I knew actually having a child was expensive. That I could understand- the doctor’s visits, the school fees, the packed lunches. But apparently even getting pregnant is an expensive business. Here are some tips.
It’s not the first thing you think of. First, there are the excited calls to parents/ friends/ next-door neighbours/ anyone. Then there’s the whirlwhind of names, thoughts of redecorating, realization of the horror of morning sickness and a lot of general excitement.
Once all that is settled, however, its time for decisions about who you want to see about having a child and who you want to deliver it. Things are currently in flux in Australia, with legislation regarding homebirth currently being debated in the Senate. Public care should be entirely free, unless you need to cover the gap if your doctors don’t bulk bill.
If you go private, either with an obstetrician or midwife, you will have to pay for it and it can be expensive. If you have insurance, that should cover you to a large extent if you are going through hospitals. If you would like a midwife, you will probably have to go through independent midwifery and that will probably not be covered. Insurance for midwives is at the centre of the current argy bargy, so hopefully things will improve one day soon.
Since last year, things have improved for women requiring maternity leave. Your employer should be providing it as long as you are a permanent part-time or full-time worker. The advice floating about it that you can’t bet on being able to work every day of your pregnancy until your wheeled off to a bed or birthing pool. Morning sickness and fatigue makes the working week difficult, so leave some allowances in your budget.
Who would have thought- all those years you’ve been longing for some new clothes, and now you have to buy ones that you can only wear for short periods of your life. Some clothes are capable of taking a pregnant belly, and ask the people around you (after all, most women probably have lots of clothes they can’t wear either). Stuff from K-mart usually looks nice and doesn’t break the bank. I can’t wait- some of it looks so comfortable but I don’t feel like I can justify wearing it until I actually am pregnant.
Know your future plans
There are benefits offered by the government for parents, or parents with small children. Make sure you find out what they are. Ensure that you’ve thought about childcare costs, and where you might like to send your child.
You’re pregnant, so if there are a couple of spoilt moments here or there, then what’s the fuss? A friend of mine swears by massage, another by almond croissants. After all, you have a doting partner who is caught in a hilarious bind of half-joy, half-panic, and he’ll probably do anything you ask. Now is the time to take advantage of his unusual willingness to please. Eat organic, stay away from deli meats and revel in the new Earth Mother that is you.