A recent study of 1000 mothers conducted by Uswitch.com has uncovered the following facts:

  • 28% of new mothers end up in debt whilst on maternity leave
  • Only 1 quarter of new mothers felt prepared for the financial burdens of parenthood
  • 1 in 10 new mothers (actually 11%) have to cut their maternity leave short in order to return to work and start earning money again
  • 9% of new mothers were forced to reconsider their original plans of not returning to work post-leave
  • 1 in 10 borrowed money from relatives in order to cover the shortfall in their incomes
  • Around 14% used credit cards, loans and overdrafts to fund their basic living costs and maternity lifestyles

It is thought that some of the costs that new mothers and families find hard to pay for include larger items such as new carseats, highchairs, buggies, cots etc as well as the week-by-week budgeting for nappies, formula, baby food etc.

Justine Roberts who is the co-founder of Mumsnet website has this to say about the report: ‘Statutory maternity pay at just over £100 a week after the first six weeks of maternity leave represents a real pay cut for most women.
“This, coupled with inflated fuel and food prices and the VAT increase, means that new mums are reporting feeling an exaggerated version of the pressures currently faced by most families.
“This Government promised to be the most family friendly in Europe, as things stand it still has a long way to go’.

A Government spokesman has responded with reference to the new family-friendly flexible parental leave model which allows parents to split the leave between them so as to suit modern families and workplaces. This model particularly suits families where the mother earns more than the father.
In addition, the Government reminds us that they’ve raised the personal allowance in this year’s budget to £9205 (for 2013-14), as well as amending the child benefit system to aid 750,000 parents who were previously losing out.

But even with this minor assistance from the government, it still stands that a large quantity of new mums are accumulating these large debts of up to £2500 which is absolutely heartbreaking.

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