If it isn't enough to have all kinds of worries and irrational thoughts running through a woman's mind when she's expecting, there suddenly becomes a whole new world of internet lingo to become familiar with--that is, if she wants to be able to read and participate in mommy and mommy-to-be message boards online. And as most women who are trying to get pregnant will tell them, they do.
The abbreviations to know when trying to conceive make up a long list of terms new moms will eventually become almost too familiar with, but learning the jargon is kind of necessary. Of course, anyone can probably Google pregnancy signs and symptoms without ever delving into the world of mommy chat rooms and forums, but what would be the fun in that?
While it can sometimes become bothersome to deal with some of the fellow women trying to conceive, it can also be an experience to make new moms and pregnant mommies-to-be feel not so alone in their struggles and worries. Learning the different abbreviations that are found on pregnancy boards online might seem intimidating at first, but as they will be seen often and almost daily, the abbreviations and terms will become second nature.
And, unfortunately, new parents will likely find themselves using them in everyday life instead of saying the entire phrase out loud. When trying to have a baby, and then succeeding in doing so, they have a lot of time to sit around and Google the ins and outs of their pregnancies.
So, in doing so, they will invariably find themselves in one of the thousands of online mommy forums. And when that happens, they will be armed with the knowledge of these many acronyms and abbreviations.
20 AF (Aunt Flo)
This one is kind of obvious, but instead of fellow women referring to their monthly periods as such or their time of menstruation, the abbreviation of AF, for Aunt Flo, makes perfect sense. Why is this important, though? We all know that one of the main signs of pregnancy is women missing their periods, or Aunt Flo. So it's only natural that they will come to refer to it often when chatting on these online forums.
In order to prevent the excessive use of the phrase "missed period" or "late period", AF is a kind of perfect substitute. Aunt Flo, or AF, is also a common use of the reference, making it not totally out there as far as the terminology or lingo is concerned. Another common abbreviation used when referring to this train of thought is TOM, for time of month.
19 BBT (Basal Body Temperature)
No, this does not refer to the temperature of the body, according to basil leaves. Instead, it means the body temperature at its absolute lowest point during the day, likely at bedtime while the body is resting. Knowing individual basal body temperatures can play a part in determining when to try and have a baby.
Since the basal body temperature rises right before ovulation, as the female body releases more progesterone, it becomes a way to know when ovulation is about to start. And, because we're all well-versed in high school health, we all know that ovulation equals prime baby making time. So, knowing about basal body temperature and its value when trying to conceive is just one part, while talking about it ends up being a whole other part of the baby making and trying to conceive culture.
18 BFN (Big Fat Negative)
Unfortunately, women trying to get pregnant are bound to see BFN a lot while trying to conceive. And, in their own personal lives, they may see a few of these big, fat negative pregnancy test results. It doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong or that their body is failing them in any way, but sometimes, it simply takes a little longer for some women to actually conceive after starting to actively try for a baby.
When they see BFN in the chat rooms or forums, the best thing they can do is be there for these fellow women, even if they don't know them. As ruthless as some parents can be online, we're all in this together and we all deserve metaphoric shoulders to lean on. Mothers usually respond kindly to women in the struggle to get pregnant and recognize BFN as a call for help and support.
17 BFP (Big Fat Positive)
On the flip side, it is always an amazing sight to see women post BFP, which stands for a big, fat positive pregnancy test. These could be women celebrating a positive result after months and months of trying to conceive or yes, even after trying for the first time. Either way, they deserve support and kudos.
Much like in real life, support works both ways. If women who are trying to conceive expect and hope for support from these women who are in the same boat, then they should be open to giving it to them. When trying to get pregnant, the internet becomes one of the only things to keep people sane and stop them from spending a small fortune on pregnancy tests, which, as those who have gone through the TTC process in the past can contest to, may still happen.
16 CF (Cervical Fluid)
The CF, or cervical fluid, refers to the vaginal secretion that can help tell women who are trying to conceive when they are most fertile. When their estrogen levels are high and their body shows signs of fertility before their ovulation, their cervical fluid will resemble egg whites. It sounds very messy and technical, but really, it is just about keeping a close eye on what the body is doing before, during, and after monthly ovulation.
For some women trying to conceive, it becomes almost an obsession to dissect every change in the body and sometimes, it's what they have to do in order to stay on top of their fertility. Cervical fluid is just another one of those things which become ever-important to a woman who is trying to conceive, even if she had never before considered its importance.
15 CM (Cervical Mucous)
Cervical mucous is, more or less, the same thing as cervical fluid, in that it is the clear, egg white looking liquid that secretes from the vagina. But what is most important about CM, or cervical mucous, is that it's a sign that the woman is in her most fertile state.
Since sperm tend to be attracted to this type of discharge, making it easier for them to swim into the cervix, it is something a lot of women will post about on online forums. Again, not the most exciting or romantic of abbreviations to look for, but for anyone trying to conceive, it will become something they look forward to posting themselves. Obviously, it isn’t exactly fun to talk about in normal circles, but among the other women trying to conceive who post about it online, they’re in a sort of safe space.
14 DD (Dear Daughter)
This one is kind of obvious and used for obvious reasons. When a mom is posting about her daughter on parenting or parent-to-be forums, she might want to refer to her daughter. But in the interest of preserving her privacy and that of her daughter, using names is considered a big no-no. So instead, the forum contributor will refer to her daughter as DD or dear daughter.
She might also come up with referring to her daughter with the first letter of her name, which is also popular, but the most common thing that will be seen is DD. Then again, some women might try and avoid the whole DD thing altogether and just post new nicknames for each of her current children, calling the one-on-the-way something like “Little Bean” or “Princess Number Two”.
13 DF (Dear Fiance)
In the same tune of DD for dear daughter, DF means dear fiance in order to protect the identity of the fiancé of the person behind the screen name. It is very likely that these expectant moms or moms trying to conceive are going to be posting about very personal aspects of their lives. Of course, it's their own choice if they post identifying details but at the very least, being able to use the DF abbreviations helps them maintain some of that.
And as a whole, it just helps to save space when making different posts on different forums, which is partly why there are so many abbreviations to know when trying to conceive. And it’s also a nice saving grace to be able to post about a fiancé without naming them by proper name when they want to vent about their fiancés.
12 DH (Dear Husband)
If it's easy to understand the usefulness of DD and DF for dear daughter and dear fiance, then understanding the meaning behind DH, for dear husband, is likely a piece of cake. Because even if the mom who is posting on the forum or chat room is happily married, there is no use in putting someone else's name out there when they don't necessarily need to.
Does it save a crazy amount of space? In the short term no, but in the long term, it is going to be hard to avoid talking about spouses as someone trying to conceive. So, DH is kind of perfect in the place of any mystery husband's name, especially when venting online, which will happen to even the best and strongest of couples once the time before, during, and after pregnancy rolls around.
11 DPO (Days Past Ovulation)
The days past ovulation refer to, simply put, the number of days calculated that follow ovulation. It's important to keep track of and make note of these because of home pregnancy tests. The earliest positive or negative result that will show on a store bought pregnancy tests is said to be as early as 10 days after ovulation, so when hopeful women are scouring trying to conceive forums, DPO is an abbreviation that comes up an awful lot for women hoping their TTC days are over.
Since knowing all about ovulation is important when trying to conceive, it's no surprise that tracking the days leading up to and following the ovulation cycle is something that women who are trying to conceive take very seriously. In fact, even those who are not seriously trying to get pregnant may end up tracking their DPO.
10 DS (Dear Son)
DS is another obvious abbreviation that should be known when trying to conceive. Meaning dear son, the abbreviation of DS is used when someone posting needs to refer to their son and prefers to refrain from using his name in order to protect him.
It can become confusing when said poster has more than one son to speak of, but in that case, they typically add the age after DS. So, if they have a 4-year-old son and a 6-year-old son, it would look something like this: DS4 and DS6, which is pretty self-explanatory, but should still be noted for any newbies.
Some moms may even prefer to not even mention any of their current children at all, though, reserving the TTC forums for the news and questions surrounding the particular journey they are on at the moment. This is standard practice and helps moms to keep focused and maintain a certain amount of anonymity as well.
9 EDD (Estimated Due Date)
The estimated due date is important to any expectant mom, much less those who frequent online parenting forums. But because it's so important to find out and remember the due date that their doctor announces to them, EDD will be something posted online quite a bit. But because the estimated due date sometimes changes and it's a mouthful in itself, it just makes sense to use the abbreviation.
It also makes it easier to not have any misspellings when a newly expectant mother is so excited to post about her due date and wants to get it out quickly. And when a doctor gives an expectant mom an estimated due date, it’s a time for celebration and excitement, so who better to share it with (other than her family and friends) than her birth sisters online?
Not to mention that this date may be moved after the 12 week ultrasound when more information is available.
8 FTM (First-Time Mom)
Some of the moms posting in the online parenting groups are well-seasoned moms of multiples, while others might be newbies. In this case, they are FTM or first-time moms. And when a first-time mom is posting, possibly for the first time, she will likely preface it by noting that she is an FTM and needs advice about whatever is worrying her, which, as most first-time moms can agree, is pretty much everything throughout pregnancy.
Knowing that there is a first-time mom posting lets others know that they aren't asking questions in vain and aren't trying to come across as purposely knowledgeable about a topic. Likewise, it makes it easier for some newbies to spot their equals, so to speak, on the internet forums, so it’s a definite win all around.
The FTM association also means that more seasoned mothers will have more patients when they ask questions about things they've heard or advice they're receiving from family and friends.
7 HPT (Home Pregnancy Test)
Obviously, this is another pregnancy abbreviation to know when trying to conceive because home pregnancy tests are pretty much mandatory in order to get that first confirmation of being pregnant. True, getting in to see the doctor at six or eight weeks is probably the most reliable way to know, but all women trying to conceive are all about those home pregnancy tests.
HPT as a common abbreviation that pops up at least 10 times per day on any pregnancy forum that has discussions reserved for women who are trying to conceive. One of the biggest questions on forums regarding home pregnancy tests would be about the most reliable ones on the market (spoiler: they're all pretty equal in accuracy) or even about taking several at once and showcasing the results so other expectant moms can analyze the telltale lines.
6 IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
For some men and women who are trying to conceive, doing so for months on end can become taxing and disheartening. And in some case, they end up resorting to IVF, or in vitro Fertilization, in order to have a better chance at getting pregnant. In the process of IVF, a woman's egg is taken out of her body and fertilized in a lab with sperm, which is then placed in the woman's uterus. I
n the United States, the success rate for women under the age of 35 ranges from 41 to 43 percent, while women from age 35 to 37 have a success rate of 33 to 36 percent with IVF. Because IVF is seen as a solution for women who are having fertility issues or have partners experiencing the same, the abbreviation of IVF will be seen quite a bit.
5 L&D (Labor And Delivery)
Once the women who are trying to conceive actually get pregnant, then come the questions and notices about everything associated with it, which, of course, includes their birthing plan. In order to refer to it as a whole, they tend to use L&D to stand for labor and delivery and talk about the policies at their chosen hospitals or the details they've set up in their birthing plans.
Next to actually conceiving a baby, knowing what to expect in their labor and delivery is super important and can't really be ignored as far as planning goes. The expectant parents can choose water births or talk about their prospective delivery OB/GYN, or just bring up L&D to spark up a conversation with other newly expectant parents, which is also totally acceptable.
This also allows women to share their L&D experiences so they can trade stories and dissect how the birth of their little one went down.
4 MC (Miscarriage)
Sadly, there is an abbreviation for those expectant moms whose pregnancies end early in miscarriages. In order to not have to type out the entire sad word, MC is used as a reference and understood with respect by all of the other women on the parenting forums.
It can also be used in the set “signature” that some women have under their usernames, mentioning their current children and their birthdays, along with their miscarriage history.
Whether the miscarriage happens very early on in the pregnancy or much later, it is still always a shock to the parents-to-be and not any easier to handle either way. But talking about it to other people who are trying to conceive or currently expecting can't hurt and for some, it helps them work through the grieving process.
These are inline communities where women come together to lift one another up and help each other through hard times like these.
3 ML (Maternity Leave)
For working moms, requesting maternity leave is almost a given so, of course, having an abbreviation for it is also plenty present. When a woman gets pregnant and is currently working, she tries to set up a plan for her leave of absence during the few weeks following the birth of her baby. She can't be fired for being pregnant and by law, are required to be given paid leave to recuperate after having a baby.
Seeing posts with ML in the headline or the body will be no surprise, being that most working moms will be asking questions about maternity leave requirements and suggestions and whether or not they should even return to work at all. Regardless, knowing their rights and options is what any expectant mother deserves as far as the workplace and maternity leave go.
2 PPD (Postpartum Depression)
Postpartum depression is a serious affliction among new moms or moms who have recently given birth to their second, third, fourth, and so on. While some moms experience this depression for just a few days, some forms of postpartum depression can turn into bouts of depression that last for weeks or even months after having a baby, if not treated by a professional.
And even getting tiny inklings of feeling like PPD will come on them is enough to worry any expectant mother. Having postpartum depression can make having a new baby even more stressful and not nearly the time of wonder and joy it should be, so seeing posts about PDD usually means the moms posting are in need of help and could use all they can get, short of professional assistance.
Sometimes just knowing that she's not alone is enough, other times she'll have a community of women who can encourage her to get help when they see in her posts that she's not her normal self.
1 TTC (Trying To Conceive)
Obviously, the most common abbreviation that parents who are trying to have a baby will see is TTC, meaning trying to conceive. Clearly, any online forums they go to will be all about having babies, but they're likely to see the abbreviation of TTC posted everywhere, whether it be as post titles or even comments and replies.
Among the different abbreviations to know when trying to have a baby, TTC is probably the first to become familiar with and lock into the brain, as the rest will soon follow in some form or another. It makes total sense that it is the first abbreviation new prospective parents learn as they’re trying to get pregnant, but with the plethora of abbreviations and acronyms to memorize, it’s almost just a tiny blip on the radar of abbreviations people who are trying to conceive should know.