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What will happen at my second trimester doctor visits?

Deborah Davis, DNP
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The following are common tests done within the second trimester of your pregnancy: AFP (Alpha-Fetal Protein) or serum quad screen - this is designated as a risk estimate for Down syndrome and certain chromosomal abnormalities; Ultrasound or Sonogram - this is used for routine anatomy scan of the fetus at 18 to 20 weeks; Amniocentesis - is used for the purpose of determining certain chromosomal abnormalities and other types of serious birth defects; Glucose Tolerance Test - a simple blood test used to screen for gestational diabetes.

You can expect a whole new battery of tests now that you're in your second trimester:

  1. Beginning with your 12-week visit, your provider will listen for the fetus's heartbeat
  2. Check your hands, feet, and face for swelling; if at risk, you'll undergo a work-up for preeclampsia
  3. Beginning at your 20 week visit, your provider will measure your abdomen to check the fetus's growth
  4. Between 18 and 20 weeks, a sonogram is commonly done to see whether your baby's health and growth are progressing normally
  5. Between 24 and 28 weeks, every pregnant woman receives a glucose screening test for gestational diabetes
  6. Your provider may check your blood once more for anemia
  7. Blood test for Rh antibodies if you are Rh negative and your partner is Rh positive or unknown; if antibodies are not detected, you will be given in injection of Rh immune globulin at 28 weeks
  8. In addition, your provider will ask questions to insure that you are staying in good mental and physical health as your pregnancy progresses (you'll be asked about fetal movement and the pattern that is developing so you can learn to monitor this important health tool)
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time,...

During the second trimester, you will see your doctor every four weeks. Your second trimester doctor visits will include:

  • weight check
  • blood pressure check
  • urine check for protein and glucose for some diseases that can pop up during this trimester
  • ultrasound at 20 weeks to look at the fetal brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and gender if you want to know what you're having
  • additional ultrasounds if you are high risk

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.