Are you unsure of what to expect when you are expecting? The decision to have a baby is a big one. It could be exciting, confusing, and even scary. However, one thing is for sure, having a baby is rewarding. For most people, giving birth to another human is the biggest achievement anyone can make. Nevertheless, giving birth comes with some financial costs.
Depending on where you live, expenses that come with having a baby can run into thousands of dollars. Perhaps, this is the reason why most people get “health insurance” that provides coverage for birth. Whether it is your first birth or second, you can expect to spend a lot of money during this period. A lot of factors can influence what you will pay for prenatal care, delivery, as well as nursing of the baby.
One of the best ways to prepare for the birth of your child is by putting your finances in order. Studies showed that the cost of delivery is skyrocketing almost every year. According to January 2020 study by Health Affairs, the average price of delivery in the United States stands at $4,300 in the case of normal birth. If there is a complication that requires a cesarean birth, parents can expect to pay $5,161. In most cases, the right health insurance will cover most of these expenses.
If you are anxious to know the cost of having a child, this guide will help you to understand and plan for these expenses. We’ve divided this article into 3 sections for easier understanding. Keep on reading to know more.
When it comes to having a child, the expenses start the moment your baby is conceived. Both the mother and father need to have the right health insurance coverage to ensure they are in good health to take care of the responsibility that faces them. The mother needs prenatal checkups, ultrasounds, vitamins, and many more. There are also a couple of baby essentials that you need to buy. These costs can add up quickly. Some pre-baby expenses include:
The expecting mother needs to sign up for prenatal checkups as soon as it is confirmed that she is pregnant. In an ideal case, the expecting mother needs to see the doctor or midwife a few times during the first two trimesters, once a month as well as at the beginning of the third trimester. Checkups become more frequent as the delivery date draws closer. If you have a good health care provider, most of these hospital visits will be covered.
- Ultrasounds and Lab Work
It is very common for the doctor to recommend frequent ultrasounds and lab sessions for your pregnant partner. However, most standard lab tests and ultrasounds should be covered by your health insurance provider. You should consider switching providers if your current health insurance doesn’t provide this coverage.
- Dietary Changes for the Pregnant Mother
A pregnant woman needs to eat a wide variety of nutrients to grow strong and healthy. You need to eat more fruits, foods heavy in proteins and iron, leafy greens with lots of folic acids as well as a variety of whole grains. No doubt, if you are not used to these foods already, it can lead to a significant change in your grocery budget. Some affordable options you can add to your diet include avocados, nuts, eggs, beans, protein-packed lean meat, and sweet potatoes.
- Maternity Clothes
You need to shop for maternity gowns. Most pregnant women add significant weight which means you need to make changes to your current wardrobe. You can buy from stores that sell second-hand maternity clothes to save money.
- Baby Gear
Before the arrival of your baby, you should consider getting all the baby gears you need. Buying them at the last minute may be confusing and expensive. You need to buy baby furniture such as dressers, baby cribs, rocking chairs, and changing tables.
You also need to buy diapers and wipes. In the first few months, a newborn will go through 8 to 12 diapers a day or more. You need about 400 diapers per month. In addition to this, you need other baby care products such as butt cream and baby wipes.
You also need to buy baby formula. In most cases, you will need about $100 per month or more depending on the type of formula you choose for your baby. If you want to save money on baby formula, plan to breastfeed your baby as much as possible.
- Baby Clothes
Babies grow really fast. You need new baby clothes for the first 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and so on. You should consider buying second-hand baby clothes to save money.
The pre-baby period can be confusing and expensive. However, once you get through this period with solid health insurance, you will have less to worry about. Delivery expenses vary depending on which city and country you gave birth. In the United States, giving birth in states such as Alaska can cost you an average of $10,413 in 2020 with an in-network insurance provider while the same service will cost you just $5,017 in Alabama.
If there is a complication that requires delivery through C-section, you can expect to pay around $9,000 on average. Depending on your insurance provider, you may have a higher out-of-pocket fee. If the complication means that the mother and baby need to stay in the hospital for days, the cost can significantly go up. Similarly, other hospital services such as excessive monitoring, prolonged anesthesia, induction, or a long stay in the intensive-care-unit can cause the cost to skyrocket.
Tips To Keep Cost Down While Having a Baby
While having a baby is an exciting time in the life of parents, it can bring a financial burden. One of the first things you should consider is the financial impact having a baby will have on your budget. You need to take steps to keep the cost down. Some of the ways to keep your cost down include:
- Find health insurance that provides comprehensive coverage that includes paying for prenatal checkups, lab tests, delivery, and post-natal checkups.
- Buy secondhand baby clothes
- Look for furniture and accessories that do double duty
- Buy baby care products in bulk. Buy diapers from the wholesale club.
- Breastfeed your baby often to save money on baby formula
- Ask your pediatrician for free product samples
- Skip unnecessary tests and procedures
- Opt for a natural birth
- Compare hospitals
Adding a new member to your family, no doubt comes with a big financial obligation. You need to make plans in advance. Most expenses that are associated with giving birth come from hospital visits. This is why it is important that you get good health insurance that provides comprehensive coverage for the pregnant mother and the baby.