Week-by-week guide to pregnancy
Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is full of essential information. From staying fit in pregnancy to advice on your maternity rights, you'll find it all here.
Week 25 – your 2nd trimester
Welcome to week 25! You'll need to tell your employers now, if you haven't 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 be feeling more full than usual.
After eating or drinking you could get:
- burning in your chest
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 don't feel too full afterwards
- eat healthily and avoid rich, spicy and fatty foods
- cut back on drinks with caffeine (such as 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.
2nd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 25 weeks)
This week, your signs of pregnancy could include:
- tiredness and sleeping problems (week 19 has information about feeling tired)
- stretch marks (read about stretch marks on week 17's page)
- swollen and bleeding gums (week 13 has information about gum health during pregnancy)
- pains on the side of your baby bump, caused by your expanding womb ("round ligament pains")
- piles (read about piles on week 22's page)
- indigestion and heartburn (week 25 talks about digestive problems)
- bloating and constipation (read about bloating on week 16's page)
- leg cramps (week 20 explains how to deal with cramp)
- feeling hot -dizziness
- swollen hands and feet
- urine infections
- vaginal infections (see week 15 for vaginal health)
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches – this is known as chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy"
- greasier, spotty skin
- thicker and shinier hair
You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:
- mood swings (week 8's page has information on mood swings)
- morning sickness (read about dealing with morning sickness on week 6's page)
- weird pregnancy cravings (read about pregnancy cravings on week 5's page)
- a heightened sense of smell
- sore or leaky breasts (read about breast pain on week 14's page) - a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina and light spotting (seek medical advice for any bleeding)
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or foetus, is around 34.6cm long from head to heel, and weighs about 660g. That's approximately the size of a head of cauliflower, and the weight of 4 jacket potatoes.
This is an active time for your baby. A loud noise could make your baby jump and kick, which shouldn't 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.
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...
It's time to break the news, if you haven't 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 work place.
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 wee and then stopping midflow. Visit Tommy's for more ideas about pelvic floor exercises.
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.
Even if you've had children before, they're 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.
Do your best to stop smoking, give up alcohol and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine. Ask your midwife or GP for support if you need it.
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.
Get moving! 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.
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 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 to ask for help if you need it.
Getting pregnant again is probably the last thing on your mind. 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.