You are 12 weeks pregnant!
You are nearly at the end of the first trimester and you may notice some of the worst elements to early pregnancy, like morning sickness and extreme tiredness, starting to subside.
Your baby’s development has passed the critical stage during week 12 and there is less chance of you miscarrying from now on. You may want to start telling people you are pregnant – unless you’ve told the world already!
During week twelve your baby is beginning to practise using his reflexes. If his hands or feet touch any other part of his body he may flinch and if they connect with his eyes, he may blink in response. If you prod your uterus your baby will squirm away, but he is still too small for you to feel anything yet. If you notice your stomach looking bloated this week it isn’t your baby making you swell but actually the hormones in your body slowing down your bowels and digestive system and making you feel bloated.
Most women start to relax at twelve weeks and feel they can settle into enjoying their pregnancies, for many morning sickness has begun to subside and a little bump is starting to show. This may be the week you feel ready to tell people about your pregnancy.
Here is a quick round up of your maternity rights at the time of press:
- You have no legal obligation to tell work that you are pregnant until the 15th week before your baby is due, however laws that protect you and your baby at work can only come into place once you have told your employer you are pregnant.
- Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) is the first 26 weeks of maternity leave. If you return to work after 26 weeks’ OML you have the right to return to exactly the same job. You must give your employer the correct notice in order to qualify for maternity leave (see How to give notice below).
- You are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave regardless of length of service or the number of hours you work, providing you give the correct notice.
- How much you are paid depends on your company and how long you have been working there.
Don't forget that you are also entitled to paid time off to go to antenatal appointments.