It's oh-so-important to be financially prepared when you are expecting a baby. Find out in this article how you can plan for both expected and unexpected costs.
The moment you see those two blue lines on a pregnancy test, you start planning the next nine months of your life and beyond – even if you are the most disorganised person you know!
So, you book your first visit to the gynaecologist, you spend hours online researching the best baby products, and you talk to your mummy friends about their experiences and store in your memory bank the most useful tips. You research the best hospitals to give birth at.
In your quest to make your little one’s grand entrance to the world as smooth as possible, there is one thought that may cross your mind: pregnancy, birth and beyond, is quite expensive. How do you go about making sure the financial costs are under your control?
Of course, you will spare no expense when it comes to your little one’s health, wellbeing and happiness. However, it still makes sense to be thoroughly organised in the financial department of your life too as you go through your pregnancy and birth journey, so that you can continue looking after your little one in the best way possible.
Planned expenses during pregnancy and birth
When you are expecting a baby, there are some expenses that are quite easy to plan for financially, such as the following:
Baby items and accessories
What should you get first? Those impossibly tiny baby socks or that gorgeous little hat? What about that sleek (but very expensive) stroller? Or that state-of-the-art cot? As a mum-to-be, it’s so tempting to buy loads of baby accessories and items — but it’s best (for your wallet!) to restrain yourself.
Your baby will grow quickly in the first year so instead of buying 10 adorable size 0000 onesies, consider buying several different sizes. Also keep in mind that expensive doesn’t necessarily equate to effective. So that cheap plastic high chair just might do a better job than that very expensive wooden masterpiece!
Prenatal visits are very important throughout your pregnancy as they assist in monitoring both you and your baby’s health. These visits also give you the chance to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
During the course of your pregnancy, you can expect to have at least 10 or more prenatal visits. The cost of these can vary from around $400 at a public hospital (for all 10 visits), to approximately $150 per session at a private hospital, according to financial experts.
Whether you choose to go public or private, the expenses of some of the screenings and tests can be subsidised via CPF. Medisave can also help you save more prenatal care expenses.
Choosing the hospital you want to give birth at is an important decision for many mums-to-be. Experts say that “the amount of money spent will depend on what type of practitioner you have chosen and whether they operate privately or publicly.” Usually, private hospitals will be more costly than public hospitals.
Once you choose your hospital, there are other financial considerations, such as the cost of the delivery room, birthing assistance such as having a hospital-provided specialist midwife (e.g. The Enhanced Midwifery Maternity Care Programme, or EMMa Care, at NUH) or requesting for a water birth etc.
For a vaginal birth, the cost of a room could be between $2,000 to $3,000. It will definitely go higher if you need a Caesarian Section due to pre- and post-operative care.
As you can see, with a bit of thought, it’s quite easy to manage your finances in relation to planned expenses around pregnancy and birth.
But what about the unplanned expenses? How do you factor those in? We tell you how on the next page.