Appointments with your health care provider

Your visit to your health care provider this month will again focus on tracking the growth of your baby, confirming your due date and watching for any problems with your own health. If you remember the date when you first felt your baby move, tell your health care provider. This date will be one more piece of the puzzle in determining your baby's age most accurately.

As during your visit last month, your health care provider will probably also measure the size of your uterus by checking the fundal height — the distance from the top (fundus) of your uterus to your pubic bone. This measurement will help your health care provider be more certain about your baby's age and growth. From your 18th to 34th weeks of pregnancy, your fundal height, in centimeters, will probably equal the number of weeks of your pregnancy.

In addition to performing the fundal height test, your health care provider will probably check your weight and blood pressure and ask you about any signs and symptoms you've been experiencing. During your visit to your health care provider this month, you may have an ultrasound exam. This is also the month when a genetic amniocentesis is done if that is desired. With amniocentesis, a sample of the amniotic fluid is taken from the sac surrounding the baby. This sample can be tested to see if the baby has certain abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

This month, you may be interested in:

• "Decision Guide: Understanding prenatal testing," page 289

• "Complications: Iron deficiency anemia," page 553

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