By Motlagae Konyana
Having a baby is one of the most precious moments that can happen in anyone’s life and is life changing . How can one prepare or be ready financially for this special moment? There are a lot of blogs posts, books, stories from our parents and magazines about how to be emotionally ready for parenthood but no one really tells you about the financial cost that is involved in having a baby.
Not many new parents are aware of the birth costs involved in having a baby. Most of the new parents are excited about having a healthy baby than anything else.
THE DOCTORS AND SPECIALIST COSTS:
Remember that you will be having regular appointments with your Gynaecologist, which means an added cost. Your gynaecologist may want to be paid in cash and you claim from your medical aid. Be prepared by ensuring you always have funds for these regular visits.
Be prepared for complications, have extra money saved for any medical complications that may arise during the pregnancy or birth. For example, if you are having a Caesarean and you experience complications, this could mean that you spend more time in the theatre than you had anticipated. Your gynaecologist might add an emergency fee.
Some medical aid plans don’t pay for the whole bill, you might have to pay for the extra costs. Ensure that you are well-informed about the medical aid plan that you are on, what does it cover in the event that you have complications, in the event that you give birth in an area that you had not booked a bed (Is there an extra charge?).
If you have a C-section or an epidural, you require an anaesthetist. Even though these procedures are done in the hospital and one may assume that the fee will be covered by the hospital fee. The anaesthetist has their own account and fee separate from the hospital. Again, do research and ask your medical aid whether it covers this cost.
When drawing up a child birth cost plan, remember to add the cost of the paediatrician as their presence is compulsory. The paediatrician is there to do an Apgar score (a quick test performed on a baby at one and five minutes after birth) and check that your little one is doing well.
OTHER COSTS TO BE PREPARED FOR:
After your baby has been born, you will be on maternity leave, which means there might be no income or there will be a percentage of your salary paid to you monthly. This is dependant on the company that you work for if they cover maternity leave. Talk to your HR manager about the company’s policy with regards to maternity leave.
Speak to your creditors as well regarding how are you going to be able to pay them when you will be receiving 60% of your salary.
ADDING YOUR BABY TO YOUR MEDICAL AID SCHEME
This needs to be done immediately after birth and means you’ll now pay a higher medical rate now that your child has been included on your medical aid.
Hospitals don’t work the same. Some may have admin fees while others don’t, be sure to check which hospital suits your budget. Depending on which hospital you go to, there might be a deposit you need to pay when booking your bed – it is advisable that this must be done when one is between 26-30 weeks pregnant.
Your hospital costs will be determined by how long you stay and on which medical aid plan you may be on. Most of the medical aids in South Africa cover your stay in a standard room, you will have to pay the rest if you prefer a private room. There is an extra charge for the private room though.