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Each stage of your pregnancy is important, and we are here to help you progress to a healthy delivery through attentive prenatal care.
Your pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and regular prenatal care is part of all three.
First trimester: You may not show much on the outside, but all of your fetus’s major body organs and systems are rapidly forming inside you. Your first trimester prenatal visit with your Lehigh Valley Health Network pregnancy care provider is one of the most important. Some tests may be done during the first trimester, including the first trimester screen, also called the sequential screen part one.
Second trimester: If you experienced morning sickness during the first trimester, the second trimester is a time when most women feel better. Your fetus, with all of its organs and systems developed, will grow to be 14 inches long and weigh about two pounds by the end of the second trimester. Prenatal care during the second trimester may include additional tests to ensure you and your baby are healthy.
Third trimester: As your due date nears, it’s important to continue prenatal appointments with your Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) provider. You will begin to see your doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner more frequently in the third trimester: About every two weeks until the final month when you will see your provider weekly.
Tests during pregnancy
Both the first trimester and second trimester provide opportunities for tests to check on the health of you and your fetus:
All pregnant women are tested for the Rh factor during the early weeks of pregnancy. A mother and fetus may have incompatible blood types; the most common is Rh incompatibility. Rh incompatibility occurs when the mother's blood is Rh-negative and the father's blood is Rh-positive and the fetus's blood is Rh-positive. The mother may produce antibodies against the Rh-positive fetus, which may lead to anemia in the fetus. Incompatibility problems are monitored, and appropriate medical treatment is available to prevent the formation of Rh antibodies during pregnancy.
- Blood screening tests to detect diseases (such as rubella, also called German measles)
- Genetic tests to detect inherited diseases (such as sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease)
- Screening tests to detect infectious diseases (such as sexually transmitted diseases)
Each prenatal visit is an opportunity for you to ask your LVHN health care provider about any concerns that you have.
Get ready for parenthood
During your pregnancy, you will have an opportunity to sign up for classes (most free) offered by LVHN to help you:
- Prepare for labor and delivery
- Learn about breastfeeding
- Take care of your newborn
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
Sign up for classes and support groups for new moms on our events calendar. LVHN.org/raisingafamily.