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 three, birth.
We discussed in the last sections how insurance and the care provider chosen will provide a starting point to understanding your upcoming financials. The insurance company can provide plan specifics and inform you how much of your deductible you have met within the calendar year, while the care provider can provide insight into the extent of their care and billing practices. This includes how long the care lasts and specific costs involved for tests, medicine, etc. so there are no financial surprises due to miscommunication. You may end up working with multiple care providers and each may have their own prices with the chosen insurance plan. We also touched on some key items to purchase/get gifted for baby and parent and thoughts to help structure your birthing plan. Let’s explore the day(s) of a little more.
Pre-planning will be key to minimizing and understanding costs when it’s go time. This includes researching your desired birth plan and emergency interventions (such as a cesarean section). We want things to go to plan, but also being knowledgeable of the alternatives can help your stress levels if something does not go to plan. Consulting with your doula or childbirth educator can help you be prepared for the many situations that may occur during labor. We have listed some items below that may involve financial resources during birth.
- Transportation to and from a location other than home
- Overnight bag prepared with essentials
- Labor tools and comfort measures
- Food and drink
- Nights of stay
- Cost for any other person’s care if absent (parent, child, other)
- Medical interventions (such as epidural, Pitocin, etc.)
- Emergency costs (just in case)
- Birth photography
Some items to consider to facilitate your labor and provide comfort are a birth ball, peanut ball, labor scarf, birth pool (which can sometimes be rented from local birth professionals), massage balls, stress balls, oils, lotions, diffuser, hand fan, and a mini speaker to play music of choice. If you have a doula or midwife, they may provide some of these items for you. A hospital or birth center might have tubs for water birth and birth/peanut balls – be sure to inquire about these items ahead of time to be prepared and ensure your birth setting will meet your needs. Also, be aware of policies or interventions that may limit your ability to do things while in labor. For example, many hospitals may not allow the birthing person to eat while in labor due to the potential for an emergency cesarean.
Stay tuned for the next article exploring key financial areas within the postpartum phase. As always, feel free to reach out to Kat for doula support and resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Molly to help achieve specific goals for personal or small business needs (email@example.com).
XOXO – Mrs. Molly Murphy