Pregnancy is a beautiful blessing. However, if we are truthful, having a baby could burn a hole in your savings. Some people may assure you by saying that the heavens will provide for your needs—which is great—but don't get carried away. You and your partner still need to work and figure out your finances.
The general rule about money is you have to live within your means. It means you have to spend on your needs first, and maybe some wants only if you can afford it. Whether you're trying to get pregnant or are already growing a baby bump, it's never too late to prepare.
Based on the information shared by moms in our Smart Parenting Village, here's a quick and broad idea of the expenses during pregnancy, when giving birth, and having a baby.
1. Prenatal checkups start at Php500, to Php1,000; free in health centers
The World Health Organization (WHO) pregnancy guidelines recommend that a pregnant woman must have her first visit to the doctor within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Succeeding consultations should be required for week 20, 26, 30, 34, 36, 38 and 40. Some doctors may need you to come in once every month up until your 28th week, then every two weeks after that, and then once a week as your due date nears. If you have pregnancy complications, you may require more visits.
You don't need a 3D or 4D ultrasound scan unless your doctor prescribes it. A 2D ultrasound can tell your doctor everything that he needs to know to help you move forward into your pregnancy. If you really want to have a 3D or 4D done, do so in your third trimester.
A typical pregnancy would require at least two ultrasound tests: one to confirm the pregnancy during the first trimester, and the crucial one, Congenital Anomaly Scan (CAS) during the 18th to 22nd week, and in the third trimester.
4. Preggy essentials
You may not need to buy maternity clothes, but some worth-it items are the maternity pants, pregnancy pillow, and maternity support belt. Remember to choose which one to spend on. Remember, preggos in the past have survived pregnancy even without these items.
Expectant mothers could be in control of their physical, emotional and mental conditions during labor through mindful preparation, and one way to do this is to attend a birthing class. Whether you are going for an epidural or sticking to natural childbirth, these classes can be beneficial for you and your husband, and for your baby as well when you learn more about breastfeeding.
6. Hospital birthing fees start at Php30,000 up to as high as P200,000 or more
The cost of giving birth depends on how and where you deliver your baby. A vaginal delivery costs cheaper than a C-section. The type of room (ward, semi-private, private) you stay in after birth also factors in your hospital bill. If you choose to use the birthing suite or a water birthing suite, they cost higher, too.
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Birthing homes and lying-in centers are also possible locations, and cost much cheaper (as low as P1,000). Giving birth in them is not advisable for all pregnant women, however; it depends on your pregnancy risks and the doctor's recommendation. If you opt to give birth in non-hospital locations, choose one that is equipped to handle emergencies or is near hospitals in case you need surgery.
While the cost of giving birth has continually shot up, the good news is that you don't necessarily have to pay for nursery room charges unless needed. All newborns are required by law to be roomed-in with their moms right after birth. It will cost you more, though, if you deliver prematurely, during which your baby may need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
7. Professional fees start at Php10,000
Hospital birthing packages don't always include doctor's fees, which may vary. Make sure you clear it with your doctor. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologist professional fees are the highest. You also have to pay your newborn's pediatrician and your anesthesiologist.
8. Newborn screening is at Php950, or free via PhilHealth
Newborn screening (NBS) test is covered by PhilHealth. However, the Newborn Care Package only allots P550 for the “basic” newborn screening, which screens for six conditions. The expanded newborn screening, which tests for 28 disorders, approximately costs P1,500, so parents will have to pay the remaining P950 out of pocket.
9. Postnatal checkups start at Php500 to Php1,000
Postpartum or post-birth checkups vary depending on how you delivered your baby. After a vaginal delivery, you should be back at your doctor's office after a week or so. If everything is doing well, you go back after a month which is around your six-week postpartum. Belly birth moms or those who delivered via CS may require a postnatal checkup every week for the first month postpartum, and then once every month going forward.
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10. Well-baby checkup fees begin at Php500
Typically, your baby should be back to his pediatrician for his or her well-baby checkup a week after birth, and then once every month. After that, doctors will usually schedule the next succeeding visits at the same time as his immunization schedule.
11. Vaccinations start at Php2,500, up to Php6,000; some are free at health centers
There are a total of 13 recommended vaccinations as per the 2018 childhood immunization schedule. The National Immunization Program provides essential vaccines, which are given free at health centers during their specific set schedules. These are Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG), Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), DTwP-Hib-Hep B vaccine, Polio vaccine, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR), Tetanus-Diptheria vaccine (Td), and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV).
The average cost of a small can of infant formula is around Php2,000, which lasts for only a week or two. Feeding bottles and sterilizers may also be costly, and distilled water may not always be available, so you'd need to buy that, too.
Baby gear, such as co-sleepers, cribs or playpens, carriers or slings, strollers, high chairs, and car seats don't come cheap but could be great investment pieces. There are, however, many reliable and mom-recommended brands that can give you more value for your money spent. Find out first if that big ticket item will suit your baby and your family's lifestyle.