Are you and your partner planning on having a baby, or is your little bundle of joy already on the way? Kerry Gibbs runs through what sorts of costs to expect when you’re expecting.
What does medical aid cover?
There are of course routine antenatal check-ups and consultations, with ultrasounds, blood tests, antenatal classes etc, and these are normally covered by medical aid. But are you prepared for any unexpected costs that may arise during and after labour?
Unfortunately, not all births go according to plan, and there are times when the mother, baby, or both need extra care. For example, you might need an emergency C-section, or your newborn baby may need to be kept in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These unplanned incidents will add to your hospital bill, so it’s best to chat with your medical aid company before your due date, to find out exactly what they do and do not cover. You don’t want to be surprised by a bill from the hospital, for procedures that you assumed were covered by your medical aid.
Breastfeeding vs. formula
With all its nutritional advantages, breastfeeding is the recommended choice for newborn babies and is much cheaper than bottle-feeding. But sometimes mothers can’t breastfeed, in which case they have to use baby formula, which is costly. Do your research upfront – formula prices differ according to brand and type, so chat to a paediatrician about the various brands and the best product for your baby. Another point to keep in mind is that even though you aren’t breastfeeding, your body will still produce milk to a lesser or greater degree, so you might have to invest in a breast pump.
Must-haves – or not?
Expecting parents commonly fall into the trap of wanting to get everything for the baby now, before he or she is born. But the sensible route is to buy only the basics before the birth. Once your baby’s born, you’ll know what size clothing will fit him or her, and in any event you’ll find that you’ll get so many newborn clothing from friends and family that you won’t need to buy anything for the first couple of months. Also, babies grow very quickly and you don’t want to spend large amounts of money on clothing that will end up sitting in the cupboard, barely even worn and already outgrown!
Advice & support
Remember that you are not in this alone. There are clinics and organisations dedicated to helping new parents, and Jet is there for you too! Click here for all our specials on infants’ clothing and more – and Jet Club members can call our Baby Medical Assistance careline 24/7 for advice and support on any aspect of caring for your little one!
Good luck to all expecting parents – and if you have any handy advice we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know!