Pregnancy and being a new parent can be an expensive time, so make sure you take advantage of the freebies and offers available to you. Here is a look at some of the things that are available to you…

  1. Prescriptions: All NHS prescriptions and dental treatment are free whilst you’re pregnant and for 12 months afterwards. Please ask your midwife for a FW8 form and you can apply for your maternity exemption certificate.
  2. Baby on board badge: if you’re going to be travelling on the tube in London it’s worth applying for a baby on board badge. It’ll let other passengers know that you deserve a seat., there’s no need to stand like the person in this photo! You can apply for a badge here https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/baby-on-board
  3. Bounty packs: If you’d like a varied bag of goodies for yourself and baby then you can apply for bounty packs. They will be given to you at a few stages through your pregnancy and contain lots of different samples, leaflets and discount vouchers, plus a baby guide. You can find out more about these packs and how to apply here  https://www.bounty.com/about-bounty/bounty-packs/mum-to-be-pack
  4. Flu jab: When you’re pregnant you are entitled to a free flu vaccination. The flu jab will protect you and your baby. There is evidence that regnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. Speak to your midwife or GP about arranging this.
  5. Antenatal classes: Your local NHS hospital may provide free antenatal classes, but sadly they are on the decline. It’s worth asking your midwife if your local hospital is running them, in case your trust are still providing them. I know of a few areas across the UK who are running them online.
  6. Emma’s diary: This one is similar to the Bounty packs. You have to subscribe and then you’ll receive a pack of freebies and testers, plus discount vouchers. You’ll get samples of things like, baby wipes, nappy cream, pregnancy vitamins, sanitary products, breast pads. You’ll also receive a handy booklet about the stages of pregnancy and what to expect.
  7. Benefits: There’s lots of different benefits you can claim when you’re pregnant or recently had a baby. There’s some great information about this on Money Advise Service, you can take a look at this here https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/benefits-and-entitlements-to-claim-when-you-have-a-baby
  8. Baby shows and exhibitions: It can be a really fun day out to head off to a baby show when you’re pregnant. If you’re in Essex/London near me then you can try The Baby and Toddler Show and The Essex Baby Show (where I’ll be exhibiting in summer 2021). At these shows you can get demos of various baby products, get discounts on all kinds of services e.g. mum & baby swimming, nappies, exercise classes, bibs. You can pick up samples, get free advice and information about local services and support. Google ‘baby shows near me’ and you’ll find some options. During the pandemic some shows have been postponed but some have gone online.
  9. Maternity leave: Don’t forget to collect a MATB1 form from your midwife to arrange your statutory maternity pay. You should also get a copy of your employers maternity leave policy to see what you’re entitled to. You should also take a look at this link from the government about your rights https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/how-to-claim there’s some guidance on how to complete your MATB1 form here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maternity-certificate-mat-b1-guidance-for-health-professionals/maternity-certificate-form-mat-b1-guidance-on-completion
  10. If you feel the need for a doula during your birth or postnatally, but don’t have the funds to pay for one, there are schemes to offer doula support at low or no cost. I’m happy to pass on details about this service if you are experiencing financial hardship or if you’ve found yourself in a challenging situation since becoming pregnant.

I hope this helps you realise what you’re entitled to and lightens the financial load.

To take a look at the services I offer as a birth and postnatal doula please click here https://breathebirthyoga.co.uk/birth-doula-services/ or for pregnancy yoga please click here  https://breathebirthyoga.co.uk/yoga-services/ . I also run antenatal workshops, called Active Birth Preparation Workshops,  please click here for details https://breathebirthyoga.co.uk/ashtanga-style-yoga/

I’m also really active on social media, to follow me on Instagram and Facebook please see @breathebirthyoga You’ll see lots of doula and maternity news, lots of yoga tasters and fun posts on a daily basis