Baby makes three – KERCHING!

Pregnancy Life & Style - - YOUR FINANCES -

From the minute that preg­nancy test re­turns a pos­i­tive read­ing, the costs be­gin to add up, but there’s no rea­son to panic. Many ex­penses can be re­duced and some can be avoided al­to­gether with a lit­tle fore­sight, gen­er­ous friends and a bit of com­mon sense. When it comes to work­ing out what costs you’ll be up for, con­sider the fol­low­ing three cat­e­gories.


Some costs are un­avoid­able (for ex­am­ple GP con­sul­ta­tions, vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments and ma­ter­nity wear); some are un­fore­see­able (phys­io­ther­apy for that pinched nerve); and then there are the op­tional lux­u­ries (mas­sages, yoga, daily crav­ings for choco­late). Where pos­si­ble, go with­out.


• Preg­nancy mul­ti­vi­ta­mins: $147 – $270

• Preg­nancy tests and con­sul­ta­tions with a GP or ob­ste­tri­cian: $76 – $300

• Self-help books: $40 – $80

• Ma­ter­nity wear: $200 – $1000

• Child­care wait­ing list bond: $20 – $800 To­tal: from $483


If you use the pub­lic health sys­tem, you won’t have to pay for the doc­tor, mid­wife or hos­pi­tal stay, and you’ll usu­ally get two free ul­tra­sounds and free an­te­na­tal classes. Depend­ing on your needs and lo­ca­tion, you could be out of pocket for ex­tra scans and an­te­na­tal classes (from $40 to $270). If you use a pri­vate hos­pi­tal

(or pri­vate ob­ste­tri­cian in a pub­lic hos­pi­tal), your costs will rise dra­mat­i­cally but are largely off­set through health in­sur­ance. Check with your in­surer first and remember that some poli­cies have long wait­ing pe­ri­ods. Home­births and com­pli­ca­tions of any kind can blow the costs right out, so al­ways con­sult your GP and in­surer to get a re­al­is­tic pic­ture.


• Pub­lic hos­pi­tal: $0 – $1500 (depend­ing on whether you choose a pri­vate ob­ste­tri­cian and re­quire ex­tra scans, paid an­te­na­tal classes and so on)

• Pri­vate hos­pi­tal: $1500 – $20,000

(depend­ing on the fee your ob­ste­tri­cian charges, the length of your hos­pi­tal stay, ex­tra scans and health cov­er­age)

To­tal: from $0


Pre­par­ing for bub’s ar­rival (clothes, baby equip­ment, nurs­ery fur­ni­ture) is one area where you can re­ally blow the bud­get if you spend with­out think­ing. Shop around on­line or look for hand-me-downs – just make sure key items such as the cot, pram and feed­ing ac­ces­sories meet the Aus­tralian safety stan­dards. Be­fore you buy, ask other mums what they couldn’t do with­out and what they’d hap­pily forgo the sec­ond time around. Remember that as your child grows, costs will nat­u­rally rise, but for most par­ents this will be largely off­set by a re­turn to work and that lovely sec­ond in­come.

PO­TEN­TIAL COSTS (first year)

• Fur­ni­ture (cot, car seat, pram/stroller): $480 – $2000 • Cloth­ing: $560 – $1600 • Nap­pies (dis­pos­able): $1380 – $3000 • Nappy wipes: $150 – $250

• Food (from six months of age): $860 – $2400

• Mis­cel­la­neous (bot­tles, cups, bibs, dum­mies): $150 – $530

• Toys: $103 – $378

• Im­mu­ni­sa­tions: $0 – $572

• Breast pads: $30 – $150

• Ma­ter­nity bras: $40 – $140

• Breast pump: $80 – $250 To­tal: from $3833

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