We will walk you through the most eventful part of your pregnancy, the middle stage, including everything from the first time you feel your baby kick to determining where you want to give birth and making plans for your maternity leave.

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14 weeks pregnant

Making public the news of your pregnancy

If you have been holding off on letting everyone know that a baby will soon be joining your family, you may now be ready to announce it to the world. This could mean that you publish a picture of your growing baby belly on Facebook or that you have a conversation with your parents over a cup of coffee. In addition, the beginning of the second trimester is a good time to start thinking about when you will break the news to your employer that you are expecting a child.

Your employer has a legal obligation to ensure that your place of employment is safe for both you and your unborn child as soon as you inform them that you are expecting. This commitment begins as soon as you let them know that you are expecting. This means that they are required to conduct a health and safety assessment, that you are exempt from working overtime, that you are eligible for paid time off work for appointments related to maternity care, and that you have additional protections in the event that you are threatened with redundancy. Your maternity rights will begin to take effect as soon as you inform your employer that you are expecting; you do not need to wait until you get the MATB1 certificate to do so. Simply informing your employer about your pregnancy is sufficient.

16 weeks pregnant

The second trimester can be the perfect time to start thinking about what you need to buy for your baby, including a pushchair or travel system.

Doing some shopping for your infant

It is time for your second prenatal appointment, and if you are fortunate, this will be the first time that you will be able to listen to the heartbeat of your unborn child using a doppler. This appointment will most likely be with a midwife if you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy; but, if your pregnancy is considered to be higher risk, it is possible that it will be with a consultant doctor instead.

Your energy levels tend to peak in the second trimester of pregnancy, and this could be an excellent time to begin planning for the fundamentals of caring for a newborn that you will soon require. Finding the greatest items, however, can be challenging when there are so many possibilities. You can put your mind at ease by picking an Ideal Buy infant car seat, knowing that it has passed rigorous safety testing conducted by Which? and that it should be easy to fit as well. Our guide to the many varieties of pushchairs will help you find the one that is best for you.

If you are considering purchasing a cot bed before your child is born, you should also read our reviews of these products. It is important to consider the day-to-day costs of having a kid in addition to the major goods purchases that will need to be made. Your baby will go through diapers at an alarming rate, so you need to decide whether you want to use reusable or disposable diapers as soon as possible. It is important to make financial preparations in advance for maternity leave because this period of time can be challenging for many families’ budgets.

18 weeks pregnant

Mid-pregnancy scan

Your second NHS scan, known as a foetal anomaly scan, will take place sometime between the 18th and 20th week of your pregnancy. During the time that the ultrasound is being performed, your unborn child may yawn, suckle their thumb, stretch out a leg or arm, or do any number of other things that will make them seem much more baby-like to you. At this scan, you may be able to find out whether or not your baby is going to be a boy or a girl, but keep in mind that it is not always possible to determine this with absolute certainty.

The sonographer will perform an in-depth examination of your baby’s health and will also examine the placement of your placenta during the pregnancy. It is possible that you will need to have an elective caesarean section if the placenta is situated too low down in the uterus. However, as a first step, you will be requested to attend a scan at a later stage in your pregnancy in order to determine whether or not it has gone any higher. The location of the placenta can also have a role in the timing of the first kicks you feel from your unborn child. It is possible that you will not feel your baby move for the first time until a few weeks after your due date if the placenta is located on the front of your uterus. After you have experienced the initial flutters, it will be at least a few more weeks before other people will be able to feel the kicks on the exterior of your belly.

20 weeks pregnant

Halfway through your pregnancy at around 20 weeks is a good time to think about where you might like to give birth.

Choosing a location for the delivery of the baby

It is a significant accomplishment to make it through the first half of your pregnancy. All of a sudden, you’re only a few months away from finally holding your baby in your arms! Around this time, you should begin making preparations for the arrival of the baby so that you will have plenty of time to get organised and ready. If you have not yet settled on whether you will give birth at home, in a birth centre, or on a labour and delivery ward, the Where to give birth tool on our website can assist you in comparing these three possible settings to see which one may be the most suitable for you. It is also a good idea to discuss your ideas regarding the place of birth with your midwife. If possible, it is also a good idea to take a tour of the maternity unit that you are thinking about giving birth in so that you can get a sense for what it is like there.

In order to ensure that you discuss everything that is significant to you when choosing the location of your delivery, we have compiled a list of questions regarding maternity units that you may ask your midwife when making your decision about where to give birth. If you are considering giving birth at home, you may want to investigate the possibility of renting a birth pool and getting a head start on gathering the various additional supplies that you will require. In this article, three mothers discuss their experiences giving birth at home and offer advice to expectant mothers who are considering labouring and delivering their babies at home.

22 weeks pregnant

Making arrangements for maternity leave

It is a good idea for you to start making preparations for your maternity leave right now. You have the opportunity to inform your employer of the day that you would like your statutory maternity leave to begin up until the end of your 25th week of pregnancy. In order to qualify for statutory maternity pay, you will be required to submit your MATB1 certificate, which can be obtained from your midwife or your doctor. You may find additional information about the salary or benefits to which you may be entitled as well as how to arrange your leave by reading our guide to maternity and paternity rights. This guide also includes useful template letters that can be sent in to employers.

You should also consider writing a will so that, in the event that something were to happen to either of you, your legal and financial matters would be safeguarded, and a guardian of your choosing would be designated to care for your child. Have you given any thought to prenatal classes as of yet? It might be a smart move to get the search underway. Even though sessions don’t start until you’re typically around 30 weeks pregnant, groups can fill up quite quickly. In the event that you are considering enrolling in private prenatal classes, you should inquire with your midwife about the NHS antenatal classes and NCT courses that are offered in your area.

24 weeks pregnant

If you're planning to breast feed, check out our latest reviews of manual and electric breast pumps for help on how to choose the best one for you.

Getting ready for a future with a new baby

You could be starting to think about their first few weeks on the outside while your child is busy growing at a breakneck speed on the inside. This is completely normal. If this will be your first child, you will likely have an appointment with the midwife around this time. You may always ask midwives questions about how to care for your infant, such as how to get ready to start breastfeeding. Midwives are available to assist with postnatal care as well as pregnancy and birth, so you can always ask them questions about how to care for your newborn.

In addition, we provide information on the essentials for breastfeeding, such as nursing bras and maternity pillows, which can help make the first few days of breastfeeding a little less challenging. Some women decide to start pumping milk soon after giving birth, while others choose to express colostrum during the last few weeks of their pregnancies. You could accomplish this by expressing breast milk by hand, but you might find it more convenient to use a pump instead. Check out our most recent evaluations of manual and electric breast pumps for guidance on how to select the kind that is most suitable for your needs.

26 weeks pregnant

Is it time for a vacation?

Some soon-to-be parents-to-be have it in their minds to take one last vacation as a married pair at the end of the second trimester of their pregnancies (also known as a babymoon). If you are pregnant and want to travel internationally, you should first check with your airline to determine if they impose any limitations on pregnant passengers. If you are in good health and not carrying multiples, they will typically allow you to travel up until you are roughly 32 to 36 weeks pregnant; however, you will probably need a letter from your doctor certifying that you are fit to fly before you may do so. Because you are at an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis when you are pregnant, you should always wear socks with support and make sure to get up and walk around the aeroplane at least once every half an hour.

You should also bring your maternity notes, information about your travel insurance, and your EHIC card (if you are travelling within Europe) with you on your vacation. This will provide you piece of mind in the event that you unexpectedly require medical attention while you are away from home. Because pregnant hormones might have an effect on your gums at this point in your pregnancy, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist. During your time as a pregnant woman and for the first year after the birth of your child, you are eligible for free dental treatment and medicines. If you are pregnant and want to apply for a MatEx card or a maternity exemption certificate, your doctor or midwife can provide you with the necessary paperwork.