Nearly half of expectant mothers in the UK are planning to cut their maternity leave short because of the financial strain associated with taking time off.
According to research by price comparison site MoneySupermarket.com, money worries mean that a third of mothers-to-be will be forced to return to work after just six or eight months with their new baby.
And for one in ten, the financial strain is so great that they will be back at work within three to six months.
Almost half of those polled said they were concerned about how they would cope with the cost of their new addition, and confessed that the stress had already led to arguments at home.
Currently, an estimated one in three mums-to-be will receive the minimum statutory maternity pay, giving them 90 per cent of their wage for the first six weeks, followed by a maximum of £135.45 a week for the remaining 33 weeks of leave.
But with the cost of living continuing to rise, salaries frozen and many high-income families losing their child benefit thanks to means testing, taking the full 52 weeks of maternity leave just isn't a viable option for many new mums.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Clare France, from MoneySupermarket, said: "As exciting as planning for a baby is, it can also be a daunting and stressful time.
"Having to adjust your lifestyle to cope with the new arrival is hard enough, but with many couples seeing a fall in income due to one of them giving up work or taking maternity leave can heap further pressure on families when they leave need it."
Are you an expectant mum? Will you be forced to cut your maternity leave short because of financial pressures? Leave your comments below...