Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s lives. You wait 9 months to meet your bundle of joy, not knowing who they’ll look most like or what they will want to be when they grow up. It’s absolutely magical and tends to bring family even closer together, as parents, siblings and even cousins help out with this new family member. But there’s a truth not many of us want to talk about: having a baby can be really expensive especially when you consider all the surprise tests that come up. Here are some unexpected costs you can keep in mind, so you can be better prepared financially:
1. Hospital Bills
One of the biggest choices you’ll make when you find out you’re pregnant, is where you’re going to have the baby. The truth is the cost of delivering a baby can vary considerably between hospitals, so it is good to look at some numbers and see what your insurance will cover. Most hospitals don’t offer a total fee for a birth, they instead charge for everything as an item. This means the more help or care you’ll need, the more expensive your bill will become. If you’re lucky to live in a country that has a national health service, such as the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand you don’t need to worry about this as the costs are covered in the public hospitals. However, in many other countries around the world, including the United States, giving birth can be really expensive. Talk to your hospital ahead of time to see what the average costs of having a baby will be. A good estimate is that you will have to pay around $10,000 on top of what your insurance will cover. This will depend on your policy, but it is good to have this figure in mind.
2. Prenatal Tests
Most pregnant women will have at least some prenatal tests. How many will depend on what your doctor suggests as well as your preferences? If you’re a high-risk pregnancy, then you should expect to spend even more on testing. Also if you’re over the age of 35, chances are your doctor will refer you for more testing than someone who is under this age threshold. Ultrasounds can be really special and exciting: you’ll see your baby, hear their heart rate and find out their gender. But each ultrasound can cost hundreds of dollars, which can very quickly add up. It’s important to take all the tests your doctor suggests, but just bear in mind that this can become expensive very fast.
3. Surprise Charges
You would think in hospital that you will only be charged for the services you actually use – but this is often not the case. There can be surprise costs on your bill, such as charges for nursery services, even if your baby did not spend any time in the nursery. Be sure to check your bill thoroughly and discuss any surprise charges – you may be able to get them reduced or removed.
Having a baby can be a lot more expensive than you expect. Talk to friends who have had babies recently to get a good idea of the cost of having a baby in your area. If possible, have a good amount of savings set aside to help with these unexpected costs.