Unfortunately becoming a Mummy results in a rather drastic lack of income. During my maternity leave I was paid SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) of £122 per week which the employer pays the pregnant mama but then claims back from HMRC, the cheeky beggars. Some employers top this up and pay extra, as it's not really enough to live on, but unfortunately this wasn't the case for me as I worked for a charity who couldn't really afford to pay any extra. SMP is paid for 39 weeks, so I have 1 week left! After which I will be scrounging off my partner as I've decided not to go back to work, so I'll be a stay at home mum/kept woman! I've decided not to go back to work as I love looking after Eric and would be heartbroken if someone else got to be with him all day, and I couldn't really afford to pay for childcare anyway as it would cost more than my wages!
Every Mum can claim Child Benefit which is £80 per month for your first child, and this really helps us buy the inevitable piles of things Eric needs! You can also claim Child Tax Credit which is variable according to your household income.
If you're a new mum who is confused by any mummy money matters I would highly recommend ringing up HMRC as they're actually surprisingly helpful (although they're very security conscious making you choose 2 passwords and refusing to tell you certain things like your Child Benefit number over the phone). There is also a website called Turn 2 Us which has a fantastic benefits checker called Entitled To which works out what help you are, well, entitled to! In Bristol we also have a Family Information Service who were amazing and really friendly and helpful, and brilliant at helping out if you don't understand anything on the form or website.