Making sense of your pregnancy maternity notes

pregnancy maternity notes

Your pregnancy maternity notes could be given to you at your booking appointment with your midwife. These are your handheld notes, to accompany your pregnancy – you will take them to every appointment and when you have your baby. Some NHS Trusts now provide digital notes, which can be accessed online.

Your midwife will update it at every appointment, making a note of discussions and checks.

Your pregnancy maternity notes will include:

  • Your name, address and NHS number
  • Your medical history and any relevant family medical history
  • Details about any previous pregnancies and births
  • Your antenatal appointments
  • Results of blood tests
  • Details of ultrasound scans
  • Phone number for the maternity unit
  • Information from midwife appointments: blood pressure, urine tests, baby’s movements and heart-rate. along with position in the womb and any engagement
  • Measurement of baby’s growth
  • Any issues during pregnancy
  • Preferences for birth
pregnancy maternity notes

Your pregnancy maternity notes can include several abbreviations:

  • Length of pregnancy
    EDD: estimated date of delivery or the date your baby is due
    GA: gestational age, for example, 28+3 (28 weeks and three days pregnant)
    LMP: last menstrual period
  • The position of your baby
    OA: occiput anterior
    LOA: left occiput anterior
    ROA: right occiput anterior
    OP: occiput posterior
    Cephalic/Ceph: head down
    BR: breech
    L: longitudinal
    O: oblique
    T: transverse
  • Urine tests
    PGO: whether your urine sample contains protein, glucose or other
    NAD: no abnormalities detected
    MSU: midstream sample of urine
    Tr or trace: tiny amounts of protein or sugar found. It will also be marked with +, ++ or +++ depending on how much is present
  • Blood pressure
    120/80 is normal during pregnancy – it should not be higher than 140 and 90

  • Measurement of your bump
    SFH: Symphysis fundal height – from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.
  • Engagement
    NE, NEng, Not Eng: your baby’s head is not engaged into the pelvis
    E or Eng: your baby’s head is engaged into the pelvis
    0/5 or 1/5: deeply engaged in your pelvis
    2/5: engaged with most of baby’s head in your pelvis
    3/5: head is still above the brim of your pelvis
    4/5: baby’s head is sitting on the brim of the your pelvis
    5/5: your baby’s head is free, it has not engaged into the pelvis
  • Heartbeat
    FHH: fetal heart heard
    or FHHR: fetal heart heard and regular
  • Baby’s Movements
    FMF: foetal movements felt
  • Ultrasound
    AC: abdominal circumference
    BPD: biparietal diameter, which is the measurement of the diameter of your baby’s skull, from one side to the other, using the parietal bones either side of the skull
    CRL: crown rump length. Measurement of your baby from head to bottom
    FL: femur length or thigh bone length
    HC: head circumference
    TD: trunk diameter

  • Pregnancy history
    Multigravida: if you have been pregnant before
    Primagravida: if you are pregnant for the first time
    Para 0: you haven’t experienced any pregnancies beyond 24 weeks
    Para 1: you have had one pregnancy beyond 24 weeks
    Para 2: you have had two pregnancies beyond 24 weeks (etc)

If you are unsure about anything mentioned during your appointment or included in your pregnancy maternity notes, you can ask questions to have a better understanding. It can also be helpful to go to your appointments with a list of questions, so you don’t forget.

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Working with parents since 2002

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