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Prenatal care: 2nd trimester visits
Consider prenatal testing
During the second trimester, you might be offered various prenatal screenings or tests:
- Blood tests. Blood tests might be done to screen for developmental or chromosomal conditions, such as spina bifida or Down syndrome.
- Fetal ultrasound. Fetal ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a baby in the uterus. An ultrasound can help your health care provider evaluate your baby's growth and development. It also gives you an exciting glimpse of your baby.
- Diagnostic tests. If the results of a blood test or ultrasound are worrisome or your history suggests high risk, your health care provider might recommend a more invasive diagnostic test — such as amniocentesis. During amniocentesis, a sample of amniotic fluid — the fluid that surrounds and protects a baby during pregnancy — is removed from the uterus for testing.
Keep your health care provider informed
The second trimester often brings a renewed sense of well-being. Still, there's a lot happening.
Tell your health care provider what's on your mind, even if it seems silly or unimportant. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to your health — or your baby's health.Previous page
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- Lockwood CJ, et al. The initial prenatal assessment and routine prenatal care. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 8, 2012.
- You and Your Baby: Prenatal Care, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum Care. Washington, D.C.: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2011.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=46. Accessed May 10, 2012.