Deciding to have a baby is a huge responsibility – personally and financially. Yes, having a baby means that you will have to make a considerable financial commitment but with a little planning, you can help reduce the stress on yourself and your partner. The costs will start adding up right from your first pregnancy test and there is no way to determine the exact amount involved as there are many varying factors to take into account. There are however, some basics that you can keep in mind to develop estimates based on your local city costs and your personal lifestyle.
Prenatal & Childbirth Costs
Be upfront with your doctor and ask for a plan or schedule for your pre-natal care. How many scans and tests will you need? Is it possible to take these tests at a different clinic to accommodate your budget? Also, depending on whether you have a natural delivery or go in for a C-Section, the price can vary between Rs.7000 up to even Rs.50,000. Don’t let these amounts scare you, as it is always possible to find a hospital or nursing home to fit into your budget. Begin your research a little early by speaking to friends and family member about their experience. You can also consult your doctor and ask for suggestions within your budget. The most important thing is to be transparent about your financial situation.
Time off from work can add to the total cost of having a baby. It is generally recommended that you stay home for at least the first six weeks of your baby’s life. While you are on Maternity Leave, you will need to have a plan for replacing your lost income or adjust your lifestyle to that of a single income household. You could also talk to your boss about options of working from home temporarily or work out other flexible work options.
Diapers And Other Necessities
Make a list of all the essentials you will need for your baby – diapers, feeding bottles, formula food, bathing necessities, clothes, bedding, etc. you don’t need to stock up in bulk unless you’re getting a good deal on your buy. An approximate of consumption is adequate. For example, a newborn will need as many as eight to twelve diaper changes a day for the first few months. The tradition of baby showers in the west is a great idea to get together with friends and receive some great gifs for your baby.
During the first year, your pediatrician will prescribe a check up for the baby at least once in three months. During these visits, your baby will also need essential immunizations and other such important care. You will also need to plan for any unexpected expenses incase your baby falls sick. A list of immunizations and time chart for the same is available with any pediatrician. Feel free to enquire about the cost of these immunizations.
Most insurance companies offer maternity coverage although their policies might differ in some cases. Check your insurance status well ahead of your date of delivery in case you need to get it updated.
Some good questions to ask you insurance company are:
- Do they cover for pre-natal and post-natal expenses? What is the maximum coverage limit?
- Will they cover routine procedures and blood work in pregnancy?
- Will they cover specific tests? If not, will they cover it under certain conditions?
- Will they cover prescriptions? If so to what extent?
- What are your responsibilities for notifying them of admittance to the hospital or birth center?
- Are there particular facilities that you must use (hospitals, birth centers, labs)?
Remember that with a little effort and research, you can plan an effective budget for your entire pregnancy which will save a lot of anxiety and help you to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience of childbirth!