Your ‘Yellow Card’, officially known as your Co-operation Card or Antenatal Record Card is something we ask you keep in your handbag at all times, even in early pregnancy. However, you may have wondered why, or you may have been a little unsure about what the different abbreviations mean. Penny Stanbury, midwife at Dr Morris | Sydney Mother & Baby outlines for you what the yellow card is all about.
Why do you need your yellow card?
The yellow card is a record of your pregnancy and contains all the important details required by the hospital when you present for assessment in the labour ward, or go to your GP for a check up. You will receive your yellow card at approximately 12-16 weeks, at one of your regular appointments with Dr Morris. For example, a patient was involved in a very minor car accident and went to the nearest hospital to have herself and the baby checked. All were fine with no injury to mother or baby. Unfortunately, the woman did not have her yellow card in her bag, as she did not expect to need it! The accident occurred on a weekday, which meant the hospital was able to ring the rooms and get the necessary details required to ensure that there was nothing missed. However, if the rooms were closed, this would have resulted in unnecessary blood tests and possibly ultrasounds, resulting in a much longer admission for the pregnant woman.
Front of the card
Contains the demographic details, medical history, recent pathology (blood results) and ultrasound details. As further results are received, and the pregnancy progresses, they are added to this part of the card.
Back of the card
Appointments: This is where your antenatal visits with Dr Morris, hospital admissions and or GP visits throughout your pregnancy are recorded.
Urine testing: May be recorded regularly if there is a history of urinary tract infections or you begin develop swelling (oedema) in the lower limbs.
Blood Pressure: is always recorded.
Calculated Gestation: is also recorded here- how many weeks pregnant you are at the visit.
Fundal Height: The measurement of your uterus size by tape measure. Dr Morris usually uses ultrasound to measure growth. A midwife doing your check may use a tape to measure the abdomen after 20 weeks gestation.
Presenting Part: what is presenting into the pelvis >Head (cephalic or vertex)/ Bottom (breech)/ Baby lying sideways (Transverse-nothing in the pelvis)
Station: Engagement is the depth your baby’s head or bottom are in the pelvis. Written as ENG (engaged baby ‘s head deep in the pelvis) N/E (not engaged) 4/5,3/5,2/5,1/5 is written in “fifths” to describe level of engagement with 4/5 meaning baby has a slight amount of its head below the pelvic brim and 1/5 meaning baby deeply engaged. Dr Morris normally documents engagement as ENG or 1/5. This is not usually recorded on the card until the third trimester.
FHS/FM: These abbreviations are fetal heart sounds and fetal movement.
FHS: Is documented as present every visit and FM each visit after the mother starts to feel the baby move. This is usually 20-24 weeks with your first baby, but as early as 14 weeks with your second or subsequent pregnancy.
EFW: Estimated Fetal Weight; Dr Morris will sometimes record in this column if there has been a change to growth pattern of the baby.
At the bottom of the card are 4 bigger columns to record various aspects of your care and information to be discussed as the pregnancy progresses. It is also the area we write alerts for the labour ward / postnatal staff to be aware of on your presentation to hospital.
Immunisation in pregnancy and classes you have attended will also be recorded on your card. On Admission to hospital the midwives will collect your card to collate details and after your baby is born, the card will be returned to you on discharge for you to keep.
If you have any questions about your antenatal card, please don’t hesitate to ask at your next appointment.