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Maternity notes abbreviations

What does everything mean?

What do all the abbreviations mean on my maternity notes?

Your maternity notes make for interesting reading (although once you've carried them around for almost nine months you might tire of them a little!), and although most of them should be a pretty straightforward record of your appointments and the pregnancy screening tests you have had, you might find some entries hard to decipher – particularly when your midwife or doctor uses medical shorthand!

At a glance

  • Most maternity notes are a record of your appointments
  • There are lots of common abbreviations which will be used throughout your pregnancy
  • By the end of your pregnancy you will probably be a pro at deciphering them all
maternity-notes-abbreviations

Although you should always clarify anything you don't understand in your notes with your midwife, here are the most common abbreviations you are likely to come across while you are pregnant – and most importantly, what they actually mean!

Alb: Albumin. A protein in your wee that could be a marker of a potential problem

BP: Blood pressure

EDD: Expected date of delivery

Eng: Engagement – when your baby's head has moved down in to your pelvis

FH: Foetal heart (your baby's heart)

FHH: Foetal heart heard

FHHR: Foetal heart heard and regular

FMF: Foetal movement felt  

Fundus: The top of your womb

Hb: Haemoglobin – the oxygen carrying part of your red blood cells 

LMP: Last menstrual period

MSU: Midstream urine

NAD: No abnormality detected (meaning there is nothing wrong)

NE: Not engaged (meaning your baby's head is not yet down in the pelvis)

Oedema: Swelling, usually of the hands of feet, and caused by fluid retention 

Presentation: The position your baby is lying in 

Sugar: The levels of sugar in your blood or urine 

Tr: Trace, so 'Tr blood' would mean a trace of blood was found in your urine, for instance

TCA: To come again (as in, you need another appointment)

VE: Vaginal examination 

You might come across other abbreviations in your maternity notes, depending on any individual tests or screenings that you have – remember though, always ask for an explanation of any terminology you are not familiar with or do not understand.

At a glance

  • Most maternity notes are a record of your appointments
  • There are lots of common abbreviations which will be used throughout your pregnancy
  • By the end of your pregnancy you will probably be a pro at deciphering them all
Check with your midwife if there is anything on your notes that you don't understand

Maternity notes abbreviations