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Words used by midwives and doctors - glossary

terms; words; glossary; abbreviations; terminology; record;

This list has some of the words or abbreviations you may see printed or added to your medical notes, particularly if you have a Pregnancy Hand-Held Record. Ask your doctor or midwife to give you a further explanation if you don’t understand any of the words they use.

ABO/Rhesus

Blood types/groups.

Amniocentesis

The taking of fluid (also called liquor pronounced like-or) from mother’s uterus to do tests.

Antenatal

During pregnancy, before the birth.

Antibodies

Proteins produced in the blood. Checks are done to see that the mother is not developing antibodies against her baby's blood group.

BP

Blood pressure.

Booking

Your first antenatal check.

Br, Breech

Unborn baby is lying bottom down.

BSL

Blood sugar level.

C, Ceph, Cephalic

Unborn baby lying head down.

CVS

Chorionic villus sampling—taking a small sample of placenta to test for Down syndrome and other abnormalities in the baby.

Cx (Pap) Smear

Routine test to detect early warning of cancer of cervix (neck of uterus).

Down risk

Test for level of risk of Down syndrome.

E, Eng, Engaged

Unborn baby’s head has moved down into the mother’s pelvis ready to be born.

EDD

Expected (estimated) date of delivery for baby’s birth. It is normal for the baby to arrive up to two weeks before or after this date.

Family doctor

General practitioner, GP.

Fetal heart (FH)

Unborn baby’s heart rate.

Fetal movements

Unborn baby’s movements.

Fetus/Foetus

Unborn baby.

FH (H)

Fetal heart (heard).

Fifths above brim

Position of unborn baby’s head in relation to the mother’s pelvis.

FMF: FMNF

Fetal (baby) movements felt: fetal movements not felt.

Fundal height

Size of uterus.

Gestation (gest’n)

Number of weeks pregnant.

Glucose screen

Blood test to see how well your body uses sugar. It is a test for gestational diabetes, a problem that sometimes develops during pregnancy and may be a problem for the woman and unborn baby.

Gravida

The number of times you have been pregnant, including this pregnancy. Primigravida means first, multigravida means more than one pregnancy.

Hepatitis B

Viral infection of the liver.

Hb

Haemoglobin, how much iron is in your blood.

HIV

The virus that may lead to AIDS.

Hypertension

High blood pressure.

Lie

The direction the foetus is lying in the uterus, such as transverse, longitudinal or oblique

Longitudinal

The fetus is lying with its spine parallel to the mother's spine

LMP

Last menstrual period.

Midwife

A practitioner specially qualified to care for childbearing women and their babies.

MSU, MSSU

Mid-stream specimen urine,.

NAD

No abnormality detected (normal).

NE

Unborn baby’s head not engaged (has not moved down into the mother's pelvis).

Neural tube defect

Serious abnormality of the central nervous system - brain and spinal cord.

Obstetrician

Specialist doctor with extra qualifications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Oedema

Swelling of ankles, fingers or face.

Parity

The number of babies you have already had.

PE, PETpre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia or pre-eclampsia toxaemia (a pregnancy condition with high blood pressure and oedema.)

Placenta

The afterbirth.

Postnatal

After the birth.

Presentation

The part of the baby which is coming first, such as breech, vertex/cephalic or compound (eg arm with the head)

Rubella

German measles, a disease caused by a virus.

STD/STI

Sexually transmitted disease/infection.

Syphilis

A sexually transmitted disease.

T, FT, term

Full – term, baby is ready to be born.

Transverse

Unborn baby lying crossways in the uterus

US, ultrasound, scan

An examination of an unborn baby using sound waves.

Uterus, womb

Hollow muscle in which baby grows.

Uterine size

Size of uterus.

VE

Vaginal examinations, internal check of mother.

Vx, Vertex

Unborn baby lying head down in uterus.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.

 

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