why pregnancy costs so much

Next post will be about why babies don’t cost that much, but this one is on the surprising costs that come with being pregnant.  Well, surprising to me at least.

Some of the costs that have surprised me are related to the kind of birth I’m hoping to have: I’ve planned to go to the hospital; however, if all is going very smoothly I’m open to a home birth with my midwife.  Either way I’m also hoping for a natural birth, meaning without drugs or medical intervention.  If I just intended to go to the hospital and get hooked up to an epidural till someone said push, I’d probably feel the need for less of these expenditures.

Vitamins- I’m not a fan of pre-natal vitamins.  They have high doses of vitamin A, higher than most multi-vitamins, in spite of the fact that you’re supposed to limit in take while pregnant.  The level of Iron also is huge and often makes women sick.  I just think I can get a balanced amount of vitamins from other sources.   Being a vegetarian I’ve tried to pay attention to what I need specifically as well.  What I take is folic acid, liquid iron (plant-based and easier on the stomach) and a chewable vitamin I always take.
This all adds up to about $25 per month.

Diet- My diet isn’t bad even when not pregnant.  For one I don’t eat fast food.  That being said, like all women expecting a baby I’ve tried to up the ante.  I eat out and order in less.  Try to really keep consistently on top of my morning fruit and protein shake.  Buy more fresh fruits and veggies, as well as organic if I can.  Plus I need more snack foods than I used to.
I’d say it’s added another $50 per month to my food budget.

Books- I’ve borrowed many from the library, and have many from my doula training courses; however, I have bought at least one so far and may purchase another for reference after baby arrives.
Books have only cost $20.  A bargain thanks to the library!

Clothing- I gave in to buying pregnancy clothes early.  Both because I felt uncomfortable in my pants very early and also, I figured why not get as many months use out of these items as I can?  I bought 2 pairs of pants, 2 tops and 1 dress from Value Village.  Then a dress and a bathing suit from Old Navy.  Plus a friend very sweetly gave me 2 tops as a present- what a great gift!  All are for pregnancy and nursing.  Lastly I purchased one nursing bra and one sleeper bra.  I’ll likely need another nursing~ one is not enough!
Total cost is $200, with an expected expenditure of another $50 for a second bra.

Chiropractor and RMT- This is an area that not all spend money on; however, I promised myself that I would not let the wear on my body from pregnancy build up just to save a few dollars.  Being uncomfortable and out of alignment would not be good for me, the baby or my birth.  Chiro is proven to assist in an uncomplicated shorter birth.  I’ve had 2 massages so far, and several chiropractic treatments.  On top of this I was recommended to buy a body pillow for better sleep (hallelujah ~ does it ever help!!!) and a compression belt to support my very sore hips.  The good news is the chiro is partially covered under my health plan.
By the time I give birth I expect my total cost to be  $400.

Childbirth Education Class- Some people have said these classes are just common sense and you can learn it all online; however, even though I’ve done about 75% of my doula training and have read a ton, I would not give these up at all.  I just don’t think reading and interpreting alone replaces interactive experience.  Also, there are the questions raised by others that you may not have considered.
Specifically for me, if I do hope to feel comfortable enough to birth at home I feel I need all the info I can get to alleviate my anxieties and reaffirm that my body can do this.  I’m also taking a HypnoBirth specific class, as I feel these techniques will best enable me to remain drug free and comfortable.
HypnoBirthing Class cost is $340.

Doula- This is the big one.  My partner is an amazing person, but I don’t know that he (or I) truly knows what’s coming and how we will best manage this together.  As someone who is training to be a doula, I absolutely believe in their beneficial role in the birth experience for both parents.  I will need all the support I can get, and I feel that my partner will be able to provide so much more to me if we both have the guidance and support of our doula.  Midwives, like OBs, are medical professionals and depending on how the birth is progressing they can be very busy with attending to the baby, setting things up, or doing paperwork.  They cannot always fill that role of support person to the mother the way people often assume.
So thought he price is high, I feel it’s one of my most important expenditures.  $1000

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