Mothers-to-be can now claim a tax-free cash bonus of £190.
The new Health in Pregnancy Grant (HiPG) is a one-off payment intended to help pregnant mothers stay fit and healthy in the run up to the birth, and help meet some of the costs as the big day approaches.
Commenting on the new grant, Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said "Every month around 65,000 women in the UK celebrate the birth of a new child. And with the introduction of the baby grant mums-to-be can now get extra help at such an important time in their family life.
"Every mum knows that the run up to birth can be an expensive and sometimes stressful time.
"The grant will help mums-to-be support their good health during the pregnancy, as well as help give their child the best possible start in life. It's the mums' choice what they do with the cash as everyone's circumstances are different."
Janet Fyle, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said "This is a commendable initiative from the Government, and one that demonstrates that we value and want to support mothers-to-be. Midwives have a crucial role to play in assisting and enabling all women to access the grant. They are often a woman's first, and in some cases, only contact with the health service.
"Midwives will be there to give objective advice and information to women about the grant, because they know an investment in women is an investment towards a healthier woman and a healthier baby."
The money can be claimed from the 25th week of pregnancy, after receiving health advice from a midwife or other health professional. It is available to expectant mothers ordinarily resident in the UK and is subject to immigration status.
Expectant mums will be given a claim form to sign and send off, which they must do within 31 days. When the claim is approved, the money is paid directly into a bank or building society account.