The Birth Budgeting Series was inspired by both The Doula Nurse and Functun’s audience: people focused on their goals and budget. One goal many people share is to become a parent. Even though we may be told we will never be prepared for children, we can be knowledgeable of the finances involved with having children. This series explores key areas during the prenatal, birth, and postpartum phases that one would want to be aware of and decide if it needs to be included in their personal budget. This is not to find the most cost-effective way to have a child, but to understand the potential resources provided to each of us based on some of the most common birthing practices. If your situation is not listed within these articles, we encourage you to do additional research or reach out to alternative resources that may be within your desired industry. The series will be presented in four parts: introduction, prenatal, birth, and postpartum. This is part two, prenatal.
Let’s start by discussing the most essential components of the prenatal period. First, you will need to select your care provider. Will you be working with an obstetrician or a midwife? Sometimes this decision will depend on if you’re considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. While most providers accept an array of insurance providers, midwives who welcome home or birth center babies may or may not accept insurance. Additionally, the medicines, tests, and procedures in the hospital will be an expense to anticipate and the amount you pay will again depend on your insurance. Next, consider whether or not you will have a doula. The cost of a birth doula can vary quite a bit and will depend on where you live. Childbirth education classes can be very helpful in understanding birth and the accompanying stressors. You can look for online or in person classes or attempt to find free resources. Insurance may provide some reimbursement for classes.
So, what is all needed to care for your new baby? Here are some items to consider:
- Crib & crib mattress
- Baby clothes
- Soap & lotion
- Baby monitor
- Bottles & nipples
- Breast pump
- Car seat
- Stroller & carriers
This is just a starting point, as there are many items you can look into buying for your baby. If you want to splurge on certain products, feel free, but know that the affordable options are just as good for your baby as brand name ones.
Now, we should think about what all you will need for the day of the birth. How much time will you be taking off and will it be paid for? If you’re not having a home birth, how will you be getting to the place you’ll be birthing in? And what are you bringing with you in your bags? You should also think about how many days you’ll be staying away from home and the costs associated with additional days at the hospital and meals. If you have other children, you may need someone to take care of them while you are away.
Some other services to consider are things like chiropractic care, prenatal massage and yoga, naturopathic or homeopathic medicine, mental health support, and lining up a birth photographer. If you’re going to be having a baby shower, you can include ways to pay for some of these services through funds or gift certificates. Maternity clothes and self-care products should also be budgeted for as your comfort and wellbeing are critical to birthing a healthy, happy baby.
Stay tuned for the next article exploring key financial areas within the birthing phase. As always, feel free to reach out to Kat for doula support and resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Molly for specific budgeting and time management/process support (email@example.com).
XOXO – Mrs. Molly Murphy