Second And Third Trimester Prenatal Visit
Return To Main Guide:
|What Can I Expect In My Second Trimester Visit?
Unless your pregnancy falls within a high-risk category of possibly developing pregnancy complications, your visits to the OB/GYN or healthcare professional will happen about once a month throughout the second trimester. The routine checks for these visits are likely to include the following:
Urine Checks: Your urine will continued be checked for sugar (to check for symptoms of diabetes), protein and urinary tract infections.
Fetal Heartbeat: After about week 12 many doctors test the baby's heartbeat using a sonic aid, an instrument that works like an ultrasound. If you are concerned about the safety of pregnancy ultrasounds, you can choose not to have this test.
Women over 35 or those with worrying results from a routine blood test may be offered diagnostic tests such as an amniocentesis test between weeks 14 to 18. Fluid from the wall of womb is drawn to check for Down syndrome and spina bifida. The test carries a 0.5-1 percent risk of miscarriage. Alternatively a chronic villus sampling test (CVS), where a sample is taken from the placenta via the vagina or abdomen can detect genetic disorders such as Down syndrome and carries a 1-4 percent risk of miscarriage.
Always keep a list of questions ready to ask your doctor, even if they seem unimportant or trivial.
You are in the last two thirds of your pregnancy and it is the final countdown to delivery day. Between weeks 28 to 36, the frequency of your prenatal visits usually become scheduled once a month, and weekly after this until birth. All of the usual tests continue to apply:
Weight: Towards the end of pregnancy, weight gain tends to slow down or stop. See, how much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
Group B Streptococcus (GBS): Many women are tested for GBS during the third trimester of pregnancy. Group B Streptococcus is a common bacterium which is usually harmless in adults. However, babies who become infected with it can become seriously ill. If tests prove positive you will be given intravenous antibiotics during labor to protect your baby from the bacterium.
Towards the end of your third trimester, your OB/GYN or healthcare provider should provide you with a labor and delivery protocol sheet. This explains when and who to call if you think you are going into labor and when to go to the hospital or birthing center. It may also include a list of what to take with you. If you do not receive this, be sure to ask for it. This is also the time to read a guide to childbirth, if you have not done so already.
Third trimester ultrasound scan: What is shows and why its done.
For more about the final stages of pregnancy, see the following:
• Birthing Centers - For a more natural birth, including waterbirth options.
Back To Homepage: Womens Health Advice