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The ABCs of having a baby and what it costs in South Africa

Bringing a brand-new life into this world is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever enjoy, but it also comes with a whole lot of added responsibilities. And by ‘a whole lot’ we mean a boatload. It’s pretty intense. If you have been considering having a child or expanding your family, there are a few financial aspects to consider before you take the plunge.

Here are the basic costs you need to factor in when falling pregnant and having a baby:

date: 01/08/2017Author:

During pregnancy

Do you have medical aid? If not, join one before you fall pregnant or else they may exclude the birth from their cover. If you are already a member of a medical aid, find out what they cover and what your options are in terms of doctors and hospitals on their scheme. If you have a basic hospital plan rather than comprehensive cover, you will have to pay out of pocket for your check-ups at the gynaecologist, which normally happens every 6 weeks. Find out what this will cost per visit.

If you have a difficult pregnancy or carry multiples, you may have to go on bedrest a lot sooner than your due date, which means you may have to go on maternity leave sooner than expected. Can you carry your expenses for a month or two before dipping into your savings or credit card? You could also suffer from debilitating morning sickness, which will necessitate extra leave days. Could you build some up, just in case?

Your doctor could inform you that your foetus has markers that point to Down’s Syndrome, which will require further tests. Could you afford this and would you continue/end the pregnancy if the tests are positive? Do you have the resources to take care of a handicapped child? Discuss this with your partner prior to falling pregnant.

During delivery

Find out from you gynaecologist if he/she charges medical aid rates for a birth or planned C-section. If they charge more, how will you pay the difference? If you have a C-section, you will also have to pay the anaesthesiologist, paediatrician and physiotherapist. What are their fees? Does your medical aid cover it or will it be paid from your own savings?

You'll have to add your new-born to your medical aid immediately. Budget for this increase in medical aid contribution.

Once you go home your new-born will need a cot, pram, car seat, clothes, nappies and feeding equipment. It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive version of every item - take advantage of hand-me-downs or shop at second-hand baby stores/groups on social media. TOP TIP: If you are a first-time parent, take along a friend or family member who recently had a child. The choice can be overwhelming and it helps to have someone with you who knows the ropes.

Once your baby is born, there are of course a whole lot of other things to consider, including childcare, food, clothing, tuition, extramural activities and more. That’s a whole different chapter!

Are you currently in a tough financial situation that does not allow the breathing space to have a baby? Get in touch with Libertine Consultants to find out more about our debt counselling services. We are here to help you restructure your debt in a way that will allow you to maintain a dignified lifestyle while you take control of your finances. Then we’ll assist you in paving the way to a brighter future with the scope for expanding your family.

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