You may feel like your body is being squeezed – with all your internal organs being pressed. They are and the best way to deal with it is to keep up the good nutrition, exercise and rest when you can. And make sure you keep good posture.
Most discomforts will occur in your back, your legs, and the amount of air you can take into your lungs.
You are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave – that means you get your statutory maternity pay for that time and your job has to be kept open for you, and you must be able to return to the same job. You may be able to an additional 26 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, depending on how long you have worked for your employer.
For your first six weeks you should receive 90% of your salary, and then just over £100 per week for 20 weeks.
Your baby’s head, body and limbs are now much more in proportion to each other and baby is really starting to look like a tiny newborn. The irises are now starting to dilate and react to light. The baby is also urinating about half a litre into the amniotic fluid each day.
You may get haemorrhoids (piles) during pregnancy. These are swollen veins around your back passage that can feel itchy or sore. Constipation can make haemorrhoids worse so avoid it by eating plenty of foods that are high in fibre, like wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables, drinking lots of water and getting regular gentle exercise.
The movements that you feel will probably begin to change at this point. Once your baby held wild gymnastic parties, now as the space becomes cramped you notice smaller movements, such as elbows and knees.