Thanks to a fellow midwife-to-be and her awesome blog, she has allowed me to post this very extensive list of medical abbreviations used often when talking about pregnancy and childbirth. If I write something funky and you don’t know what it means, check here.

Via At Your Cervix

  • primip – a woman giving birth for the first time
  • multip – a woman giving birth for the 2nd (or more) time
  • grand multip – a woman who has given birth to at least 4 or 5 babies before
  • AMA – against medical advice — OR — advanced maternal age (over age 35) – I hate this term
  • SROM – spontaneous rupture of membranes (“broken water”
  • AROM – artificial rupture of membranes
  • amnihook – a plastic device, similar to a crochet hook, used to break the membranes/water
  • pit – pitocin (oxytocin) – used to stimulate contractions
  • cord! – usually yelled in an emergency – means that an umbilical cord has prolapse through the woman’s cervix, necessitating an emergency c-section
  • c/s – cesarean section – surgical birth
  • CD – cesarean delivery – see c/s
  • SD – shoulder dystocia – where the baby’s shoulder is stuck during birth
  • FTP – failure to progress
  • FTBP – failure to be patient (see FTP)
  • CPD – cephalopelvic disproportion – where the baby’s head won’t fit through the pelvis (also, see FTP and FTBP)
  • SVE – sterile vaginal exam
  • VE – vaginal exam (see SVE)
  • FSE – fetal scalp electrode (used to directly measure the baby’s EKG/heartbeat)
  • IUPC – intrauterine pressure catheter (used to directly measure contractions in the uterine cavity)
  • toco – tocodynomomanometer – big long word that I can’t spell – the external device on the fetal monitor to measure contractions
  • u/s – ultrasound, or ultrasound transducer (part of the fetal monitor) to pick up the baby’s heart beat
  • FHR – fetal heart rate
  • EFM – external fetal monitor (toco + u/s)
  • LTV – long term variability (how the baby’s heart beat line looks on the monitor – it should be fairly squiggly, which suggested good/average/moderate LTV)
  • accels – accelerations of the baby’s heart beat (good thing!)
  • decels – decelerations of the baby’s heart beat (sometimes good, sometimes not good)
  • GTPAL – the number system to say how many pregnancies a woman has had, and the outcomes of the pregnancies
  • G – gravity – total number of pregnancies
  • T – term – number of pregnancies from 37-42 weeks gestation
  • P – preterm – number of babies born from 20-37 weeks
  • A – abortions – number of spontaneous or elective abortions
  • L – living – number of living children
  • EDC – estimated date of confinement – due date
  • EDD – estimated date of delivery – due date (see EDC)
  • MFM – maternal fetal medicine specialist, perinatalogist, deals with high risk pregnancies
  • OB – obstetrician
  • CNM – certified nurse-midwife
  • RN – registered nurse
  • L&D – labor and delivery
  • PP – post partum; also post-prandial (after meals)
  • GDM – gestational diabetes mellitus
  • PES – preeclampsia syndrome
  • HELLP – a syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets
  • PIH – pregnancy induced hypertension, now referred to as……..
  • GHTN – gestational hypertension
  • CHTN – chronic hypertension
  • HTN – hypertension
  • I&O – intake and output
  • Mag – magnesium sulfate
  • terb – terbutaline
  • t-pump – terbutaline pump
  • gtt – drip
  • IV – intravenous
  • NBN – newborn nursery
  • NICU – neonatal intensive care unit
  • WNL – within normal limits
  • SVD – spontaneous vaginal delivery
  • VAVD – vacuum assist vaginal delivery
  • LMP – last menstrual period
  • LNMP – last normal menstrual period
  • D&E – dilation and evacuation (this could be from a miscarriage, or from a retained placenta)
  • D&C – dilation and curretage (see D&E), but suction is used
  • PPH – postpartum hemorrhage
  • PPD – postpartum depression (also is an abbreviation for a test for tuberculosis)
  • PP Del – postpartum delivery
  • kiwi – a type of a vacuum used in births
  • GA – gestational age
  • U/A – urinalysis
  • UDS – urine drug screen
  • UC – uterine contraction
  • ctx – contraction
  • SAB – spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)
  • EAB – elective abortion
  • TAB – therapeutic abortion (see EAB, though a TAB is usually for a medical reason)
  • TOP – termination of pregnancy
  • TOL – trial of labor
  • PTL – preterm labor
  • PROM – premature rupture of membranes (water breaks before labor begins)
  • PPROM – prolonged premature rupture of membranes
  • cx – cervix, cervical
  • LEEP – loop excision biopsy
  • cryo – surgical freezing of the cervix to treat abnormal pap smear results/precancerous lesions on the cervix
  • TOLAC – trial of labor after a cesarean birth
  • VBAC – vaginal birth after a cesarean birth
  • IUGR – intrauterine growth restriction
  • SGA – small for gestational age
  • LGA – large for gestational age
  • IUFD – intrauterine fetal demise
  • macro – macrosomic (also, see LGA)
  • IVF – in vitro fertilization
  • IUI – intrauterine insemination
  • shoulder! – shouted out for assistance during a shoulder dystocia
  • A/P or APU – antepartum unit (where long term pregnant women stay in the hospital)
  • PACU – post anesthesia care unit
  • OR – operating room
  • epis – episiotomy
  • epid – epidural

6 thoughts on “Medical Abbreviations

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