Pregnancy | Second-trimester: Throughout your second trimester, you’ll continue to visit your doctor once a month unless there is a need for you to go more often. Each appointment would probably begin with you stepping onto the scale to ensure that you are gaining weight normally. Here is an overall list of things to keep in mind while visiting your doctor.
Monitoring your weight gain – During your fourth, fifth and six months, you should be gaining about 250 to 350 grams a week. By tracking your weight, your doctor can estimate your baby’s growth and watch for signs of preeclampsia.
Doctors stress that you should try hard to stay within the proper weight recommended for your body. Straying too far from this guideline could lead to difficulties.
Why you should not gain too much weight?
- You put extra stress on your heart, which already is working overtime to pump increased blood volume.
- You put additional stress on your joints, which pregnancy hormones may already have loosened and made lax.
- You increase your risk of developing preeclampsia (a form of high blood pressure); a serious condition that can be life-threatening.
- You’ll be more likely to develop arches in your lower back.
- You may make labour and delivery more difficult because your baby will be big. It is, however, important that you gain about 9-14 kilos depending on your initial weight.
Triple-marker test – This test measures a specific protein, alpha-fetoprotein or AED your blood. If the AFP levels are high; it may identify a neural tube defect; if AFP levels are low (combined with abnormalities found in two other tests), this may identify Down’s syndrome Initially, this was done in mothers above 35 years of age, but American College of obstetricians and gynaecologists (2003) recommends that all expecting mothers be offered second trimester maternal serum AFP screening.
Rhesus (Rh)-antibody-level test (Rh. Gam) – This blood test is for rhesus-negative mothers. Most people have a specific protein in their blood called the Rh factor. Those who don’t are called Rh-negative. If a mother tests Rh-negative, the father of the child also should be tested for his Rh factor because problems arise when an Rh-negative mother conceives baby with an Rh-positive man. The tests are done about halfway through the pregnancy or at once if the mother has a bleeding problem.
Ultrasound This test uses high-frequency sound waves to visualise the unborn baby ultrasound examination can detect a pregnancy as early as six weeks after your last menstrual period and show the baby’s movements at approximately 12 weeks of gestational age.
How to best utilize your visit to the doctor?
Doctors’ clinics are usually crowded with patients. Hence it is quite likely that you spend most of your time waiting for your turn rather than actually meeting the doctor. Your actual time spend with the doctor is generally between 10 to 15 minutes.
How can you make the best use of these few minutes? Following are few tips:
Make an appointment Always try to visit your doctor with a prior appointment, except in case of an emergency.
Carry all your medical reports – Always carry your medical documents with you to the doctor, your antenatal card, test reports, prescription etc.
Make a list and prioritize your problems – Make a note of the problems or worries you want to discuss with your doctor. Prioritize the problems you want to discuss, depending upon the rate with which they bother you.
Discuss all your problems Discuss all your problems with your doctor. Some may be of minute worry to you but may have high significance for your health.
Turn off your mobile – Switch off your cell phone at the time of your appointment.
Get all your tests done – Get the prescribed tests and scans done before you visit the doctor so that your doctor can see the reports.
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.