Expectant mothers to be given guidance on how to nurse their finances

Pregnant women are to be given information packs containing advice on budgeting, benefits and childcare costs.

The Parent's Guide to Money, put together by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), will also examine topics such as maternity leave and how to invest child trust fund vouchers. Midwives will start handing out the guides to expectant mums from the summer.

The nationwide roll-out of the guide follows trials in various parts of the country. Around 1,500 packs were distributed via mail, employers and children's centres, and the FSA said they had been "well received and considered a helpful means of providing those about to embark on starting a family with all the important financial information they would need. The guide has a positive impact on understanding financial matters and encouraging prospective parents to take action."

The FSA added that nearly three-quarters of the expectant moth-ers who had participated in the trials reported going on to take such measures as claiming a benefit they had no idea they were entitled to.

The guide will come with a CD-Rom aimed at helping women work out how their income and outgoings will change after their baby has been born, and whether they will win or lose financially by going back to work.

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