You have made it through your first set of doctor visits, congratulations! Now it is on to the 2nd trimester with more visits ahead.
As you know, and if not that is perfectly fine, the 2nd trimester is from week 14-27. During this time you will see your doctor usually every 4 weeks. Which basically means you should have about 4 appointments during this time, if not more.
The reason some people have more appointments is because either they have a higher risk pregnancy, their doctor requests it due to a condition, or they have a specialist along with an OB/GYN.
Related article: What You Should Know About the 2nd Trimester
For me I ended up with 6 visits to the doctor during the 2nd trimester. Reason being that I had my normal 4 appointments with my OB/GYN, but for my ultrasounds I had a specialist so that was 2 more appointments.
Well let’s get to what you want to know about.
What is going to happen at your doctor visits?
Be prepared that all 4 will consist of basically the same things. Everytime going in you will see the nurse first to be weighed, have your blood pressure checked, and give a urine sample.
You should be used to these already because it happens at every appointment and will continue to the end.
Of course the doctor will be asking you questions about how you are feeling, if you have any questions or concerns, and if you are having any symptoms that is troubling you.
For many the symptoms from the 1st trimester will start to fade away towards the beginning of the 2nd trimester, but others may end up with morning sickness for the entirety of their pregnancy. If this is the case then usually your doctor will prescribe you a medication to calm your morning sickness.
Now the doctor will also begin to ask if you have started to feel baby move, if you have had any spotting or bleeding, or if you have felt any contractions. Usually you will feel baby moving around 15-18 weeks and potentially start having Braxton Hicks.
All of this will be occuring at your appointments along with them using a fetal doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. There will be some special dates/ appointments that will be a bit different though.
Let’s jump into those.
At 20 weeks you should be having an anatomy scan. An anatomy scan is just a higher leveled ultrasound where the technician takes all measurements of baby. The size of baby’s head, length of arms and legs, width of abdomen, etc are all measured for record and to make sure baby is growing correctly.
If you are having a specialist do this instead of your OB/GYN then you actually get to skip the urine sample, but they will weigh you and check your blood pressure.
Basically, all you do after that is go lay back on the exam tables and watch baby on the screen as they measure.
By this time if you have not learned the gender of baby and actually want to then you will find out. Or if you just want a confirmation of the gender this is usually a good time.
This would be another ultrasound that may be done by a specialist as well. You would do the same thing that you did at week 20 for the anatomy scan. During this one they would mainly be checking to see if the ratio of baby to amniotic fluid is where it should be.
Between 15-20 weeks there is a multiple marker screening, which is a blood test that checks for the markers of Down Syndrome and can tell you the risks for the baby.
Between 16-20 weeks your doctor will offer amniocentesis. This is another test to diagnose Down Syndrome, but also chromosomal abnormalities, and genetic disorders. The only thing with this one is that it does carry a small risk of miscarriage.
Between 24-28 weeks is the dreaded glucose test. This is where they test for gestational diabetes. You will be given a bottle of 50 grams of sugar solution. It comes in a few flavors; cola, lime, orange, grape, and strawberry. Some places don’t have all of the flavors and you may not even be able to choose.
Now you will be given 5 minutes to down it all. I will warn you it tastes nasty to most. Basically, it tastes like flat, warm, soda. The best one that people prefer is the lime flavor because it is more like a flat sprite or sierra mist. The orange tastes like an orange crush or an orange fanta that is flat. These will also taste much more sugary than the soda as well.
After you drink the whole bottle you have to wait for an hour. Yup, longest hour it feels like. Bring a book or something to do because you will get bored.
You may even feel sick during this time or even afterwards. Some women end up throwing up from it, so if you do then you are not alone.
Once the hour is up, you will get your blood drawn so that they can test how high your tolerance is. If it is too high they will ask you to come back for a 3-hour test. That means 3x the solution and you have 15 minutes to drink it all, then wait for 3 hours at the lab.
Let’s hope you don’t have to go back for a 3 hour test. Even the hour long one is not fun.
Always ask your doctor for more information if you have any questions about any tests. Some of them you may not have to do or can choose not to. The glucose test is not usually one that you can opt out of though.
You can check out more about pregnancy below with our other articles.
- What You Should Know About the 2nd Trimester
- 1st Trimester Doctor Visits
- Top 5 Thing You Should Know About the 1st Trimester
- Helix Mattress Review (great mattress even for pregnancy!)
- And many more under our Pregnancy tab!
Have you taken your glucose test yet? What flavor did you end up with and how did you end up feeling? Did you get lucky enough to not have to take the 3-hour test? Let us know!