by an abrupt sensation of 'lightness' or relief from the weightiness felt by the mother which corresponds to the drop of the baby's head into the pelvis. Cf Lightning.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

light·en·ing

(līt'ĕn-ing)
Sensation of decreased abdominal distention during the later weeks of pregnancy following the descent of the fetal head into the pelvic inlet.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

lightening

The sense of relief felt, during the last three or four weeks of pregnancy, with the descent of the presenting part of the fetus, usually the head, more deeply into the pelvis so that the womb occupies a smaller volume of the abdomen. This reduces abdominal distention and occasions some easing of breathing and general discomfort. Lightening is usual in first pregnancies but may not be apparent later.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in classic literature ?
It begins at the foundations, as you will see if you will look at these pictures, and I should think women would rejoice at this lightening of their burdens."
"Not even by lightening it, as they lighten an overloaded vessel?"
Along the bed of the old watercourse that once ran through the gorge they made their way, and as the first faint lightening of the eastern horizon presaged the coming dawn, they paused for a moment upon the edge of a declivity, which appeared to the girl in the strange light of the waning night as a vast, bottomless pit; but, as their captors resumed their way and the light of the new day became stronger, she saw that they were moving downward toward a dense forest.
And they remembered to be grateful to him for his kindness, and gave him thunder and the glowing thunderbolt and lightening: for before that, huge Earth had hidden these.