Your Pregnancy Weeks 10-16
Throughout the course of your pregnancy, you will see your doctor about 14 times, assuming all tests are reassuring that your baby is developing just fine. After your first prenatal visit and until week 28 you should plan to see the doctor once a month. Understanding what to expect with your pregnancy week-by-week will help you calm any fears you may have and make the best possible preparations. Here’s what you can expect during your pregnancy weeks 10-16:
Prenatal Appointments: Weeks 10 – 12
Your 2nd prenatal appointment occurs between your 10th and 12th week of pregnancy. Starting now, you’ll realize that almost every prenatal appointment starts with a nurse taking your weight and blood pressure and with a urine sample. The urine test looks for bacteria and high levels of sugar and protein in your system, which could indicate diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or preeclampsia (high blood pressure). Preeclampsia typically occurs later in pregnancy if it occurs at all.
During the second prenatal appointment, the doctor will discuss all the results of the pap, blood, and urine testing completed at your first prenatal appointment. It’s also the time when you’ll discuss the results of the cystic fibrosis test (if administered), the Rh factor test, and the notes from your genetics counseling visit. If you choose to have a nuchal translucency screening (also called an NT scan) to test for the possibility of Down syndrome, this will be administered during your second appointment.
Your doctor will also use the Doppler to listen for the baby’s heartbeat. A Doppler is a small, non-intrusive device that is placed over your abdomen to reveal your baby’s heartbeat through the use of ultrasound. Bear in mind that it may be too soon to hear the heartbeat clearly, so don’t worry if your baby’s first sounds are too quiet to be heard.
We will also use the Doppler to listen for the baby’s heartbeat. Bear in mind that it may be too soon to hear the heartbeat clearly, so do not worry if you don’t. By the way, a Doppler is a small, non-intrusive device that is placed over your abdomen to reveal your baby’s heartbeat. The machine uses ultrasound to convert sound waves.
Prenatal Appointments: Weeks 14-16
The second trimester begins at week 14 of your pregnancy. Around now you will hopefully begin to have more energy and less morning sickness. You may also start to appear pregnant. Your third prenatal appointment occurs between the 14th and 16th week of pregnancy.
While you may be feeling more pregnant now, your third prenatal appointment won’t differ much from your previous prenatal appointment.
If your doctor did not conduct tests for the presence of Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) in your blood, then you will undergo that testing now, assuming you requested prenatal genetics testing. AFP testing looks for risk of Down syndrome, trisomy 18, neural tube defects, and other birth defects. These tests can be a combination of blood test, ultrasound, and amniocentesis (see our previous post about genetics testing).
As always, your prenatal appointment is an opportunity to ask questions about your pregnancy and upcoming labor and delivery. Arrive prepared to ask questions.
Learn more about what to expect with your pregnancy week-by-week. Download this complimentary guide for more in-depth information and tips on common questions you should ask your healthcare provider during pregnancy.