Every visit until you give birth will include a routine check. This routine check will likely include checking in with you about any concerns you may have; checking your weight gain; listening to the baby's heartbeat (using Doppler if you so choose); assessing the baby's growth (fundal height) and vital signs, as well as her or his position; collecting a urine sample to screen for diabetes, preeclampsia (protein in urine), or infections; and conducting a physical exam, which includes taking your blood pressure to check for gestational hypertension and checking your hands and feet for swelling and your legs for varicose veins. If you have not yet done so, the second trimester is a good time to discuss your birth preferences with your provider.
Some providers suggest that women conduct some of these physical assessments (such as weighing ourselves and checking urine) for ourselves. Many women appreciate the opportunity to participate in our own health care.
One of the purposes of testing your urine is to determine whether you have preeclampsia, a syndrome whose symptoms include high blood pressure; generalized swelling of hands, feet, and face (edema); sudden weight gain; and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia has the potential to lead to serious problems during pregnancy.