Your key calender dates in pregnancy

An at-a-glance reminder and to-do list, plus a guide to the pregnancy-related appointments you are likely to have.

Things to do

Weeks 1 to 12

  • Visit your GP or midwife to confirm your pregnancy
  • Tell your employer as soon as you feel ready, especially if you’re worried about safety at work in relation to your pregnancy
  • Complete form FW8 for free prescriptions and dental treatment
  • Check your contract of employment to see whether your organisation offers additional maternity pay or leave
  • Start taking folic acid supplements if you haven’t already done so
  • Avoid contact with people known to have German measles (rubella)
  • Have a dental check-up and tell your dentist that you’re pregnant
  • Check out the Staying healthy pages on this site

Weeks 13 to 16

  • If you haven’t already, inform your employer about your pregnancy and confirm this in writing
  • As you start to put on weight, make sure your clothes, including your uniform if you wear one, fit you and check your bra fitting

Weeks 17 to 20

  • See your dentist for a free check-up if you haven’t already
  • You may have an ultrasound at around week 20
  • Ask your doctor or midwife for information about antenatal classes
  • Your midwife will give you form MAT B1 around this time – give this to your employer so you can claim the maternity leave and pay that’s due to you
  • If you’re off sick in weeks 19 to 26 and you don’t receive full pay during this time, your Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) may be reduced. If you only receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) during this time, you won’t qualify for SMP. If you need time off sick, you may be able to use annual leave to protect your entitlement to SMP.

Weeks 21 to 26

  • Talk to your employer if you feel that your growing pregnancy means you need to make adjustments to your work
  • Take extra care when lifting and doing any physical activity and take time out to relax each day
  • If you haven’t already done so, you should confirm your pregnancy and the baby’s due date to your employer by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of your baby’s birth. You must do this to ensure you receive your full entitlement to benefits
  • If you don’t qualify for SMP, your employer will give you form SMP1, outlining why you’re not eligible. You will need this to apply for Maternity Allowance
  • You must also tell your employer when you want to begin maternity leave (you can start maternity leave from week 29). This should be done by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of your baby’s birth
  • Partners should apply for paternity leave and pay if they are eligible by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of the birth

Weeks 27 to 30

  • Your antenatal checks may be monthly from now on
  • You may be starting your antenatal classes
  • Week 29 is the earliest you can start maternity leave
  • Week 29 is also the earliest you can receive SMP or Maternity Allowance, unless your baby is born early
  • Give your manager or a colleague a list of emergency contacts

Weeks 32 to 36

  • Start to prepare for your handover at work if you haven’t already
  • Give your employer at least 28 days’ notice of when you want to start your SMP
  • If you’re off sick for a pregnancy-related reason after the beginning of the fourth week before the expected week of childbirth, your employer can automatically start your maternity leave
  • Find out about childcare options for your return to work if you haven’t already done this
  • Pack your hospital bag

Weeks 37 to 40

  • You may be having antenatal appointments every two weeks now
  • Make sure you know how you’ll get to the hospital when the time comes
  • If you’re still working, take it easy