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Your 16-week antenatal appointment is another chance to ask any questions or bring up any worries you may have. Your midwife will go through the results with you from your earlier scan and blood tests and you’re also likely to have further blood and urine tests.
Your Maternity Notes will include the following about your antenatal care: who your GP is, lots of information about your pregnancy, your birth plans and a plethora of mysterious abbreviations. There should also be a phone number for you to ring with questions or in case of emergency.
You will no doubt pore over all of the scribbles in these notes to try to decipher what everyone is saying about you. Here is a brief guide to help you:
Primigravida A medical term which means a woman in her first pregnancy
LMP Last monthly period. This is the date on which your term of pregnancy officially starts.
Length of pregnancy This is measured in weeks and days (so ‘10/4’ means 10 weeks and four days pregnant).
Blood pressure This will be recorded each time. Severe high blood pressure in pregnancy can be dangerous to mother and baby.
Urine You will probably get your own personal NHS pee-pot to bring with you to each midwife appointment. Take a midstream sample (i.e. start peeing, then shove the pot underneath yourself – this avoids getting bacteria from your genitals in the urine sample; and try to avoid peeing all over your sleeves). Your midwife will probably test the urine there and then and hand the pot back. Try not to look too horrified; just stick it in your handbag, empty it when you get home and wash it out thoroughly ready for the next appointment. Your urine notes will often say NAD which stands for ‘no abnormalities detected’.
Height of uterus/Fundal height This is measured from the pubic hairline to the top of your bump. Roughly speaking, the number of centimetres corresponds to the number of weeks you are pregnant, although this is a bit haphazard so don’t panic if things don’t measure up perfectly. If they do, however, your notes will read ‘=d’, which means that height equals dates.
Heartbeat or activity If your midwife listens to your baby’s heartbeat (usually using a Doppler ultrasound) she may note the heart rate (number of beats per minute or BPM). She may also note: FHH (foetal heart heard); FHNH (foetal heart not heard – it’s not always easy to find); FMF (foetal movements felt – awww sweet!); or FMNF (foetal movements not felt – ie lazy baby is asleep again).
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Get help deciphering the antenatal lingo
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