2nd Trimester: 1st Prenatal Visit

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on June 08, 2023
3 min read

You're now in your second trimester, and you're probably starting to show. At today's appointment, your doctor may offer you a screening test, if you weren't offered one during your last visit. As usual, your doctor will measure your progress and talk with you about any questions or concerns. They may also suggest ways you can stay healthier while you're pregnant, which will benefit both you and your baby.

If you weren't screened for Down syndrome during your first trimester, your doctor may offer you a a free cell DNA  test, a quadruple screen, or integrated test at today's appointment. These blood tests help to determine your baby's risk of Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and neural tube defects like spina bifida.

A second trimester screening can be less accurate if you're having twins.

If you chose to have the first trimester screen at your last visit, now may be the time for your second blood draw, depending on the test that was done.

If the results of your 12-week or 16-week screening test show an increase in risk, your doctor may recommend amniocentesis, a diagnostic test. You'll need to have the procedure done soon, so talk with your doctor about when to schedule it.

Remember, an abnormal result does not mean something is wrong with your baby. In most cases the baby is healthy despite the abnormal test result.

Also at this visit your doctor will:

  • Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth
  • Check your weight and blood pressure
  • Check your baby's heart rate
  • Ask you to leave a urine sample to check your sugar and protein levels
  • Schedule your 20-week ultrasound exam to evaluate your baby's anatomy

Women usually feel more energetic during the second trimester, so your doctor will want to be sure you're feeling strong. They will ask if you've seen other health care providers for routine appointments. Your doctor also may give you travel guidelines, because many couples take "babymoons" during the second trimester. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Your activity level, and whether you're getting enough exercise.
  • How to travel safely during pregnancy, whether by car or airplane.
  • Your oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams and cleanings. Good oral health is important for pregnant women because cavities and gum disease have been linked to a higher risk of preterm delivery.
  • Getting a flu vaccine to protect you and your baby from influenza. You can safely get a flu shot any time during your pregnancy. However, you should avoid the flu nasal mist, because it contains the live virus.

Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • Should I exercise more to get in better shape for my baby?
  • How long can I drive without stopping to stretch my legs?
  • Should I take any precautions before going on an airplane?
  • Should I snack throughout the day or eat only at mealtimes?
  • Should I tell my dentist that I'm pregnant?
  • What should I do if I get a urinary tract infection?
  • What should I do if I get a yeast infection?