Pregnant employees have legal rights, and this includes paid time off for certain activities. The mother is allowed to take time off work for antenatal appointments or antenatal and parenting classes.
Why are antenatal appointments important?
Antenatal appointments are a very important part of your pregnancy. They give you time with a midwife in which you can ask questions about anything that has been worrying you. And crucially, they allow midwives to check that everything is as it should be with you and your growing baby. The tests that you have in each appointment, the urine test and blood pressure for example, can pick up pregnancy conditions, such as pre-eclampsia, that might not show up in any other way. Scans are carried out for the same reason.
Is it illegal to tell me I can't go to an appointment?
Yes, your employer is breaking the law if they don’t give you time off to go to them. You should also be paid at your normal rate for this time off.
What if I work freelance?
If you’re freelance or an agency worker, you may not be paid for the time off.
Giving notice of appointments
Your antenatal appointments are arranged in advance with your midwife, so it’s a good idea to give your employer as much notice as possible of your appointment times so that cover can be arranged if necessary.
The baby’s father or your partner also has the right to get time off to go to the appointments with you, but they don’t, by law, have to be paid.
You are likely to find that your second pregnancy has differences to the first time you were pregnant.
It’s common to feel unusually tired when you’re pregnant, and it can be very frustrating if you can’t get to sleep.
The fact that you’ve had a previous abortion is not likely to affect your pregnancy.
Stretch marks appear mostly on your stomach, breasts and thighs. They look like darker lines or streaks and they appear as your bump grows and your skin stretches.
No, it’s unlikely you will have an internal examination (inside your vagina) until you go into labour unless there is any concern that needs to be investigated.
After 12 weeks it is not harmful to take folic acid but the neural tube will have grown and so it will not benefit from it.
If you have already had a normal pregnancy and baby, and this pregnancy is considered low risk, giving birth at home has been shown to be just as safe as birth in a hospital unit.
The Department of Health has developed a vaccine for pregnant women to protect their babies against this illness until the babies can be immunised themselves.
If you are over 28 weeks pregnant some airlines will ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife. Most airlines will not carry pregnant women after 36 weeks or 32 weeks if they are carrying twins.
There doesn't appear to be any evidence to show that hair dye is unsafe in pregnancy.
1. Gov.uk [accessed 10 February 2015] ‘Pregnant employees’ rights’ https://www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights
2. Health and Safety Executive [accessed 10 February 2015] ‘New and Expectant Mothers: The law’, London, HSE: http://www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/law.htm .Hide details