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If you’ve made some lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking and drinking alcohol, you may already notice those extra pennies in your pocket. Not only are you and your partner getting healthier, you’re also making the vital cutbacks that will make life easier when baby arrives.

And there’s more good news! There are benefits and financial help for pregnant women, whether they are employed or not. Prescriptions and NHS dental treatment are free while you are pregnant and for 12 months after you have given birth.

Children also get free prescriptions until they are 16. To claim free prescriptions, ask your doctor or midwife for form FW8 and send it to your health authority. You will be sent an Exemption Certificate that lasts for a year after your due date.

To claim after your baby is born (if you didn’t claim while you were pregnant) fill in form A in leaflet P11 NHS Prescriptions, which you can get from your doctor or Jobcentre Plus. To claim for dental treatment, tick a box on a form provided by the dentist or show your Exemption Certificate.

Working out a long-term budget at this stage will mean you feel reassured that you’re organised for what comes next. It’s also a good time to start investigating what other benefits you may be entitled to.

My husband was working part-time and studying, so we made the decision to 'role switch'. We arranged it so that I worked until 5pm and he went out to work/school as soon as I walked in the door. He also worked at weekends so for nine months we 'passed like ships in the night' handing over buggy and baby! Polly, mum to Djenna, one year


It may seem as if babies need a lot of stuff and the prospect of forking out hundreds of pounds may well be causing you sleepless nights. But they actually need a lot less than the shops would have you think. And there are ways to save money on the things you do need to buy.

Rather than feeling you have to buy everything new, why not think about getting some things second hand? Speak to friends and family who already have children to make use of any toys and outfits their little ones have grown out of. Alternatively, hit websites like ebay for age-specific bargain bundles.

And don’t forget, you can do the same thing – as your baby grows, you can sell off the things you no longer need and enjoy fun family days out with all the cash you’ve made.

My mum has treated us to all the basics for the baby from an NCT second hand sale, which was great as it was reasonably priced and all the items were almost brand new. We’ve also got lots of hand-me-down clothes coming from friends and I’ve joined local baby sales groups on Facebook. Laura, 20 weeks pregnant