Baby makes three – KERCHING!
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