Child benefit can only be claimed after the birth of a child. There is no provision for child benefit to be claimed before a child is born.
The Government are introducing from April 2009 a separate payment to expectant mothers to help them during the important last weeks of pregnancy. Annual costs for the one-off payment, known as the Health in Pregnancy Grant, are estimated to be £145 million. In the first year they will be higher at approximately £175 million. These estimates have been updated to take account of Office for National Statistics 2006-based national population projections published on 23 October 2007.