Planning for your baby? Congratulations! You are on the right track to saying yes to life and preparing for your pregnancy.
The joy of anticipating a baby is priceless. Not only can you not wait to cuddle your little one, but you've also probably begun setting high goals and dreams for him. After all, you want to give your baby the best, and you are determined to do anything to do so. But when reality strikes and expenses slowly trickle in, you recognize that having a baby will make more than a dent in your finances.
Savings, good deals and a strong knowledge of what to expect during pregnancy and delivery saved Karla Lozano, a working mother, from outrageous hospital expenses.
Mommy Karla works in a university while her husband works in a multinational company. After four months of being married, she became pregnant with her first child. Together with her husband, she carefully planned and prepared for the birth of their son. She believes that “pregnancy is not costly if you just go with the important and necessary things.”
“People just add too many frills,” she says. “More than finances, it’s a mindset. You have to be mentally, physically, spiritually prepared to parent.”
Maximize health care card “Doctor's check-ups were fortunately covered by my health care card. This provided relief (one less money matter to think about) and freedom to go to the doctor whenever I felt something might be off. I also researched their background and ‘reviews’ of the physicians on the list. Then I narrowed the list down by location (preferably near my workplace) and clinic hours (better at night). Since I was covered by my health care card, I was able to choose the OB whom I felt comfortable with.”
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Buy medicines in bulk to avail of discounts “I was only prescribed multivitamins, iron (later in pregnancy), folic acid. I think the multivitamins were priced at PHP900 for one box (roughly two months' worth).”
Research for the best rates and offers "I just took the prescribed tests such as transvaginal ultrasound, ultrasound, blood work, urinalysis. I remember calling clinics to check how much the tests cost. If the doctor's not particular as to where you'll do the tests, then research is key to get the best offer. There's no harm in asking and comparing.”
Eat in moderation “I ate everything in moderation. I still took coffee but only one cup a day, as advised by my OB. I was fortunate that I didn't have to be on any special diet.”
Buy what is only necessary “I don't think it's necessary to buy a lot of maternity clothes, especially tops. You can still use your current clothes. You need to invest, however, in good nursing bras when the breasts get bigger. I had no need for special shoes. I wore my loose clothes, and my mom bought most of my maternity clothes (pants and shorts). She was more excited than me."
Invest in learning about your pregnancy "At the first confirmation of pregnancy, I immediately bought the book What to Expect When Expecting. I read it over and over then referred to it whenever I wanted to know something. I also bought Fearless Pregnancy and Mom Mojo. I also took a childbirth class. Some may see it as unnecessary, but I think it mostly made the delivery smoother and less costly. Aside from knowing how to breathe and what to expect during labor and childbirth, the class taught us essential tips and helped us create a birth plan.”
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Have a birth plan “My birth plan specified that I did not want epidural nor a labor room. Hospitals charge every single thing they use on you, so the less you get from them, the better your hospital bill will look. You can bring your things to be used after birth. Prices are also dependent on the room you stay in, so unless prescribed otherwise, it's probably wiser to stay in the ward or a semi-private room.”
Here a summary of mommy Karla’s expenses from pregnancy to delivery: