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Supporting you through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood
Terms and abbreviations
Understanding terms and abbreviations
Throughout your pregnancy you will attend various antenatal appointments both with your GP and at the hospital, at the first appointment you will be given your hospital notes and it is your responsibility to take these to every appointment with you so that the doctors and midwives can record on them the details of the routine tests and the progress of your pregnancy. If you travel out of your area it is a good idea to have your notes with you in case you need medical attention, all your information will be at hand.
These notes are written mostly in abbreviations to keep them neat and precise which works well for the medical staff who understand them but it is important that you understand them too so here is a list of the most common abbreviations and their meanings along with some other medical terms that you might come across during your pregnancy:
AFP
Alphafetoprotein. This is a substance present in the blood of pregnant women.
ALB
Albumin. This is a protein substance; your urine will be tested for this as it can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
A/N
Antenatal
APH
Antepartum Haemorrhage. Bleeding before the birth.
BI
Blood
BP
Blood Pressure
BR
Breech presentation. The baby is lying feet or bottom down.
Ceph
Cephalic. The baby is lying head down.
CS
Caesarean section
CTG
Baby's heartbeat tracing
Cx
Cervix. Neck of the womb.
EDD
Estimated Date of Delivery
EFW
Estimated Fetal Weight
Eng
Engaged. The largest part of the baby's head has passed the pelvic 'brim'.
Episiotomy
A cut made in the perineum (the skin between the vagina and the anus) to enable the baby to be born more quickly.
FBC
Full Blood Count
Fe
Iron has been prescribed.
Fetus
The medical term for the baby before it is born.
FH
Fetal Heart
FHH
Fetal Heart Heard
FHHR
Fetal Heart Heard & Regular
FM
Fetal movement
FMF
Fetal Movement Felt
Free
Head not yet in pelvis.
Fundus
This is the top of the uterus, the fundus height is the length between the top of the uterus and the pubic bone. This measurement helps date the pregnancy and asses the growth of the baby.
GBS
Group B Streptococcus. A type of infection.
Gest
Gestation. The number of weeks into pregnancy.
GTT
Glucose Tolerance Test. For diabetes.
Hb
Haemoglobin. An indication of iron levels in the blood. If this is too low it may indicate anaemia.
Hypertension
High blood pressure
Hypotension
Low blood pressure
LIE
This is the position of the baby in the uterus. Long Lie or LL means Longitudinal Lie, the baby is straight up and down.
LMP
Last Menstrual Period
Multigravida
A woman who has had at least one pregnancy.
Multipara/Mulitp
A woman who has given birth at least once before.
MSU / MSSU
Mid-stream Specimen of Urine
NAD
Nothing Abnormal Detected
NE
Not Engaged
Occipito Anterior
The back of the baby's head is towards your front. LOA is Left Occipito Anterior and ROA is Right Occipito Anterior this describes whether the back of the baby's head to towards the left or right.
Occipito Posterior
The back of the baby's head is towards your back. LOP and ROP describe the position as left or right.
Oed
Oedema. Fluid retention which causes swelling in your ankles, fingers and elsewhere.
Palpation
The midwife or doctor feels the baby by moving their hands over your abdomen.
Para 0
A woman who has no other children.
Para 1(etc)
A woman who has 1 child
Perineum
The area of skin between the vagina and the anus.
PIH
Pregnancy induced hypertension
PIH/PET
Pre-eclampsia
Placenta praevia
When the placenta is low down sometimes it covers the cervix and blocks the baby's exit.
Post natal
After the birth.
Presentation
The position of the baby, with reference to the presenting part, that is the body part that will be born first (usually the vertex or the back of the head).
Pre-term
Born before 37 week of pregnancy.
Primigravida
A woman pregnant for the first time.
Primapara
Sometimes called 'Prim' or 'primip' meaning a woman giving birth for the first time
Prot.
Protein
Quickening
The first time you feel the baby moving.
Rh
Rhesus factor
RSA
Right Sacrum Anterior. The most common breech position.
Sug.
Sugar
Suture
The spaces between the bones in the baby's head
TCA
To Come Again
Term
40 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period
Tr
Trace. Avery small amount.
US
Ultrasound Scan
UTI
Urinary Tract Infection
VE/PV
Vaginal Examination. Internal.
Ventouse
Vacum Extraction
VX
Vertex. The crown of the baby's head.
+/++/+++
Increasing amounts
It is important that you
understand them
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