Do you flick through your pregnancy notes and wonder what on earth they actually mean? Do you hear language being used around you and wish they would just speak in plain English?! Hopefully this glossary of medical terms will help you unpick some of what you are seeing and hearing, if you'd like anything added, just shout!
Number of pregnancies
Number of births to babies over 24 weeks gestation
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.
Women who have not given birth before
Women who have given birth more than once (to babies over 24 weeks gestation)
Women who have given birth more than five times (to babies over 24 weeks gestation)
Right Occipital Anterior
Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally forwards to the right
Left Occipital Anterior
Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally forwards to the left
Baby is head down, with their back facing directly forwards
Right Occipital Posterior
Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally backwards to the right
Left Occipital Posterior
Baby is head down, with their back facing diagonally backwards to the left
Baby is head down, with their back faching directly backwards.
Left Occipital Transverse
Baby is head down, with their back facing directly to the left.
Right Occipital Transverse
Baby is head down, with their back facing directly to the right
Baby is bottom down.
Baby is bottom down, with both legs straight upwards by their head
Baby is bottom down, with one or both feet below their bottom
Baby is bottom down with their legs bent at the knees
Baby is lying diagonally across the uterus (can be breech or cephalic)
Baby is lying sideways across the uterus
Baby is head down
Which part of the baby's body is presenting at the pelvis/vagina.
Which way is the baby lying in the uterus
Baby's head is within the pelvis
The amount of baby's head that can be felt above the pelvis- measured in 5ths. 0/5 palpable would be fully engaged.
Baby's head is not engaged at all.
Top of your pelvis.
Last Menstrual Period
Used to date a pregnancy until a scan is used
Crown Rump Length
The length of a fetus from head to bottom, this length is used to 'date' a pregnancy
Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes
When your waters have broken spontaneously
Artificial Rupture of Membranes
Part of the induction process, where a doctor or midwife artificially breaks your waters using a small plastic hook.
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.
Beats Per Minute
Relating to baby's heart rate
Fetal Heart Rate
Baby's heart rate (in utero)
Fetal Heart Heard
You may see this if they have not timed baby's heart rate
The machine used to monitor you contractions and baby's heart rate
Estimated Date of Delivery
Date of birth
External Cephalic Version
A procedure offered to women with a breech baby, where they will try to turn baby around
Full Blood Count
A blood test offered in pregnancy
Fetal Scalp Electrode
A way of monitoring baby's heart during birth where a small hood it attached to baby's scalp, after your waters have broken.
Group B Strep
Glucose Tolerance Test
Test for Gestational Diabetes
A low Hb in pregnancy may be an indication of anaemia
Induction of Labour
Intrauterine growth restriction
When a baby's growth slows down or is below the expected level in pregnancy
Lower Segment Caesarean Section
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.
Newborn Blood Spot
A test given to new born 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'.
Post Partum Haemorrhage
Bleeding of over 500ml after birth
A blood test done on babies with symptoms of jaundice, to measure the level of bilirubin in their blood
Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
A vaginal birth that was not induced or assisted with forceps or ventouse
To Take Out (Medicine)
Medicine that you take home from hospital
Termination of Pregnancy
Urinary Tract Infection
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean