Demystifying the Mommy Jargon and Acronyms Online

It’s not just when you travel across political borders that you start to experience significant variations in language. Just as you’ll find that Canadian English is quite different from American English, you’ll find no shortage of mommy jargon as you make your way around the parenting and baby discussion boards online. And I say mommy jargon, because these boards tend to be mostly populated by moms… though dads are making some headway too.

Even aside from picking up on all sorts of new terminology — like binkies, bouncers and blowouts — you’ll also need to decipher some rather confusing shorthand in the form of parenting and baby acronyms. You might know about WAHMs, but are you familiar with BLW and CIO? Allow me to provide a quick introduction to some of the most common acronyms used.

The People

Unsurprisingly, those who frequent the message boards and online comment sections use a lot of more common shorthand too. You might already know about MIL (mother in law), BIL (brother in law) and so on, but do you know this mommy jargon more specific to the world of parenting? Maybe it’s a little too convenient that DuH is short for “dumb husband.”

  • DD: Dear daughter
  • DH: Dear husband
  • DP: Dear partner
  • DS: Dear son
  • DuH: Dumb husband
  • DuW: Dumb wife
  • FTM: First-time mom
  • LO: Little one
  • SAHD: Stay at home dad
  • SAHM: Stay at home mom
  • WAHD: Work at home dad
  • WAHM: Work at home mom
  • WOH: Work out of home

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Even before you get to become a FTM with your DS or DD, you’ll encounter all sorts of acronyms related to conception and pregnancy too, not to mention the actual delivery of your LO.

  • BC: Birth control
  • CS: Cesarean section
  • DTD: Do the deed
  • HPT: Home pregnancy test
  • IVF: In-vitro fertilization
  • MC: Miscarriage
  • MS: Morning sickness
  • PG: Pregnant (or pregnancy)
  • POAS: Pee on a stick (pregnancy test)
  • PPD: Post-partum depression
  • US: Ultrasound

Feeding and More

After enduring a PG filled with one US after another, you’re ready to tackle the daunting task of raising a baby. Then, you’ll encounter these terms. Make sure you don’t confuse a BM or EBM. They’re very, very different.

  • BF: Breastfeed(ing)
  • BLW: Baby led weaning:
  • BM: Bowel movement
  • CIO: Cry-it-out
  • EBM: Expressed breast milk
  • EBF: Exclusively breastfeeding
  • FF: Formula feeding

The Shorthand for Confusion

The mommy community online can feel like a tough cookie to crack, particularly for dads who want to be just as involved in the raising of their children. The esoteric mommy jargon and lingo can alienate new members and feel like they don’t belong to the club. But you do belong. You just need to get with the program.

The list of acronyms above, as you can imagine, is far from comprehensive. You’ll surely encounter even more shorthand during your late night Google searches, worried about everything from jaundice to baby acne, spitting up to diaper rash. What I can tell you now, after more than a year on the job, is that everything will be fine as long as your heart is in the right place.

And be sure to treat the DP in your life with the love, patience and respect they deserve. You’ve still got a long journey ahead of you.