Expectant mothers are being urged to claim a new £190 government grant to help towards the cost of healthy food during their final trimester.
Pregnant women whose babies are due on or after 6 April, the new tax year, are eligible for the grant, which they can apply for from the Health in Pregnancy Grant.
The one-off payment is not means tested and aims to help towards the expense of getting ready for a baby, as well as helping boost the diet of the mother, "including fresh fruit and vegetables".
The money can be claimed by women from the 25th week of pregnancy after receiving health advice from their midwife or another health professional.
Once the claim has been approved the money will be paid directly into their bank account.
Stephen Timms, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "We understand that the run up to a birth is an expensive time for families.
"The new Health in Pregnancy Grant will help expectant mums meet these extra costs and give their child the best possible start in life."
Copyright © Press Association 2009
We asked you to tell us what you think about the grant. Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"In regards to Jessie's comment, I was working when I was pregnant I told the company and i lost my job within 2 weeks of telling them, and then last year my partner got told he was going to be made redunant so he lost his job through no falut of his own 4 days before our daughter was born he is all ways looking for work he has done courses he has even done is SIA
licence and passed but now the Job Centre wont pay for his licence so now were stuck and we DONT waste our money on drink and junk it goes towards bills and stuff we need, see u are just like the Job Centre make comments regarding other people without knowing what the facts are" - Louise, Mansfield
"Re Katie Smith's comment - ha ha! That's a joke, yes? the underlying sentiment in that statement would seem to be that people claiming benefits are more likely to be drinkers or drug takers. What else? Old age pensions paid in tokens in case they spend the money on crack?" - P Handyside, Newcastle
"I think the voucher scheme is a great idea. I'm sure all those who work would agree that the benefits are an absolute joke! I'm certainly not loaded but I have morals and don't want everything handed to me on a plate. About time the government gave us something to help along the way!!!!" – Ashleigh, Belfast
"I totally agree with Sarah and Jessie's comments [below], it's about time us working mothers got help and the government got to grips with our ridiculous benefits system!" – Kate Ridding, Cumbria
"I think the grant is excellent! Especially as food prices are ridiculous at the moment. I have to say that as a working mum-to-be, I find both Sarah and Jess' comments appalling - not everyone who isn't working at the moment is hanging around the job centre or claiming benefits!! What a pretentious attitude!" - Polly, Brighton
"I agree with Sarah, us mothers or mothers-to-be who are working are actually getting something. It is people who hang around job centres and do nothing that actually get the money and spend it on drink and junk while us parents need the extra money to go towards something good in life and actually make something of it! They've got it all backwards." - Jessie, Mansfield
"I think it's really great and make you feel important ... but it's only for British nationality holders ... what about women who are on Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or work permits, and have been paying tax and national insurance? I think it's not fair for them ..." - Zahhra Butt, London
"OMG people who work actually get given something – is this correct? Are you sure you dont have to be sat at home claiming benefits to get this??? Well done government for getting somthing right for once!!" - Sarah, Rochdale
"WOW! That's really good. I've put my claim forward for mine." - Jemma, Nottingham
"FINALLY, women who work can finally get something back from the government! It's about time!!!" - Katrina Crowther, Salford
"I think it's a great idea but why can't it be for all pregnant women now. I'm due 30/03/09 so am not able to get it. how unfair is that. It is as if next year's babies are more important!!" - Jess, Lancs
"I think it's a really good idea." - Anne, Diss
"I think the idea is FANTASTIC!" - Karen Parton, Birmingham
"Its fantastic because its for all expectant mothers. Thanks NHS!" - Rabail Khalid, Birmingham
"At last something for people who actually bother to work but earn just over the limit for claiming anything." - Gina, Merseyside
"I think it's great, but my baby is due on the 2nd, I cant claim, I have never been able to claim, why make it hard for the women who can't claim anything normally? It's a kick in the teeth." - Rachel Barrett, Devon
"I think it's excellent, and it's great that you don't have to fit into a criteria. Well done, finally the government have got something right!" - Stacie Nelson, Welling
"Excellent, as its for all pregnant women even if they are not on benefits." - Georgia, Devon
"Great, if they are given vouchers to hand in at the supermarket like people on benefits. Not ALL people will use it to buy food, but perhaps for smoking, drinking and drugs (YES, I know it's for pregnant mums ... !!) - Katie Smith, York
"Excellent – especially as its for ALL expectant mothers not just a select few." - Katie McLeod, Leicester
"I think this is really helpful and will allow women to eat healthier in the knowledge that they have an additional £10 per week to do so." - Pat Lightfoot, South Tyneside
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