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  • Stephanie Flynn

Your Pregnancy A-Z




There's a complete vocabulary used by midwives and doctors in pregnancy - but it can be really confusing if you've never heard it before. Do you ever hear medical jargon being used and wish that they would speak just plain old English! Here's a breakdown on common terminology and acronyms:


ARM

Artificial Rupture of Membranes

Part of the induction process, where a doctor or midwife artificially breaks your waters using a small plastic hook.


Breech

Baby is bottom down.


Frank Breech

Baby is bottom down, with both legs straight upwards by their head

Footling Breech

Baby is bottom down, with one or both feet below their bottom

Complete Breech

Baby is bottom down with their legs bent at the knees


picture from pregnant.org

BP

Blood Pressure


BPM

Beats Per Minute

Relating to the baby's heart rate


Brim

Top of your pelvis.


Cephalic

Baby is head down


CRL

Crown Rump Length

The length of a fetus from head to bottom, this length is used to 'date' a pregnancy


CTG

Cardiotocograph

The machine used to monitor your contractions and baby's heart rate


DOB

Date of birth


ECV

External Cephalic Version

A procedure offered to women with a breech baby, where they will try to turn baby around


EDD

Estimated Date of Delivery


Engaged

Baby's head is within the pelvis

2/5 Palpable

The amount of baby's head that can be felt above the pelvis- measured in 5ths. 0/5 palpable would be fully engaged.


FH (FHR)

Fetal Heart Rate

Baby's heart rate (in utero)


FHH

Fetal Heart Heard

You may see this if they have not timed the baby's heart rate


FBC

Full Blood Count

A blood test offered in pregnancy


FSE

Fetal Scalp Electrode

A way of monitoring the baby's heart during birth where a small electrode is attached to baby's scalp after your waters have broken.


Grand Multip

Women who have given birth more than five times (to babies over 24 weeks gestation)


G

Gravida

Number of pregnancies


P

Parity

Number of births to babies over 24 weeks gestation


G3P1+1

Gravida 3, Para 1 + 1

This would be a woman who is currently pregnant and has given birth once before and has a miscarriage or termination before 24 weeks.


GBS

Group B Strep


GDM

Gestational Diabetes


GTT

Glucose Tolerance Test

Test for Gestational Diabetes


Hb

Haemoglobin

A low Hb in pregnancy may be an indication of anaemia


Head Free

Baby's head is not engaged at all


IOL

Induction of Labour


IUGR

Intrauterine growth restriction

When a baby's growth slows down or is below the expected level in pregnancy


Lie

Which way is the baby lying in the uterus


LMP

Last Menstrual Period

Used to date a pregnancy until a scan is used


LOP

Left Occipital Posterior

Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally backwards to the left


LOT

Left Occipital Transverse

Baby is head down, with their back facing directly to the left.


LSCS

Lower Segment Caesarean Section


MSU

Midstream Specimen Urine

Where your urine is dipped with a dipstick or sent to a lab for testing- this can help indicate possible urine infections, thrush, diabetes, pre-eclampsia and other medical conditions.


Multip/multigravida

Women who have given birth more than once (to babies over 24 weeks gestation)


NBBS

Newborn Blood Spot

A test given to newborn babies to check for genetic conditions. Baby's heel is pricked and 5 spots of blood are sampled. Also known as the 'heel prick test'.


OA

Occipital Anterior

Baby is head down, with their back facing directly forwards


Oblique (lie)

Baby is lying diagonally across the uterus (can be breech or cephalic)


OP

Occipital Posterior

Baby is head down, with their back facing directly backwards.


picture from Anthro doula

PPH

Post-Partum Haemorrhage

Bleeding of over 500ml after birth


Presentation

Which part of the baby's body is presenting at the pelvis/vagina.


Primip/ Primagravida

Women who have not given birth before


PROM

Premature Rupture of Membranes. When your waters have broken but you have not gone into labour or your baby has not been born in the UK this is currently within 24 hours.


PPROM

Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy.


ROA

Right Occipital Anterior

Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally forwards to the right


ROP

Right Occipital Posterior

Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally backwards to the right


ROT

Right Occipital Transverse

Baby is head down, with their back facing directly to the right


SBR

Serum Bilirubin

A blood test done on babies with symptoms of jaundice, to measure the level of bilirubin in their blood


SROM

Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes

When your waters have broken spontaneously


SVD

Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery

A vaginal birth that was not induced or assisted with forceps or ventouse


TOP

Termination of Pregnancy


Transverse

Baby is lying sideways across the uterus


TTO

To Take Out (Medicine)

Medicine that you take home from the hospital


USS

Ultrasound Scan


UTI

Urinary Tract Infection


VBAC

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean


VE

Vaginal Examination



This list is not exhaustive, there will be other acronyms and terminology out there. It will also differ from country to country. If a doctor or midwife uses language that you don't understand, please stop them and ask them to explain. They won't be using the language to confuse you, its a language that comes naturally when working and sometimes we forget we are using it .


I hope you find this list helpful


Steph x

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