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.
Each doctor’s visit during your second trimester will start with a basic physical examination. This is when the nurse checks your blood pressure and gets your current weight. The doctor will then check for a number of things during each visit, including looking for any swelling and checking the fetal heartbeat. Your obstetrician will measure your fundal height, which is the size of your belly, and the fetal growth. In addition, your urine protein level is checked from your urine sample.
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.
- Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds, also called sonograms, are performed during each doctor visit, to measure fetal growth and look for potential complications, such as slow fetal growth or a low lying placenta. If your baby has a cleft palate or other physical malformation, it will show up during an ultrasound.
- Glucose Screening: The glucose screening is done during the end of the second trimester and checks for health problems, expected issues with delivery and 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’s Syndrome. There is up to a 0.5 percent chance of miscarriage as a serious risk of amniocentesis, which is why it is an optional test.
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.
Pregnancy by Trimester