Bridget, from the culinary arts schools in Illinois is here today to share some great money saving tips for having a baby. Maybe it’s just my age, but I feel like there is a baby boom right now, so I know many of you can appreciate these tips. We will definitely be using some of these tips on our next go-around.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching culinary arts schools in Illinois. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.
Everyone knows that having a baby can be expensive. But what most new parents focus on when they say that is buying things like a crib, a car seat, new clothes, and all the other gear that a new baby will need. Most of them don’t talk about the cost of actually having the baby — the massive hospital bill you will get for labor and delivery, and not to mention all those pre-natal appointments with the obstetrician.
While your health and the health of your baby are worth every last penny, it would be nice to not have to add to the stress of raising a newborn with a ton of new debt. You can get the care you need and have the birth you want and still save money. Here are a few ways that you can save money when delivering a baby:
Your insurance may not cover all the care you will need. Or you may not have insurance at all. If you are going to have to pay out of pocket for any or all of your care, talk with your provider about the possibility of a cash discount. Many providers will offer a significant discount if you have to pay for services yourself (not necessarily with cash). Talk to your provider and see what’s possible. If a discount isn’t an option, your provider will likely be able to work out a payment plan with you.
Opt Out of Expensive Tests
There are many pre-natal tests that you may be offered during the course of your pregnancy. Some common ones include genetic testing for rare chromosomal disorders, which may include an amniocentesis in which a needle is inserted into the amniotic sac to test for irregularities. While these tests can provide important information, they are often not necessary — and they can cost thousands of dollars.
Unless you have risk factors for certain genetic conditions or your provider has given you a reason to be concerned, you likely don’t need these tests.
Go to a Birth Center
Giving birth in a hospital can cost you upwards of $10,000 — more if you have a C-section. However, if you go to a birth center, your bill will only be a few thousand. Birth centers are staffed by midwives and certified nurse midwives, and they are partnered with local hospitals. What that means is that you’ll be cared for by providers who have specialized training in labor and delivery, but that if there is an emergency of any kind, you can quickly be transferred to a local hospital where a doctor can care for you.
Choose a Natural Birth
If you feel more comfortable giving birth to your baby in a hospital, you can still save money by simply choosing to have a natural birth. What this means, essentially, is that you won’t be getting pain medicine. An epidural can cost thousands of dollars because it has to be administered by an anesthesiologist. Even if you don’t get an epidural, narcotics can cost hundreds of dollars. You can instantly knock a chunk off your bill by just saying no to these meds. Just be sure you’re ready for it — natural labor is a commitment!
Work with a Midwife
Whether you want to have a natural labor or you know you’re going to get the epidural the moment you walk in the door, working with a midwife throughout your pregnancy can help you to prepare for labor so you are calm and ready when the time comes. A midwife can teach you coping techniques for labor and can provide you ongoing prenatal care. You can see a midwife for much less than you would pay an OB but still get the same care.
Have a Home Birth
You can’t beat the accommodations you can get if you stay home — and you definitely can’t beat the price. If you think that a natural labor is right for you, consider having a home birth. You’ll be attended by a midwife who can care for you and who can arrange to have you transported to a local hospital in case of an emergency. The only fee you’ll have is for the midwife, so birthing at home can bring the cost of your delivery down dramatically.
Having a baby can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can try out some of these alternative options to help you save on your OB care and your labor and delivery. Finding ways to save on “must have” toys and designer jeans will have to come later.
Did you use any of these cost-savings measures when you gave birth? Share your experiences in the comments!