It's no secret that having children is costly. They're an 18-year (at least!) financial commitment that appears to only get more expensive with time, from diapers to college tuition. In reality, research reveal that a child's annual demands are roughly $14,000 on average.
Or, to put it another way, $252,000 over 18 years. But what about simply giving birth to a child? Let's take a look at the nine months of expenses from conception to birth.
Expenses Associated with Conception and Pregnancy
Before we get into the costs of having a baby, it's crucial to remember that the costs of having a baby don't stop with the birth. Don't forget to account for fertilisation and pregnancy as well. While the cost of conception varies (some women are able to conceive naturally, while others must use in-vitro fertilisation), it is still a price to consider. Prenatal care is the same way. Most insurance plans cover a significant portion of pregnancy-related visits, but if you don't have coverage and become pregnant, your costs will skyrocket.
Expenses Associated with Childbirth
Now for the figures you've been waiting for: the cost of childbirth. The figures below are for births in a regular hospital environment, not a birthing centre or a doula-assisted home birth.
Here are some estimated expenditures if you give birth at a hospital. Keep in mind that these fees do not include the cost of health insurance.
Almost $11,000 for a vaginal birth with no complications.
Around $13,000 for a vaginal birth with problems.
Around $18,500 for a Cesarean birth with no complications.
Nearly $22,000 for a Cesarean birth with complications.
Depending on your health insurance coverage, your provider is likely to cover a significant portion of these expenses. This figure, however, varies greatly depending on your specific plan and can range from 20% to 100% coverage.
Expenses for in-hospital stays can include blood tests, epidurals, radiology scans, and any further drugs prescribed by your doctor. In addition, hospital costs for moms and babies are sent separately. It's regular procedure that you can't change, but keep it in mind when planning your pregnancy to avoid any unpleasant shocks.
Note that you will almost certainly reach your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum during this time. All of these numbers are based on the premise that you have health insurance and that you use in-network physicians (doctors that are covered under your specific healthcare plan).
How to Make Childbirth Less Expensive
While there's no foolproof strategy to ensure an easy birth, keeping involved in prenatal care can certainly assist. It will not only boost the odds of a healthy baby, but it will also lead to a less expensive delivery and stay in the hospital. There are a few things you can do: To help your pregnancy go smoothly, make sure your health insurance covers delivery costs, eat healthily, don't drink or smoke, and talk to your OB-GYN about anything else that's under your control.
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