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.

Aug. 04, 2012 See more In-depth