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WTF does that mean? 10 pregnancy terms explained

“I’m TTC, keeping an eye on my BBT and noting down my LMP.” Erm…WTF…?! We all know what that last one stands for. But the rest of those terms…huh? 

While there’s plenty of info out there about having a baby, a guide to all the new words that will likely be thrown your way is often needed as well. No really…there’s a whole other vocabulary! 

To get you started, here are 10 essential pregnancy terms explained:

TTC

We’ll start off easy. If you’ve ever read a parenting blog or forum, you’ve likely come across this one – it stands for trying to conceive and, as you might have guessed, refers to the time when you’re trying to get pregnant. 

Use it: “We’ve been TTC for two months now, and we’re so excited for the day we get that positive result!” 

BBT

BBT equals basal body temperature, which is your resting body temperature. Tracking it over time is said to help pinpoint when you’re ovulating. How? Take your temperature at the same time each morning, and chart it over time. It dips just before your ovaries release an egg; rises and stays higher for a few days after; then rises further again once ovulation is complete. 

Use it: “Honey, my BBT has risen! It’s time! Get your ass over here…!!”

LMP

LMP stands for last missed period. Why is this important? It helps your doctor determine your estimated due date. 40 weeks is considered the average length of pregnancy, so doctors count 40 weeks from the first day of your last missed period to give you a timeframe for your baby’s arrival. Hint: this is why using an app or calendar to track your periods is handy! 

Use it: “The first day of my LMP was 5 February, so my estimated due date is 11 November. She’ll be a scorpio!”  

EDC

EDC means expected date of confinement, and – while you might not guess it from the name – actually refers to your little one’s estimated due date. EDC is the medical term for it, though you might also see it written as EDD – or estimated due date – on parenting blogs or forums. 

Use it: “The doctor said my EDC is 11 November, so we’d better book the babymoon for September to be safe.”

hcG

Short for human chorionic gonadotropin (this is clearly shortened for a reason!). It’s a hormone produced by the placenta and its presence is a sign of pregnancy – yippee! It’s measured through your wee and blood, and testing its levels in your body can confirm the pregnancy and check how it’s progressing – particular levels of hcG in your blood can indicate if you’re having multiple babies, for example, or any issues like pregnancy loss or an ectopic pregnancy. 

Use it: “Mum, the doctor said my hcG levels are through the roof. She thinks it’s TWINS!”

OGTT

No, not O.G. (original) anything…this is actually a test called the oral glucose tolerance test, and it helps diagnose gestational diabetes. Why is it important? Well, gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, caused by too much glucose in your blood (one of the many delightful things women might experience while pregnant!). It generally goes away after birth, but, if you have it, it’s key that it’s managed during pregnancy – it can cause your little one to make more insulin and grow larger than usual, which can lead to issues during and after birth. The test involves taking your blood before and after you guzzle a glucose drink. Your care provider will usually discuss this with you during your second trimester. 

Use it: “Oh man, I’ve got my OGTT this week! I’m not looking forward to it…but gotta get it done, right?”

ART

ART stands for assisted reproductive technology, and references treatments like IVF, egg and sperm freezing, taking medication to induce ovulation and more. You might be facing hurdles in the fertility department, you might be in a same sex relationship or transgender. Whatever the case, a growing number of people in Australia are using ART to expand their families and bring their beautiful babies into the world. 

Use it: “We’re speaking to an ART specialist this week to discuss our options. We’re just so excited to start a family however we can!”

NIPT

This refers to non-invasive prenatal testing, which is a test that determines the likelihood of your baby having Down syndrome and other chromosome conditions. It’s optional, and is generally done from 10 weeks into pregnancy and onwards via a blood test. 

Use it: “I decided to have an NIPT test. Needles are the worst, right?! The things we do during pregnancy, hey…” 

TENS

An abbreviation for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, which is a method of pain relief during labour. You can hire or buy TENS machines for the big event (one of many things you might find yourself doing in the lead up to birth), and they work by sticking electrodes to your skin that send out gentle electric currents to stimulate your nerves. It’s non-invasive, doesn’t require needles or drugs, and is another option to help you get through labour however you can. 

Use it: “I’m literally going to try EVERYTHING during labour to help with the pain – a TENS machine, breathing, epidural, whatever I need!”

1/5

Less an acronym and more a medical reference, it indicates how engaged your little one is as they drop down into your pelvis and get ready to make their grand entrance! It’s a number out of five – 1/5, 2/5, etc. 5/5 means your baby is not yet engaged, while 1/5 means your bub is deeply engaged, so you could expect them to arrive any day. 

Use it: “The doctor said I’m 2/5 engaged, so I’m packing the hospital bag STAT!”

What terms did you come across while pregnant and think “what the f*ck” does that mean?! Let us know in the comments.

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