The average cost for pregnancy

Written by s. herlihy
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The average cost for pregnancy
Pregnancy brings with it certain financial costs. (money image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

The nine months of pregnancy are often a time of joyous anticipation as couples await the birth of a new life. Women decorate nurseries and spend hours reading books to find just the right name for their growing child. But being pregnant also has emotional, physical and financial costs. Expect to spend money even before your child is born.

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Prenatal Visits

A prenatal visit is a visit to an obstetrician. An O.B. will check your blood pressure, measure your growing foetus, listen for the baby's heartbeat and answer any questions you may have. Prenatal visits are very important. A visit to a doctor can help make sure that your pregnancy is progressing normally and the baby is developing appropriately. If anything appears amiss, a doctor can help fix it with additional medical interventions.

If you don't have insurance, expect to pay between £65 and £97 per visit. If you do have insurance you will most likely have to pay a co-pay every time you see a doctor. You will see a doctor once a month early in your pregnancy and up to once a week once the pregnancy progresses. Some women choose to work with a midwife rather than an O.B. The midwife will follow a similar monitoring process and charge similar fees. Many will accept payment in advance for the entire pregnancy, including the labour and delivery.

Healthy Foods and Prenatal Vitamins

Pregnant women are literally eating for two. A pregnant woman's diet should focus on proper nutrition and high-quality calories. High-quality foods such as fish and whole grains can cost more money sometimes. In addition, women are urged to take prenatal vitamins to make sure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals. Expect to pay about £3 to £16 or more per month for vitamins.

Maternity Clothing

Even if your only activity during a pregnancy is a brief walk to the doctor's office, you will want to have at least one or two outfits during the last three or four months of your pregnancy. Maternity clothing is made in larger sizes and costs more than regular clothing. Expect to pay about £32 to £65 per outfit. You can reduce maternity clothing costs by purchasing used items online or in thrift shops. Some women's feet swell during pregnancy, so you may have to buy new shoes in a slightly larger size. The increased foot length is permanent.

Maternity Leave

Pregnant women who are employed will need to take a maternity leave in order to recover from childbearing. A simple vaginal birth with no complications can take a week or two to recover from. If you've had a c-section, your expected recovery period may last up to a month. Some companies offer maternity leave, while others do not. In certain states such as New York and New Jersey, a pregnancy is considered a disability. Maternity leave is thus covered under short-term disability laws. Other states have only unpaid maternity leave. Expect to lose between three to six month's salary.

Labor and Delivery Costs

Many insurance companies cover the cost of a hospital delivery. You should still anticipate additional costs and co-pays such as charges for a private room or an epidural. If you don't have health insurance, expect to pay between £3,250 and £26,000 or more for the entire birth. You can reduce costs by as much as 50 per cent if you have a low-risk pregnancy and deliver at home with a midwife.

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