During the second trimester of pregnancy (week 14- week 27), you can breathe a sigh of relief. This is when your chance of miscarriage goes down considerably, and you have probably started experiencing relief from many of your symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. For many, the second trimester is their favorite part of the pregnancy (other than the birth of their bundle of joy, of course). But to ensure the pregnancy is progressing as it should, you will need to start seeing your doctor monthly for a check-up and a series of tests.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, prenatal and antenatal care appointments have changed radically, and in-person visits have been significantly reduced. Instead of the previous model with in-person visits each pregnancy month, and then weekly visits during the last month for a total of about 8-14 visits, nowadays the number of prenatal in-person visits has been reduced by about one-half. You should find out if you can have telemedicine prenatal visits with your doctors instead of in-person visits.
Learn more about the new prenatal care appointment model.
In the second trimester, many in-person visits have been reduced and replaced by telemedicine visits. The most important in-person visit in the second trimester will be the anatomic ultrasound around 19-22 weeks of the pregnancy, and the glucose screen around 24-26 weeks. Expect your doctor to ask you a series of questions as well. Your doctor will want to know if you are still experiencing nausea if you are feeling baby movement and if you have been having any type of vaginal bleeding. As you can see, the second-trimester doctor visits help your doctor gauge how the pregnancy is progressing, but will also look for signs of needing additional testing.
Tests and screenings
Aside from routine doctor visits during the second trimester, there are also several tests that are performed. Many of the tests and screenings conducted during your pregnancy are within the second trimester. It is important to talk to your doctor about what tests are pertinent during this time.
Lab Tests: Lab tests include those to check your iron levels and to look for gestational diabetes, which is common during pregnancy. You may also be asked to provide blood for an Rh antibody test if you have Rh-negative blood. In addition, a triple screen test (also known as the triple marker test) can detect possible fetal abnormalities, such as Down’s Syndrome or spina bifida. Urine tests are included, which check for infections like kidney or urinary tract infections.
Ultrasound: The anatomic or anatomy ultrasound, also called a sonogram, is usually performed in the second trimester around 19-22 weeks of the pregnancy. The anatomy ultrasound takes longer than usual, often well over 30 minutes During the anatomy ultrasound fetal measurements and fetal growth are checked, and there are many other parts of the fetus and pregnancy being checked.
Glucose Screening: The glucose screening is done at the end of the second trimester, usually around 26-28 weeks of the pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes.
Amniocentesis: The amniocentesis is an optional test performed during the beginning of your second trimester. This test looks for markers of genetic disorders, such as Down Syndrome. The second trimester is a joyous time and by visiting the doctor regularly, you can rest easy and also be aware of any potential issues with your pregnancy.