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Your RED BOOK is a personal record of your pregnancy that contains important information about your health and your baby’s progress.
You will be given it at your booking appointment and you will need to take it to all your antenatal appointments, so that your healthcare professionals can fill it in. Your midwife will want to see it when you go into labour.
Your Maternity Record
Your maternity record is designed to give as full a picture as possible of your pregnancy and will contain all the information that your health care professionals have about you.
It’s important to carry these records with you, especially if you go on holiday, in case you need medical attention when you are away from home.
Personal Information on your Maternity Record
You will be asked to complete a section about yourself and then discuss it with your midwife. Your name, address and hospital details and any information about your past and present health and any medication that you are taking will need to be filled in.
If you’ve been pregnant before, details of any complications, miscarriages or stillbirths will also need to be included. You may be asked about your ethnic group and religious beliefs so that you receive appropriate care at the time of birth or in an emergency.
Information about your pregnancy
All the information about your pregnancy will be recorded on your records, including: your antenatal appointments, your estimated date of delivery, as well as checks carried out at the antenatal clinic.
Antenatal checks include:
- Results of blood and urine tests
- Blood pressure
- Size of your abdomen
- Position in which your baby is lying
- Your baby’s heart-rate
- Details of ultrasound scans
- Any problems you have during pregnancy
- Your weight and BMI.
Many maternity records also contain a lot of practical information. This may include:
- Phone numbers for your midwife, GP, antenatal clinic, birth suite and hospital switchboard
- Information about voluntary organisations who work with mothers, babies and families
- Details of information leaflets relating to pregnancy and parenthood
- A list of topics you may want to ask your midwife about
- What to do if you experience a serious problem, such as vaginal bleeding.
Your Birth Plan
There may be space for you to include information about how you would like your labour and birth to be managed. You can fill this in if you want to, but you may prefer to write a separate birth plan which will give you more scope to write about the things that are most important to you. You should keep any birth plan you write with your maternity record.
Understanding your Maternity Record
Health Care professionals often use abbreviated terms when they fill in your record.
Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations in your maternity record:
- ARM– Artificial rupture of membranes
- BP– Blood pressure
- Br Breech– Baby is lying bottom nearest cervix
- Cephalic, ceph or Vertex, Vx– Baby’s head is nearest the cervix
- CTG Cardiotocograph– Method of monitoring baby’s heartbeat
- Cx– Cervix – neck of the womb (uterus)
- DAU– Day assessment unit
- External Cephalic Version– turning a breech baby
- Elective Section– Planned Caesarean
- EPAU– Early pregnancy assessment unit
- Eng/E– Engaged – the baby’s head moves into the pelvis.
- FHH– Fetal heart heard
- FMF– Fetal movement felt
- IOL– Induction of labour
- LMP– Last menstrual period – the date of the first day of your last period
- LSCS– Lower segment Caesarean section
- NAD– No abnormality detected
- OGTT – Oral glucose tolerance test
- Oedema– Swelling of hands and feet