So, you’re having a baby, and you’re making your way through the first trimester, looking forward to the second trimester and being one step closer to the big day.
You’ve powered through the challenges of the first 12 weeks. So what comes next? And what can you expect from your OB-GYN visits in the second three months?
Going Through the Second 12 Weeks and OB Visits
During the second trimester, patients usually feel their best. These next three months will probably be the “peak” of your pregnancy. They’ll at least be the least stressful, since you no longer have to worry about first trimester miscarriages, or deal with the cramping and nausea that accompanies that time period.
The focus of your OB-GYN visits during this trimester is on monitoring the growth of your baby and making sure both you and the baby are healthy.
You’ll continue to have your vital signs and your urine checked, and you’ll visit approximately once every two weeks to once every month, depending on the schedule you and your doctor establish.
During the second trimester, you’ll probably be given an alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test, which screens for birth defects like spina bifida and things like Down syndrome. You can also undergo optional genetic studies, although you certainly don’t have to (unless your doctor strongly recommends them based on genetic history). An amniocentesis is also offered during this time if you’re over the age of 35; it checks for developmental abnormalities which are more likely if you’re over that age.
Symptoms to Expect
You probably won’t encounter nausea or cramping like you did during the first part of your pregnancy, but there are still some symptoms to expect. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained pains
- Nerve tingling
- Increased fetal movements
The last one is particularly important. Around the 18-week mark, you’ll probably experience something called the “quickening.” This is when your baby suddenly starts moving around a lot more. This is normal and good. Your doctor will monitor the movement, establish a pattern, and then be on the lookout for decreases in movement that could indicate something that needs to be checked out.
The main concern during the second 12 weeks is preterm delivery. Your doctor will keep a careful eye on several risk factors and signs that preterm delivery is possible.
Keep Up Your OB-GYN Visits – You’re Almost There!
Everyone wants a healthy baby and mommy. The OB visits during the second trimester are no less important than during the first trimester. So, keep it up – you’re about to enter the home stretch!