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You are here : home > Pregnancy Month by Month > Second Month of Pregnancy > 2nd Antenatal Visit and Diagnostic Tests

2nd Antenatal Visit and Diagnostic Tests

Various tests are recommended by doctor during the second antenatal visit. Find what to expect during the second antenatal visit and the diagnostic tests recommended during the second antennal visit.

What Can I Expect from My 2nd Antenatal Visit?

As a general rule, you can expect your weight and blood pressure to be taken, and your hands and feet checked for oedema (swelling). Your legs are checked for varicose veins.

Normally your second antenatal appointment will be scheduled a month after your first appointment, unless you have any health issues which require immediate screening. During your second visit you can expect your doctor to:

  • Perform a urine test to check sugar and protein levels
  • Perform a Doppler test to hear to the fetal heart beat. Normally, a baby’s first heart beat can be felt during week 8-12 with the help of this test.
  • Carry out any other test which he may deem fit

Make use of your antenatal visit to discuss problems related to your pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to provide you suitable advice on a whole lot of issues like morning sickness, physical changes happening in your body and ways to cope with the emotional strain of being pregnant.

Diagnostic Tests

You might be asked for a urine test to check for sugar and protein and a blood test to check your haemoglobin count. Following are diagnostic tests which may be recommended during the second antenatal visit.

Chorionic Villus Sampling or CVS - This is a blood test that is done to check for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic problems. Most doctors prefer doing this test during the second trimester although it can be done during the first trimester also.

Multiple Marker Screening Test - This blood test is carried out to measure the levels of 3 or 4 substances or ‘markers” in the blood. These “markers” provide a fair indication of the potential risks of a baby suffering from Down syndrome. This test can also provide details of potential birth defects in babies like Spina bifida. 

During the second antenatal visit, for some women doctors may recommend Amniocentesis to be done. This test is done to diagnose Down syndrome as well as to identify genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects. This test carries a small chance of miscarriage because of which it is not done for all pregnant women. It becomes necessary in case of women who are at a higher risk of having genetic and chromosomal problems.

Special Screening for Neural Tube Defects - If multiple marker test or amniocentesis is not done, a test to specifically check for neural tube defects is normally carried out in the second trimester. This includes either the AFP blood test or ultrasound or both.

Glucose Screening Test - Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which can develop in some women late in pregnancy- normally after the 24th week. Women who develop gestational diabetes do not have diabetes before becoming pregnant.

Ultrasound - Irrespective of whether your doctor recommends some or all of the above tests, most medical practitioners will perform an ultrasound to check for physical abnormalities if any and to verify the due date of the baby.

Antibody - This test is done in case you are RH negative but the baby’s father is not. This test will help to ascertain whether your body is producing antibodies against your baby's potentially Rh-positive blood or not.

In case the blood test results indicate that your body is producing antibodies, your baby will be closely monitored for specific problems for the entire remaining term of your pregnancy. In case you are not producing the antibodies, medication in the form of an injection of RH immune globulin will be administered at 28 weeks.

Antenatal care is care which you receive from health care providers during your pregnancy. During your antenatal visits your doctors will provide you information on the progress of your pregnancy and take certain decisions on your behalf. To actively participate in the decision making process it is important that you understand what is involved. You should be prepared to ask questions and clarify doubts if any openly with your doctor.

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