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  13. Week 25
  14. Week 26
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Week 25

Welcome to week 25! You'll need to tell your employers now, if you have not already, so that you can get maternity pay and benefits.

If your partner plans to take paternity leave, they will need to tell their employer too. Did you know that female partners are also entitled to paternity leave?

What's happening in my body?

You could be starting to get a bit puffy and swollen in your face, hands and feet.

This is probably completely harmless and caused by water retention – but do mention it to your midwife or doctor. They will want to check your blood pressure, just in case it's a sign of a dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia can happen in the 2nd half of pregnancy or after the baby is born.

If you get any other signs, such as splitting headaches, vision problems, or pain just below the ribs, then call your doctor, midwife or NHS 111.

Feeling gassy after eating

Are you burping a lot? It's very common around now. You may also be feeling more full than usual.

After eating or drinking you could get:

  • burning in your chest
  • bloating
  • nausea

This is probably indigestion and heartburn. Digestive problems are caused by your growing baby taking over some of the space where your stomach used to be.

It can help to:

  • eat smaller meals, so you do not feel too full afterwards
  • eat healthily and avoid rich, spicy and fatty foods
  • cut back on drinks with caffeine (like tea, coffee and energy drinks)
  • sit up straight when you eat
  • give up alcohol and cigarettes

If you're pregnant and single

Around 1 in 4 families are single-parent families. You may be worried about money or how you'll cope. It's important that you talk to people about how you feel and ask for help if you need it.

You can also talk to your doctor or midwife about local support groups. Gingerbread is an organisation for single-parent families that can advise you on everything from benefits to childcare.

Get more advice on being a single parent on the NHS website.

2nd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 25 weeks)

This week, your signs of pregnancy could include:

You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:

Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy symptoms.

What does my baby look like?

Your baby, or foetus, is around 34.6cm long from head to heel. That's approximately the size of a courgette.

This is an active time for your baby. A loud noise could make your baby jump and kick, which should not hurt but might take you by surprise. You might even feel the occasional hiccup.

Your baby is now peeing into the amniotic fluid. By now, most of the liquid around your baby is urine, which provides cushioning and helps keep the temperature snug and stable.

Composite. One side shows a foetus attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord. The foetus is recognisable as a baby. Other side shows a person holding a courgette in two hands.
Your baby is about the size of a courgette

Action stations

Start thinking a bit more about what you'd ideally like to happen when your baby's born. What kind of pain relief would you like? Who do you want to have with you?

You can download an NHS birth plan template which will help you think through some of the big issues.

This week you could also…

Think about telling your work

It's about time to break the news, if you have not already. The latest you can leave it is 15 weeks before the baby is due, which is around now.

As soon as you tell your employer, you will have maternity rights and can attend antenatal appointments during paid work time.

You can also ask for a risk assessment of your workplace.

Start doing pelvic floor exercises

It's a good time to tone up your pelvic floor muscles. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze or cough.

Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a pee and then stopping midflow.

Visit Tommy's for more information on pelvic floor exercises.

Antenatal classes

Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.

Ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. Even if you've had children before, antenatal classes are still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be.

The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.

Smoking, drinking and caffeine in pregnancy

Do your best to stop smoking and give up alcohol, and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine.

Ask your midwife or GP for support.

Vitamins in pregnancy

To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D.

From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.

Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website.

You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.

Exercising in pregnancy

It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant.

You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise – perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section).

Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Healthy eating

There's no need to eat for 2. You do not need any extra calories until the third trimester, which starts in week 28.

You just need to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. Have a look at our guide to healthy eating in pregnancy.

You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.

Emotional and mental wellbeing

How are you today?

If you're feeling anxious or low, talk to your doctor or midwife who can point you in the right direction to get all the support that you need. You could also discuss your worries with your partner, friends and family.

You may be worried about your relationship, or money, or having somewhere permanent to live.

Don't keep it to yourself – it's important that you ask for help if you need it.


Getting pregnant again is probably the last thing on your mind right now. However, now is a good time to start planning what type of contraception you would like to use after your baby is born.

Getting pregnant again could happen sooner than you realise and too short a gap between babies is known to cause problems.

Talk to your GP or midwife to help you decide.


You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on COVID-19:

To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the:

More in week-by-week

Week 26

As you approach the 3rd trimester, you might be feeling more tired, and a bit more clumsy and uncoordinated. It's important to stay active but your body's changing all the time, so be patient with yourself.

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