Prenatal care: 2nd trimester visits

During the second trimester, prenatal care includes routine lab tests and measurements of your baby's growth. You might consider prenatal testing, too.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The goal of prenatal care is to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy during your entire pregnancy. Prenatal care should start as soon as you think you're pregnant. Your health care provider will ask you to schedule prenatal care appointments about every four weeks throughout the second trimester.

Here's what to expect at your second trimester prenatal appointments.

Review the basics

Your health care provider will check your blood pressure and weight at every visit. Share any concerns you might have.

Then it's time for your baby to take center stage. Your health care provider will:

  • Track your baby's growth. By measuring the distance from the pubic bone to the top of your uterus, your health care provider can gauge your baby's growth. This measurement in centimeters often equals the number of weeks of your pregnancy to date.
  • Listen to your baby's heartbeat. At second trimester visits, you might listen to your baby's heartbeat using a Doppler instrument. The Doppler instrument detects motion and conveys it as sound, which allows you to "hear" the baby's heartbeat.
  • Assess fetal movement. Tell your health care provider when you begin noticing flutters or kicks. This usually happens by about 20 weeks — or perhaps earlier if you've been pregnant before.
July 22, 2015 See more In-depth