As if having a child was not expensive enough, new research by uSwitch has found that 28% of mothers-to-be end up in debt due to income falling during maternity leave.
When UK mums take their maternity leave, they sadly see how their incomes drop from an average of £2,866 to just £1,654 – almost 50% less. This decrease, along with the costs of raising a child, is pushing up to 28% of mothers into the red, putting an average of about £2,500 of debt on their shoulders.
While only a quarter of mums confessed to be financially solvent enough for the arrival of their new baby, up to 43% of them admitted not accruing the necessary income to cover their expenses during their time off.
In order to make ends meet, 14% of all new-mums turn to credit cards, payday loans and overdrafts. One in ten asks for financial help from their closest relatives or friends.
These financial challenges are forcing 11% of mothers to cut their maternity leave short due to economic pressures, while 9% of them think twice about not returning to work.
The cost of motherhood
Figures reveal that parents-to-be spend more than £1,500 before going on maternity leave. After this, the majority of mums spend up to £1,400 on average during maternity leave, with 13% of them having baby related expenses of more than £2,500.
These high costs are forcing 23% of women to delay the moment of having their first child due to lack of funding, while 39% admitted not to wanting any more children due to the financial expense that it demands. Out of the women who decided to have a baby despite the costs, 9% confess to feeling guilty for not being able to give their new-born everything they wanted to.
“Sadly, very few mums have the luxury of being able to stay at home for the whole of their maternity leave and even fewer have the choice to be a stay at home mum,” said Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com.