Prenatal Visits in the Second Trimester

Woman and her midwife at prenatal visit
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From weeks 13-27 you will typically see your doctor or midwife every four weeks to a month for your prenatal care appointments. This makes for about three or four appointments total in this trimester. These may be spaced out further as your schedule or their schedule needs or if your health requires it they may be closer together.

Many women are feeling great in this trimester and don't feel the need to see their practitioner any more than this during the honeymoon phase of pregnancy.

If you hadn't heard the heartbeat of your baby in the first trimester, you will certainly hear it at the beginning of this one.

Between hearing the baby's heartbeat and feeling your baby move - the second trimester is a great one. Most moms will also wind up wearing maternity clothes by the end of the trimester. This can be a very positive thing, particularly if your clothes are tight. It's also a fun sign that you really are pregnant - much better than morning sickness!

What to Expect from Second Trimester Prenatal Appointments

At your prenatal appointments you will see many of the same screenings that you saw in the first trimester, including:

  • blood pressure check
  • urine monitoring
  • listening for baby
  • feeling/measuring your uterus via your abdomen

These will continue throughout the whole pregnancy. They help ensure that you and baby are healthy. Many women will have questions about pregnancy at each visit.

In the first trimester, they are often about the health of the pregnancy or the symptoms you're having. The second trimester, as your life and pregnancy symptoms settle in for the long nine-month haul, your questions turn to more mundane things and the tasks of daily living. 

You might have questions about what to eat, how to exercise, and other parts of life.

Your doctor or midwife can certainly help you answer these questions, particularly in view of your medical history and current pregnancy. This is often reassuring. The third trimester is when most people start asking about labor - do yourself a favor, take an early pregnancy class or childbirth class and start asking questions earlier so you can put it into practice.

The second trimester is also a great time to meet the other doctors or midwives in the practice if your practice has multiple people who may attend the birth. Some practices hold a monthly social hour where you can chat quickly with the doctors and other practitioners after a short presentation. Other groups recommend that you schedule an entire prenatal appointment with one of the other practitioners. Some mothers like the whole visit, while others would rather spend it with their primary person. You might take the practice's call schedule into account when making this decision. How often will the primary person you're seeing actually be the one with you when you give birth?

If it's is not very likely, then you might as well rotate through more practitioners. If it is really common, then sticking to a primary person might be the right move.

There are still some common tests used in the second trimester. Some are for genetic screening and diagnostic testing for chromosomes, others are routine. The one that many women really look forward to is the mid-pregnancy ultrasound. A good number of women will choose to find out the sex of their baby at this appointment, making it extra special.

Common Tests in the Second Trimester

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