Those little butterflies fluttering around in your stomach as you prepare to expand your family are certainly memorable — and likely do nothing to help with your morning sickness. The anxiousness mixed with excitement is also unique for soon-to-be mothers, and admittedly, it can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. There is so much to plan for in anticipation of your new love, it’s hard to figure out where to begin.
Setting a Budget
That being said, pulling a budget together would be a good place to start. Pregnancy, and in turn parenthood, can throw a wrench into your finances — but at least the wrench is usually a beautiful, amazing, soft new baby you couldn’t possibly ever stop loving.
Whether you’ve been planning for this pregnancy for a while or it’s your second, third, fourth child, it’s likely you already have a clear idea of how you’ll be budgeting for the next nine months (and at least the next 18 years). If your pregnancy is more of a surprise, it’s OK; you’ve still got plenty of time to sit down and plan out how you’ll be paying for the medical expenses that come with becoming a new mom.
As reported by the experts at SmartAsset, the average cost to have a baby in the United States (vaginal delivery) ranges anywhere between $5,000 and $11,000. Furthermore, they go on to explain that, “These prices include the total duration of care, the obstetrician’s fee (including prenatal care), the anesthesiologist’s fee and the hospital care fee.” In the UK, having a baby through the NHS is, of course, free. However, if you choose to go through private care, you’re looking at a bill of £2,000 – £6,000.
In the US, a lot of budgeting done in preparation for your new baby is going to have to be ready to cover the what-ifs. However, depending on your family’s medical insurance, you’ll likely not be paying for all your pregnancy-related expenses out of pocket. Of course, the kind of healthcare insurance you have does have a significant effect on affordability, so it’d be worth researching your insurance policies on pregnancy and childbirth so that you can better plan for those unexpected expenses (C-sections cost how much?!).
Of course, no budget is bulletproof. Financial issues might pop up that you’re simply not prepared to cover. If only you could pay for your future child’s medical expenses in all those unnecessary parenting “advice” comments you get from strangers. Sadly, that’s not a possibility (yet), and it can become overwhelming being saddled with a hefty medical bill. The important thing to stay focused on is the fact that your baby has finally made their way into your waiting arms — albeit maybe a little worse for wear than you expected.
Unfortunately, unpaid medical bills can be sent to collections, which can affect your credit score, which is the last thing you should be dealing with after having a baby. Luckily, there are some options for you and your growing family. Fiscal Tiger tells us that “ultimately, there are better ways of handling medical debt than working with a collections agency. Negotiating a settlement or seeking help from charities that pay medical bills are both promising options compared to battling collections.”
This is good news for those of us that always try our best to take the smoothest course in life, but end up feeling frustrated with all the unexpected bumps in the road. Nevertheless, dealing with these matters can help you get back to focusing on the more important things in life, like what kind of diapers you want your young one to have.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by expenses after having a baby, but plenty of resources exist these days for new, growing families. Of course, you’ll be plenty busy with your new arrival, but it’ll be worth taking the time to figure out how to get back on track and working towards paying off those troublesome medical bills. Besides, anything seems possible after giving birth!
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