Your antenatal 'notes'

Your pregnancy notes is a book that you hold in which the midwife and other health professionals keep record of your medical history and events during your pregnancy.

Your pregnancy notes will have lots of information about your medical history and your pregnancy.

During your first antenatal appointment, called the booking appointment, your midwife will start a record. This is called your ‘notes’. At every appointment your midwife or doctor will record what happens in your notes.

You will usually look after your notes. Take good care of them, as there is no copy! Keep them with you at all times in case of an emergency and ask if there’s anything you don’t understand.

Your notes will also usually have telephone numbers for you to use if you need to speak to anyone, a space to write the date and time of your next appointment and a record of what you told the midwife in the booking appointment.

To help you make sense of what your midwife or doctor has written, here are the most common terms and abbreviations that they might use.

BP, or blood pressure

This is the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body.

BR, or breech

This refers to the position of your baby and means that his or her bottom or feet are down towards your pelvis.

CEPH, or cephalic

This refers to the position of your baby and means that his or her head is down towards your pelvis.

Cx, or cervix

This is the neck of your womb (uterus), which will start to open up when you are in labour.


This means 'did not attend'.


This stands for 'estimated date of delivery' - the date your baby is due.


This is the chemical symbol for iron.

FH, or fetal heart

This is your unborn baby's heartbeat.


This stands for 'fetal heart heard regular', which means that the midwife or doctor has heard your baby's heart.


This stands for 'fetal movement felt'. Your midwife or doctor will write this when they have felt your baby moving.

Fundal height

This is the height of your bump, which your midwife or doctor will measure as your baby grows.

Hb, or haemoglobin

This is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body. A low haemoglobin level means you are anaemic and will need extra iron.


This stands for 'last menstrual period' and refers to the first day of your last period, which is used to work out when your baby is due.


This stands for 'midstream sample of urine'. You may be asked to give a midstream sample when your midwife or doctor needs to test your wee.


This means that you have been pregnant before. This includes any pregnancies that ended in miscarriage.


This stands for 'nothing abnormal detected'.

Oed, or oedema

This means swelling because of water retention.

Para 0

This means you have had no pregnancies that have gone beyond 24 weeks.

Para 1

This means you have had one other pregnancy that has lasted for longer than 24 weeks. (Para 2 means two pregnancies and so on.)

PET, or pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition and your midwife and doctor will check for signs each time they see you.


This means that you are pregnant for the first time.

SFH, or symphysis fundal height

This is the height of your baby, measured from your pelvis.


This stands for 'to come again' and just means that you need another appointment.

TR or trace

This means that tiny amounts of substances such as sugar or protein have been found in your urine. If more has been found, '+' will be used instead.


This stands for vaginal - or internal - examination.

Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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