For any female trainee, pregnancy during training is one of the most important considerations to make, due to the significant impact bringing a new life into the world has on not only your personal life but on your specialty training going forward. 


Planning for pregnancy is vital to make sure you stay on top of all the administration required, as well as looking after yourself and your baby in the face of changes to your body.

It is important to know your rights and what the key issues are. 

Check out the Royal College of Surgeons pregnancy web page for some initial useful links

BMA Pregnancy Rights

Check out the BMA pages on maternity rights for everything you need to prepare you for work while pregnancy 


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance during pregnancy. from the very beginning.

  • Remember you will need time off for all those antenatal appointments and examinations

  • Maintaining a healthy diet with additional supplements is vital during this period

  • Remaining active during pregnancy is vital

  • Sleep is vital during pregnancy and hormonal changes can leave you fealing exhausted

NHS Pregnancy

The NHS pregnancy site is your first stop for everything pregnancy-related, especially when it comes to health and wellbeing. 

Early Stages of Pregnancy

It is important that you inform your workplace, supervising consultant and TPD as early as possible. It is only mandatory however 15 weeks before your due date. 

Your employer must carry out an individualized risk assessment once you have informed them of the pregnancy in writing. 

 Occupational aspects of Pregnancy 

The Royal College of Physicians has produced national guidelines on the Occupational aspects of managing pregnancy and potential risks

RCOG  Pregnancy Site

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has produced a fantastic resource to help trainees get through all aspects of pregnancy and specialty training

Trauma and Orthopedics as a specialty have some specific concerns with regards to exposure to cement and to the physical nature of procedures.

The law allows a pregnant woman to decide to adjust her duties for X-ray exposure. You can learn more about radiation in Orthopedics here.


Make sure you have a discussion with your employer regarding your duties especially if you become unwell during your pregnancy.

Later Stages of Pregnancy

You must obtain a MATB1 from your midwife to provide copies to your employer. This allows you to take maternity leave and claim statutory maternity pay. This 

Important points to remember:

  • You can decide what is right for when you stop on calls or night shifts depending on how you feel. 

  • You are entitled to paid leave for all your maternity appointments including parenting lasses

  • You are entitled to 12 months of Maternity Leave starting from 11 weeks before due date

Returning to Work

You will need to give 28 days' notice of your intention to return to work.

You have a right to return to your normal job or to return less than full time.


Keeping In Touch (KIT) Days are a great tool to help ease you back into work. These are paid days aimed at restoring a graded return to work. Up to 10 days can be utilized. Please see the most up-to-date Gold Guide for more information. Your employer can help you arrange these.

BMA Return to Work 

Check out the BMA pages on returning to work for everything you need to prepare you for life after birth