Ready Steady Baby


Managing your money


It’s a good idea to think about how you’ll manage your money while pregnant and once your baby is born.

When your baby’s born, you’re going to need to make your money go further. The costs of clothes, nappies and toys can all mount up.

Make time to plan

Make time to plan your income and spending during your pregnancy and after your baby’s born. Taking time to plan and finding out what support’s available can ease your worries.

The Money Advice Service has information about managing your money if you’re having a baby

Where to get information and advice

Your midwife and health visitor will ask you about money matters. They ask all pregnant mums and families about this and will be able to help you access a money and welfare advice service in your area for free and confidential support regardless of your circumstances.

Citizens Advice Scotland has information on benefits if your expecting a baby. The Scottish Government also has a range of support available to help people, including children and families, with the cost of living.

More about help available from the Scottish Government

Money and welfare advice services

Money and welfare advice services offer free support to help you with any money, benefits, rights or debt issues you might have.

They can also tell you about support you can get while you’re pregnant and when your baby arrives.

Find a money and welfare advice service in your area

Financial Health Check

The Citizens Advice network in Scotland has a Money Talk Team.

This team can:

  • provide an easy way for families to assess their financial situation and make the most of their income
  • offer face-to-face or over the phone

It includes advice on:

  • reducing household energy costs
  • debt advice
  • claiming benefits
  • support

You can contact the Money Talk Team, call the free helpline on 0800 085 7145 or speak to someone face to face at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Free NHS prescriptions and Pharmacy First Scotland

Prescription items, and items provided as part of the Pharmacy First Scotland, are provided free of charge in Scotland.

Read more about prescription charges and exemptions in Scotland

Read more about Pharmacy First Scotland

Free NHS dental care

You can get free NHS dental care during your pregnancy, and for one year after your baby’s born.

More about help with health costs

Free vitamins

All pregnant mums in Scotland should receive free vitamins. These are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

You don’t need to apply. Ask your midwife for your free vitamins.

More about free vitamins

Best Start Foods

Best Start Foods payment card can be used in some shops in exchange for milk, fruit and vegetables.

You may be entitled to a Best Start payment card if you’re pregnant and:

  • under 18
  • getting certain benefits and on a low income

Ask your midwife about your eligibility.

More about Best Start Foods

Applying for Best Start Foods

You can get an application form by:

  • asking your midwife or health visitor for one
  • phoning the Best Start helpline (0800 182 2222) and asking them to send one to you by post

You can also fill in the form online and print it off for your midwife to sign.

Baby Box

Every baby born in Scotland gets a free Baby Box. This gives them a place to sleep and some essential things for their first few months.

When you’re between 20 and 24 weeks pregnant, your midwife will tell you how you can register to get your box.

More about the Baby Box

Further information and other languages and formats

Translations and alternative formats of this information are available from Public Health Scotland.

If you need a different language or format, please contact

Last updated:
2 November 2023