Mother and Baby

What Does That Mean? Your Antenatal Note Jargon Explained

Medical teams and midwives can often use a lot of jargon when talking about your pregnancy - so speak their language

No, you’re not stupid. Terms like FHH or LOP mean nothing to most other people, either.

But when you’re being examined by your midwife, you will feel as though you are hearing another language.

That’s why we’ve put together this list, so you can decode the antenatal terms you may hear when you’re in the midwife’s office.

In all your midwife appointments, she will listen to your baby’s heartbeat and you may hear the following abbreviations used...

FHH: This means fetal heart heard.

FHNH: This means the fetal heart was not heard. Don’t panic if you hear this, it usually means that the baby was lying in a difficult position, not allowing the midwife to get the right position.

FMF: This means fetal movements felt.

FMNF: This means fetal movements not felt.

Your midwife will also feel for the position of your baby and could use terms such as...

LOA: This means the back of your baby's head is on your left-hand side and towards the front of your tummy.

ROA: This means the back of your baby's head is on your right-hand side and towards the front of your tummy.

Cephalic (or ceph): Means head-down.

BR: Refers to your baby being bottom down or breech.

LOP: This means the back of your baby's head is on your left-hand side and towards the back of your tummy.

ROP: This means the back of your baby's head is on your right-hand side and towards the back of your tummy.

When your midwife talks about how far into your pregnancy you are, she will refer to it as something like: 32+6. This breaks down to 32 weeks pregnant and 6 days.

Understanding the measurements of blood pressure

An example of the measurements used to read your blood pressure: 120/70.

The first number tells your midwife about your blood pressure as your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body (systolic blood pressure). The second number is your blood pressure when your heart relaxes between beats (diastolic). As a rough guide the lower figure should not be higher than 90.

Try not to rush to your appointment or you’ll get a higher reading than your norm.

Understanding your urine tests

During your pregnancy, you will also become very familiar with weeing into a bottle so your midwife can test for protein or glucose present that could be an indicator of your body fighting infection.

You may hear the following terms used.

PGO: Whether your urine sample contains protein, glucose or anything else (other).

NAD: No abnormalities detected.

Height of uterus

This is measured from your pubic hair line to the top of your bump and is done when you’re 20 weeks onwards in pregnancy.

The idea is that the number of centimetres corresponds to the number of weeks you have been pregnant.

Having a good idea of what your midwife is looking for and what abbreviations they use, will help you feel more comfortable and involved in your appointments, plus you can impress her with your expert knowledge!

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