Problems in pregnancy

Some pregnancies develop problems along the way and there are various factors that can affect the health of your pregnant employee and/or her baby.

If your employee has a pregnancy-related problem, she may need extra time for medical appointments, be off sick at home or even need admission to hospital.

Sometimes a baby is born too early, and the issues arising from this can depend on many factors, including the level of prematurity. Sometimes, sadly, a pregnancy ends with the death of the baby.

It’s important to be sensitive to your employee’s needs – she may prefer her colleagues not to know what’s happening or she may be open about her concerns and take comfort from the support of her co-workers. However she reacts, make sure you follow her lead and respect her privacy.


The death of a baby before or during labour is a devastating experience. Each person copes with the grief differently but your employee will need time and support to help her come to terms with her baby’s death.

Find out more about stillbirth and your employee 

Premature birth

A premature baby (or preemie) is one born earlier than usual, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Your employee may already know her baby is likely to be born early, or it may come as a complete shock.

Find out more about premature birth and your employee 


Miscarriage, which is the loss of a baby up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, is more common than many people realise. This is especially true of ‘early’ miscarriages, which occur in the first 12 weeks.

Find out more about miscarriage and your employee