Second Trimester

You are now entering your second trimester. Your energy level should increase to normal levels now that the first trimester is over. In general, you do not need to limit your activity and exercise, unless your physician tells you to do so. If you are an avid exerciser, be careful during your workout.

  • Avoid exercise that increases your heart rate above 140 beats per minute.
  • Limit periods of exercise where your heart rate is accelerated for 20 minutes.
  • If you find an exercise uncomfortable or painful, listen to your body and stop or change your workout so you are more comfortable.

If you have been experiencing nausea or morning sickness, there is good news! Your nausea and vomiting should be ending during your second trimester. If you have concerns about your diet or weight gain, let your physician know and perhaps a visit with the dietitian will be helpful.

In general, it is best to avoid all medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) except for your prenatal vitamins, unless first approved by your doctor. Your prenatal vitamins are very important for your baby's growth and development. Consider taking them at night or breaking them in half if you are still experiencing nausea or morning sickness.

During each prenatal visit, your physician will check your blood pressure, weight and urine. Your physician will also measure your uterus to see how much your baby has grown and will listen to the baby's heartbeat. Write down your questions and concerns and bring this list to your appointment so you and your doctor can discuss them.

Diagnostic Tests

Early in your pregnancy, your doctor will take some blood to determine your blood type, iron count, sugar level, and whether you've had an immunization against rubella.

Additionally, between 16 and 20 weeks, your doctor could give you a blood test called the alpha-feto-protein (AFP) test to check for abnormalities in your baby's development. Based on the results of that test, your doctor could give you an amniocentesis, during which he or she will test fluid taken from the sac that holds the fetus. Amniocentesis should be completed early in this trimester, usually between 16 and 18 weeks.

If your doctor thinks that there are factors that place you or your baby "at risk" during your pregnancy, you may be referred to a perinatologist (high-risk specialist) or maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

Choose your baby's doctor or pediatrician early (check with your insurance plan for covered physicians on staff at St. Joseph Hospital). Make an appointment with him or her before the delivery.

Ask your doctor about current vaccinations (e.g., flu, TDAP).