Guest Blog: How to Save Money on the Biggest Pregnancy Expenses
By Emily Graham, MightyMoms.net
Amid all the excitement about your bundle of joy, there’s an undercurrent of worry. How will you afford everything you need for your child? Can you afford everything? Financial stress is common when you’re expecting a child, but money worries shouldn’t stop you from creating the family you want. If you’re preparing to welcome a child, use these tips to save money on the biggest expenses you’ll face when starting a family.
Buy Maternity and Baby Gear on eBay
Buying used is an obvious way to save money on maternity and baby clothes, furniture, toys, and other baby essentials. However, secondhand can still strain your budget if you don’t know where to shop. Friends and family are the best place to find used baby gear and maternity clothing, especially when they’re willing to part with items for free. However, shopping at yard sales, thrift stores, and other secondhand outlets can be hit-or-miss. You might not find what you’re looking for or, if you do, the price may be too high.
Online marketplaces like eBay make it easier to shop around for used gear like baby bathtubs, high chairs, cloth diapers, and maternity clothing. Just remember to pay attention to shipping costs and look for an eBay coupon that you can grab for an extra discount. Keep in mind that some items, like breast pumps and cribs, should never be purchased secondhand.
Prenatal care is essential to your baby’s health and your own. Unfortunately, it also comes with a big price tag.
Understanding your health insurance is the first step to saving money on prenatal care. Review your insurance policy’s maternity care coverage, including copayments and deductibles, so you know what’s covered and what you’re responsible to pay.
Doctors may recommend check-ups, ultrasounds, and other tests beyond what your insurance covers. If your doctor offers something, ask what it costs and whether it’s necessary before consenting. If it’s not necessary and your pregnancy is low-risk, you may choose to skip certain tests and imaging to save money. While prenatal vitamins are generally inexpensive, they may be cost-prohibitive for some. If over-the-counter vitamins are too expensive, ask your doctor for a prescription so you’re only responsible for a copay.
Labor and Delivery
The cost of prenatal care pales in comparison to labor and delivery. Uncomplicated vaginal deliveries average more than $12,000 while C-sections approach $17,000. Some states and some hospitals cost significantly more.
New parents should always review their hospital bill for erroneous charges, but there are ways to save money before the birth, too. Shop around for a hospital with lower birthing costs, and consider a birthing center rather than a hospital if your pregnancy is low-risk.
Switching your health insurance policy could also save money in the long term, especially for high-risk pregnancies, which cost more. While it comes with higher premiums, a plan with a low deductible and out-of-pocket maximum means your health insurance company starts picking up the bill sooner rather than later.
Feeding Your Baby
There’s no question that breastfeeding saves money over formula. However, breastfeeding isn’t an option for everyone, and when it is, even those costs can add up.
If you’re using formula, ask your pediatrician for free samples and check manufacturer websites for coupons. Most major formula brands such as Enfamil offer coupons and samples, so even if one doesn’t work for your child, you can try another at minimal cost.
If breastfeeding, check if your health insurance company provides a free breast pump. Avoid buying new clothes for nursing, and instead, choose stretchy tops from your own wardrobe. If you’re having trouble nursing and it’s not a medical issue, seek advice from breastfeeding groups like La Leche League before paying a lactation consultant.
When starting your family, your budget comes second to your baby’s health. However, saving money today ensures a more financially secure future for you and your child. With these tips, you can honor your budget while also laying the groundwork for a healthy pregnancy and birth.
This article was written by guest blogger Emily Graham of MightyMoms.net. To contact Emily, please email Emily@MightyMoms.net