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Maternity leave

Important information - please keep in mind that the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. Withdrawals from a Junior ISA will not be possible until the child reaches age 18. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity's advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

" You think you're ready, but nothing can prepare you for how you feel when your little one arrives. It's magical. But the responsibility is real."

Nakhalar Sterling, Digital Journeys

Know what you're up against

It's often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes quite a bit of money too. When you factor in the gender pay gap, also known as the parenthood gap, it can put women on the financial back foot.

Raising a child comes with its own unique set of challenges and at a time where your bundle of joy is growing, you’re going to need your money to stretch further. Even the most generous of maternity packages can leave you a little short, depending on how long you plan to take off. So, what can you do to financially prepare?

If you’re employed, you’re eligible for statutory maternity leave. Typically, it’s up to 52 weeks and it’s broken down into ordinary maternity leave for the first 26 weeks, and the last 26 weeks is known as additional maternity leave.

The minimum amount of time you must take off after having a baby is two weeks after its birth, this goes up to four weeks if you work in a factory.

If you have a partner, check out what paternity or parental leave is available - especially if your partner’s employed. If you’re having a baby using a surrogate or adopting a child, you and your partner may be able to get shared parental leave and pay. You can share up to 50 weeks’ leave and 37 weeks’ pay between you. You can find more about maternity pay and leave here.

Take control

Taking care of your finances is especially important when you have a child. Here are some tips to consider:

  • There's a lot to think about when having a baby. This section about how to prepare financially for a child can help.
  • It’s important to save for the future. You can consider investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA. It’s a great way of putting some money aside for your future and you can start investing with as little as £25 per month. You’d be surprised how quickly it mounts up over time.
  • You may also want to open a Junior ISA to give your child a financial head-start for when they turn 18.
  • You may also be eligible for extra financial support. If you live in England and Wales and this is either your first child, or you’re expecting a multiple birth, you could be eligible for a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the cost of having a child. You can find out more about the Sure Start Maternity Grant here. It’s slightly different if you live in Scotland and you can apply for a Pregnancy and Baby payment here.

What you could do next

Start saving for your child’s future

Save money for your child, free from income tax or capital gains tax on any returns.

Start a tax efficient savings account

Invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA and pay no income tax or capital gains tax on your returns.

Explore regular saving

Making regular monthly contributions to your investments as part of a savings plan could help them grow into a sizeable sum over the long term.