You may want to stay at home to look after your child yourself but are worried about struggling financially without your income.

You might want to continue your career but don't know how you'll be able to arrange and afford professional child care. With childcare costs becoming more and more expensive, you might be unsure if working really makes financial sense.

You may just be torn between the two options, whatever your circumstances you'll need to work out what makes financial sense for you and your family. We've looked at the financial implications of each so you can decide what's best for you.

Your personal life and career

If your career is important to you, finding a balance between working and your responsibilities as a parent can be tough.

You can choose to stay at home for the first couple of years or until your child starts school. Whatever you decide, you won't have to restart your career from scratch afterwards.

You can keep your career's momentum going by doing a little work from home that keeps you in the loop, even if it's just a few hours a week on freelance work.

If you're used to your job providing the lion's share of your intellectual challenge, social life and interaction with adults, it's important to make sure you find a way to replace it.

How to make your money stretch

Working out how best to budget for parenthood is important too; read our guide for some ideas on how to plan your finances: New Parents: How to Budget.

Can you find help?

Knowing what help and benefits you'll be entitled to as a parent can make a big difference to your finances. Read our guide: New Parents: What Help Can You Get?

From September 2017, working families will be able to get 30 hours per week of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds. The current amount allowed in 15 hours.

Single parents

If you'll be bringing up your child on your own, it's important to see what help you can get rather than try to do everything yourself.

How to decide: stay at work or home?

First, work out which you'd prefer personally, as how you want to bring up your children is extremely important. You can then weigh up if you can find a way to afford it.

Think about how much raising a child might cost you, work out what your total income will be (including any benefits) and then draw up a budget to make sure the numbers add up.

When you look into how much childcare might cost, make sure you find the prices of all the options in your area that would provide a level of care you're happy with. Consider childminders, crèches, playgroups and day nurseries as well as more expensive options like nannies and au pairs.

You can then compare the cost of paying for childcare while you work against how much losing your salary would cost you if you gave up work for a while. If you find that your own salary won't cover childcare costs, giving up work might suit you better.

If neither option works for you, try a compromise instead. You could work from home for your current employer or even set up your own business. The Mojomums website has looked at some of the ways you could work from home with a child.