Being a new mum is not just an emotional strain - it can also be a severe stretch on the family finances.
A new study has found that taking maternity leave plunges a third of new mothers into debt, with one in 10 going back to work early due to money pressures.
During the course of the study, the typical debt faced by new mums during their leave was £2,500 as their net monthly household income fell from an average of £2,866 to £1,654, as a direct result.
Some women who had planned to be a stay-at-home mum said they had been forced to reconsider their plans.
One in 10 of those polled turned to relatives for cash while a similar number used credit cards, loans and overdrafts to get them through the sticky period.
We all know that many families have been struggling recently due to high inflation, increased utility bills and soaring motoring costs, but those of us with new babies have faced extra pressures.
As well as taking on debts, we have been hit by changes in tax and benefit rules which could cost £511 a year on average, economists say. The survey of more than 1,000 mothers was carried out by utilities expert uSwitch.com.