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 four, postpartum.
We discussed important and potential birth expenses in the last section. We also touched on how learning about and creating a birth plan can help alleviate any stress of the unknown. Now it’s time to learn more about your little one(s) and how life works as a new unit. Postpartum needs can vary drastically from person to person, but baby supplies will always be on that list. In addition to the items discussed during the prenatal period, the following items may need to be incorporated into the foreseeable budget:
- Additional medical or disability needs
- Upgrades as baby grows (clothes, strollers, bedding, etc.)
- Toys and development items
- Scrapbook to document milestones
You will typically follow up with your care provider within a few weeks and the pediatrician you chose for your baby will also want to see them within 3-5 days. If your child experiences complications after birth, they may be admitted to the NICU for a few hours or a few weeks depending on the amount of care they need. After you return home or your care team leaves your home, your postpartum doula will begin their home or virtual visits to help you during recovery and then as you transition into parenthood. You may want to consider hiring a night nanny, or see if your doula does overnight care, as many sleepless nights lay ahead.
If you’re having trouble with lactation and feeding your baby, a consultation with a lactation consultant could be very beneficial. They may need to work with you over several visits depending on your needs. Other services to consider during this time are mental health support, exercise classes, chiropractic care, postpartum massage and yoga, pelvic floor therapy, naturopathic or homeopathic medicine, and folk or traditional healing practices.
Lastly, think about when you (and your partner if applicable) are going back to work. If you have family or friends available to help care for your baby, the transition back to work might be easier. Regardless, you will likely have to think about child care at some point. There are so many different daycare services and programs including Head Start, which may have a wait list depending on your area. Look into and plan these things as far ahead as possible to ensure you are able to secure what you need for your family.
Thank you for reading our Birth Budgeting Series. We hope that you learned a few things and were inspired to begin planning ahead for your growing family. 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). If you have any questions related to the information provided throughout this series, please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us.
XOXO – Mrs. Molly Murphy