Big bump, small budget? Keep costs down while pregnant

By Bianca Mungalsingh

With the colossal changes happening to a woman’s body during pregnancy, money need not be an added stress.

Spend less on maternity clothes than the £130 average spend in the UK, trade the expensive prenatal gym classes for YouTube fitness, find out if you’re getting the weekly £139.58 maternity pay from the government, and more top tips below.

Buy clothes you can wear while nursing

When you’re shopping for maternity clothes, make sure you first look through your entire closet for garments that can fit comfortably and fashionably over your growing bump. Think long-term when you buy maternity wear, by looking for things suitable for breastfeeding and beyond. Adopt a casual chic style by going for t-shirts and dresses a size up, made with jersey or cotton to allow for stretching during pregnancy and pulling up or down to breastfeed.

Learn to love leggings and yoga pants, especially if you plan to be an active mummy, something most mums can't avoid. Maxi or ruched dresses, pencil skirts, a-line and button-down tops and fitted jersey dresses are a great way to look super before and after birth while spending little to nothing.

Choose a balanced diet over expensive vitamins

Don't be wooed by the award-winning vitamins for pregnant women, which claim to have the most optimal combination of vitamins in their pricey pills, almost 25p each. According to a review of vitamins used in pregnancy published in a 2016 Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin, expensive multivitamin supplements are 'an unnecessary expense' and pregnant women are better off eating gaining key nutrients from a balanced, healthy diet.

The only two vitamin supplements you need to take are folic acid, crucial for your baby's brain development, and Vitamin D, which strengthens baby's bones and teeth. Buy these in bulk in one of Holland & Barrett's frequent half price or penny sales. If you don't already eat healthy, doing so now could increase your fertility if you’re trying to conceive, benefit the overall development of your baby and increase the chances of your baby being a healthy eater also as babies’ tastes are influenced in the womb.

Let Youtube be your personal trainer

Wild and weird cravings during pregnancy can sneak up on you and muscle tightness and back pain is common due to your shifting centre of gravity as your bump grows. Roll out a basic yoga mat in your living room and follow along with your own personal YouTube trainer like Tonic for yoga, Maritza for pilates or Lauren for short circuits.

Once you identify your favourite pregnancy yoga stretches, you'll be able to quickly relieve strain and discomfort at work or when on maternity leave. Skip the gym membership as fatigue is a very common pregnancy symptom, dissuading you from going to your regular workout classes.

Find comfort on a budget

Comfort and relaxation can be elusive in pregnancy, so massages, comfortable shoes, holidays and sleep accessories become a necessity. is great for big discounts on pregnancy massages so you never have to pay full price. Try plain black flat from Tom’s for a versatile, foot-hugging shoes that's trendy and can be worn at work or during your journey.

Keep tabs on the top UK discount travel websites for holiday deals for your babymoon. A pregnancy pillow is a must as sleeping gets really awkward by the third trimester. The Dreamgenii pregnancy pillow for £13 works well and can be used to help with breastfeeding. Another option is to use your own regular pillows, one under the curve of your waist and one between your legs.

Use apps and google to get your info

Save yourself the cost of space-hogging pregnancy books that you're unlikely to read from cover to cover. Get all your info on the wide array of pregnancy and baby forums like NetMums, babycentre, Mother and Baby and Fit Pregnancy. Sign up to their newsletters or download their free apps like Pregnancy +, What to Expect or the babycentre app and enter your baby's due date to get weekly updates tailored to your trimester.

Knowing what's happening to your body at all times during pregnancy is a great way to ease the anxiety most expecting mothers feel due to the newness and uncertainty of pregnancy and preparing for parenthood.

Find out and budget for what you're entitled to

Working women in the UK are entitled to one year's maternity leave. If you have been self-employed or are working for someone continuously for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the due date, you are eligible for Statutory Maternity Leave or SMP, which is a flat rate of £139.58 per week for up to 39 weeks. Your employers may also pay you between 50% and 90% of your salary for the first few months, depending on the length of time you've been employed.

If you're not eligible for SMP, you can apply for Maternity Allowance. Child Benefit, £20.70 per week for the first child and £13.70 for subsequent children, is also available to every new parent, and only requires reimbursement if you or your partner makes over £60,000. Knowing how much you will be receiving is key in planning how much you need to save during pregnancy and how much you can spend per month after the birth of your child.

Top Takeaway

Adopting better habits while pregnant of saving on maternity clothes, budgeting your maternity spend, exercising regularly at home and choosing a healthy, balanced diet instead of relying on nutrient supplements, will give you a great advantage when you are a mum as you'll be too busy and overwhelmed to get it all sorted then, at least in the first three months. Have you picked up any habits during your pregnancy that has saved you time, money or energy?

Author bio: Bianca is a mumpreneur who is most passionate about writing and education, and uses both to share her experience, tell heartfelt stories and support people, like young mums and newlyweds, on their similar journeys.

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