What do my pregnancy notes mean?

DoctorThey’re the holy grail of your pregnancy, the one thing (apart from your baby of course!) that stays with you throughout the whole 9 months.  Your pregnancy notes contain everything that your healthcare team need to know about you, your baby and your developing bump, but what do all the abbreviations, jargon and codes mean?

Baby charity Tommy’s and Asda are lending a helping hand to would-be-parents, with the help of the charity’s ‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide, available for free in Asda Pharmacies across the UK.  Here, the guide gives a breakdown of all the abbreviations and terms that you are likely to come across in your notes…

During your booking appointment, midwives fill in records (called ‘notes’), which you will usually look after. Take good care of them, as there is no copy! Ask if you don’t understand anything and keep them handy in case of an emergency. To help you make sense of what your midwife or doctor has written, here are the more common terms and abbreviations that may be used.

BP: Blood pressure – the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body

BR: Breech, which means your baby’s bottom or feet are down towards your pelvis

CEPH: Cephalic, which means your baby’s head is down towards your pelvis

Cx: Cervix – the neck of your womb, which will start to open when you go into labour

DNA: Did not attend

DD: Estimated date of delivery – the day your baby is due

Fe: Chemical symbol for iron FH: Fetal heart – your unborn baby’s heartbeat

FHHR: Fetal heart heard regular, which means that the midwife or doctor has heard your baby’s heart

FMF: Fetal movement felt

Fundal height: The height of your bump, which your midwife or doctor will measure as your baby grows

Hb: Haemoglobin, which is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body – a low haemoglobin level means you are anaemic and will be given iron tablets

LMP: Last menstrual period

MSU: Midstream sample of urine

Multigravida: You have been pregnant before, including miscarriage

NAD: Nothing abnormal detected

Oed: Oedema, which means swelling because of water retention

Para 0: No deliveries or births past 24 weeks

Para 1: You have had one other pregnancy that has gone beyond 24 weeks (para 2 is for two children and so on)

PET: Pre-eclampsia –a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition

Primigravida: You are pregnant for the first time

SFH: Symphysis fundal height – the measurement of the height of your baby from your pelvis

TCA: To come again – you need another appointment

TRACE/TR: This means that tiny amounts of substances such as sugar or protein have been found in your urine.  If more has been found, ‘+’ will be used instead

VE: Vaginal – or internal – examination

Having a Healthy Pregnancy

The ‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide is Tommy’s staple pregnancy health publication, produced to help women maximize their pregnancy health.  It provides key information on the different stages of pregnancy and antenatal care, and was revised in 2012 – with funding from Asda – to also focus on evidence-based lifestyle advice, including diet & nutrition, weight management, exercise, smoking cessation and maintaining good mental well-being.

The 104-page full-colour-book has ten chapters including:

    • A detailed pregnancy calendar
    • Chapters on diet, weight, exercise, smoking, mental health and drugs and alcohol.
    • Antenatal care – from finding a midwife to what happens during your antenatal appointments, as well as what your notes mean.
    • Preparing for birth – writing a birth plan, packing your bag for hospital and pain relief options.
    • Labour and birth – what to expect.

Tommy'sFor your free copy, all you need to do is visit an Asda pharmacy and pick one up while stocks last!  To find your nearest Asda store, go to: www.storelocator.asda.com/ For further information go to: www.tommys.org/asda

Having a Healthy PregnancyAll of Tommy’s pregnancy health publications are available for free from Tommy’s website: www.tommys.org/store

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