Who can possibly think about dollar and cents when having a baby? Well, there's a lot parents can spend money on to prepare for labor and delivery. This article will help parents-to-be whittle down all the birth information to focus on the goal to have a low stress labor and delivery with a healthy mom and newborn with some cash left in their wallets to shower themselves and the baby with other treats.
Let's put things in perspective, labor and delivery or childbirth just lasts a few hours. Mom has months to recover and years to go with the newborn. By spreading out the family budget, and the household dollars and cents. How can we stretch our dollars and cents when we're expecting a little bambino and preparing for life with the baby after leaving the hospital?
In 2017, because of technology advances it is more easy to buy and sell gently used baby items online such as cribs, bassinets, changing table, and most items parents use with a newborn in the house. Many apps have organized consigned baby items for sale. These apps are a great place to peruse and comparison shop for baby items.
A mom can also research online and make birth choices to have the birth she desires. Some moms prefer all natural birth, water birth, or home birth. However, the ultimate goal is to have a comfortable low stress birth process with a healthy newborn and a healthy mother as the ultimate outcome.
Some families choose their home or certified birth center rather than deliver the baby at the hospital. Some choose a certified nurse midwife (CNM) deliver their baby or a traditional medical doctor (MD). The choice is always up to mom and dad depending on mom's medical condition, health insurance, and how much a couple is willing to pay.
Here are some tips on how to save dollars and cents, contain extra costs incurred by labor and delivery. Focus on covering all of the basic needs and needs of the newborn. Parents may be saving money for the babysitter, new car, or new house.
15 You Tube VS. Classroom
We are living in the video, social media age. Childbirth videos are easy to find on the Internet. Actual video of childbirth and videos that explain the childbirth process are plentiful. What questions do you have about childbirth and caring for an infant? These questions are answered by your OB/GYN and your pediatrician.
Some medical offices offer classes at the office or at the local hospital. Some classes cost a small fee -- just a few dollars and cents. Other classes are offered as a series and requires the purchase of a workbook. If your work schedule and traffic commute is not a problem, some couples choose to attend the classes for more of a hands on experience.
Infant First Aid/CPR classes are excellent to attend in person because you practice a technique. Other classes can be found online as a video. Videos are available online or DVD and can be checked out the local library, the Bradley, Lamaze childbirth method, prenatal fitness and yoga videos, breastfeeding, baby massage and baby sign language videos can be found online.
Viewing these videos with your spouse and birth coach will help start the conversation about what to expect and how to prepare for the actual delivery. Better yet, you can view the videos on your phone while you travel and share with your doctor, if you have any questions.
14 Pre-Labor At Home
Depending on your health condition and comfort level, some moms labor at home. If you live close to the hospital or birthing center and don't have a traffic commute to worry about, some couples find that this cheap alternative is the way to go. Alternatively, after going over options with the doctor, some moms on their 2nd or third baby are sometimes more comfortable laboring at home after their "water breaks".
Your home should be comfortable because its the environment where you have been nesting, cleaning and decorating for the new baby. If you are having a home birth, the doctor or nurse midwife is contacted and you complete full labor and delivery in your home.
Conversely, some couples visit the doctor to have their "membranes" checked waiting for the contractions to begin for natural childbirth. Some women are sent back home to wait and labor, and return once labor has progressed. Running back and forth to the doctor could cost time, gas and anxiety.
However, the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby and healthy mom following labor and delivery. Follow your doctor's orders. Communicate and stay in contact with your doctor during the childbirth process.
13 Family/Friend As A Photographer
Recruit another mom, sister, or neighbor to meet you at the hospital or birth center to take pictures of the family and newborn. They can use your camera or your smartphone. Pay them at your discretion. Download any newborn frames, or picture collage apps for your candid or posed pictures.
Some families barter and trade home services such as carpool, lawn, pet care, babysitting, makeup, hair, catering. You may want to trade photography or videography for another home service. In preparing for the birth, identify the "must have" photos. Also decide what pictures are shared on social media such as, Facebook.
Cherished pictures are those of the arrival of the mom at the hospital, the newborn, and mom and dad holding the newborn. Home birth and water birth pictures include a picture of the birth team assisting with delivery and a birds eye view of the birth pool and bed the center of the home birth.
12 Natural Induction
Natural childbirth is not for everyone. The ability to have a natural birth will depend on your health, medical condition and pain tolerance level. Some plan for natural childbirth because of perceived faster recovery time than a C-section. A c-section, technically speaking, is surgery, requires more preparation and more costs - dollars and cents.
Natural childbirth is not surgery. Natural childbirth can take place at home or at a birth center. While natural childbirth does have some risks associated with it, discuss these risks with your doctor or certified nurse midwife and find out more about whether this birth process fits your needs or not.
Most women are able to birth naturally, but if you can't, then don't despair! Talk with your doctor about your options and how much each option will cost so that you have a well rounded idea of what you can afford and what you would like in your birth plan.
11 Childbirth At Home
The beauty of delivering at home is that you're in your own personal environment that you control. It's assumed people are more relaxed when at home, in their "nest." If you desire a water birth at home, a small pool of water can also be used in your home. Check with your doctor or certified nurse midwife as to what is the home birth protocol.
Time, dollars, and cents, are saved because you are using what you already have. You will not have a traditional hospital bill, you are paying for the health care provider, time and supplies. There is a possibly more people can be present during the delivery and more people can assist with the delivery.
Follow your doctors orders, and home birth protocols. Many moms and families identified early in the pregnancy that they wanted a home birth, not because it saves money, but because a more family atmosphere is desired. Once a home birth is chosen, each prenatal visit prepares the family for the home birth. The health of the mom and the unborn child help determine if the mom is eligible for a home birth.
10 No Epidural
Pain management is always a concern with childbirth. More and more moms are self pay when they arrive at the hospital. Having an epidural is an added cost, dollars and cents. Having an epidural is a form of medical intervention and a form of pain management.
Communicate with the doctor, nurse, and midwife as to what kind of pain management fits your comfort level. If your childbirth goes as planned you may not require pain management- which costs dollars and cents. Instead, other options are music, breathing, walking, gentle massage, gentle back rubs, and visualization.
A c-section requires significant physical preparation, on the contrary all natural childbirth does not. Stay healthy, hope for the best and communicate with your doctor, to achieve your desired birth outcome. We will discuss a cesarean section later.
9 Use A Smartphone Apps
There is an app for that! Childbirth and breastfeeding apps are prevalent. These apps give timely pertinent information and allow you to record or make note of certain pregnancy and childbirth milestones. What apps come factory standard on your smartphone. You can take photos, videos, record interviews on voice recorders, and play music.
Soft music can assist you with relaxing through contractions. Music for mediation, and relaxation transform your mood and aid in focus and concentration. Some moms prefer to be distracted from labor with high energy fitness music - after all childbirth can be considered a type of workout.
Some childbirth rooms have sound systems. Why take a chance on using theirs - bring your smartphone and cube speaker, ear buds, and transform your pre-labor area into a relaxing atmosphere to facilitate childbirth. Music apps, photo apps, and video chat apps allow mom to communicate with others about the progression of pregnancy and contractions.
Video chat allows people to feel like they are actually with them as they deliver the baby.
8 Use A Midwife
There are so many options and choices around childbirth. The traditional route is to deliver at the hospital under the supervision of a doctor. Another option is giving birth at home or at a birthing center with a midwife. To hire a midwife, talk to a few women's health centers, doctors and moms in your area.
Compare their birth packages and identify which one suites your childbirth preferences. Once identified, mom secures a contract with a midwife to monitor your pregnancy and subsequent birth. Some midwives make home visits, others work out of their clinics, doctors office, or birthing centers.
Sometimes care by a midwife can be less expensive, sometimes more expensive. Midwives offer different care packages for couples to choose from, depending on mom's health and the health of the unborn baby.
7 No Excessive Ultrasounds
Ultrasounds are standard and routinely used in today's pregnancy. However, the trend of all natural pregnancy and childbirth has questioned the use of ultrasound, and the over use of the ultrasound. If the mom and unborn baby is healthy according to other indicators, if there is an excellent childbirth medical history then a ultrasound is not necessary if the mother does not want it.
Birth centers and home birth gives moms the option of not having a ultrasound, if all is well. Hospitals have strict protocol for care after a mom is admitted for childbirth. Many first time moms play it safe with their first baby. The second or third baby maybe born at home or at a birthing center with no ultrasound nor technical monitoring according to the mom's wishes.
The less technical monitoring, the less the medical bill - dollars and cents. Choosing not to have an ultrasound will force you to use non technical indicators to track and follow your thriving, growing fetus.
6 No C-Section
A cesarean section delivery is very common, so much so, that some forget that it is surgery. Surgery requires a hospital visit and yields a hospital bill which all that is included to support the c- section surgery.
Like home birth, a c-section is scheduled, especially for those women who had delivered their baby previously through c-section. Cesarean section sometimes occurs if complications arise during vaginal delivery. Emergency c-sections are performed then. Many moms are thankful for emergency c-sections, the c-section saved the life of the mom and baby.
A Cesarean section is not a failure, and it's not a weakness. Remember, the ultimate goal is to bring a healthy baby into the world. A c-section requires a longer recovery time, and more assistance is needed in terms of driving a car and sometimes lifting the baby.
5 Family/Friend As A Birth Coach
As we discussed in the pre-labor section, recruit your spouse, mother, sister, or neighbor to be your birth coach or doula and stay beside you during contractions. A paid certified doula could assist you if you live away from family. Your birth coach or partner could tour the hospital with you, watch childbirth videos, with you and assist you in packing your hospital/birth bag.
Review your birth plan with your coach so they will know your plans for your delivery, who will be in the room, what your pain management strategy is, and breastfeeding plans. Your birth coach should be comfortable with all the emotions that come with childbirth. Dont go through childbirth alone. Choose someone to remain close to you through the birth process.
Discuss ahead of time what you need your birth partner to do. You may want her at arms length outside the room, giving you physical space and privacy. Your birth coach could also be your post partum doula, since they are familar with your desired expectations.
It may be worth your while to pay the local doula or lactation consultant for one or two sessions if this is your first baby, or you just moved to the area. It could save you time and money.
4 Shower Registry
Baby showers are given to welcome a new baby into the world. A baby registry indicates what items the couple desires for the baby. Many department and big box stores encourage parents to identify which baby necessities they want on the registry, then the extras. A lot of people like to buy the baby bath items as a gift or newborn blankets.
Some popular items are newborn toys. Breastfeeding pillows, robes for the mother, and baby bottles, baby outfits are popular shower gifts. Sometimes there are duplicate baby items received if more than one baby shower is given. Sort and save these items and actually use them.
Identify which items you would take to the hospital and which items will you use during the first week home with the baby, if all goes well. Save the gift cards you received to purchase any missed items. Duplicate items can be returned or given to a woman's shelter. Be thankful for family and friends having a party for you and your baby.
Pictures from the baby shower and the greeting cards you received can create a beautiful scrapbook, keepsake for you and your child to review together in future years. You can also decorate the baby's nursery with these items.
3 Home Fitness Equipment
One way to calm and soothe yourself during labor is the use of lightweight hand weights, massage devices, and the stability ball. You may already have these items in your home gym. If you labor at home, your partner can give you back rubs with a massager as the contractions come and go. Some women prefer back rubs or foot rubs between contractions.
Other women prefer to sit on a stability ball and slightly stretch their muscles between contractions. Check with your doctor as to whether or not sitting and using these devices will help you, aid you with childbirth. Some moms find slowly, gently opening their hips and back can help them relax and breathe with contractions thereby lessening the need for pain medication and facilitate a "more" natural childbirth.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about using birth aids. Talk to the hospital, or go on the birth tour or birth center, to see what they stock in the labor rooms.
2 Family/Friend VS. Postpartum Doula
Open your purse to the local doula and lactation consultants. Just one, 30 minute consultation for can go a long way if you live far away from family and friends, and this is your first baby. Some of these ladies have a wealth of information to share that can save you time, heartache, and money. They can recommend baby products based on your family situation and advise you on how to stretch your baby budget.
However, if you live close to family and friends, the role of a postpartum doula can be filled by close family and friends. Close family and friends can coordinate around the new mom to cook meals, clean house, while the new mom cares for her new baby. Grandma, sister, a neighbor, or a family member can choose a day or time to come and assist the mom.
Ask visitors to schedule a time to visit and maybe have your guest give the baby a bottle so you can have an extra nap or go to the salon or spa. An experienced older mom can help you set up your breast pump and organize the baby crib and diaper changing area. Postpartum doulas now require a certification. If you live far away from family and friends, this is money well spent - especially the first month after delivery.
1 Insurance Giveaways
Community organizers, government agencies and insurance companies have contests and giveaways for first time new moms sometimes irregardless of your family income or martial status. These contests and coupons offer a discount on essential baby items, such as car seats, play yards, and breast pumps.
Some hospital giveaway car seats and infant cots. Check with your local government maternal child health agency to see if you qualify for any new mom and baby giveaways. Free diapers, formula, breast pump, free breast pump rentals, baby storybooks, free onsies, and baby bottles maybe available to you and your baby.
Many of these items can cover mom and baby for the first week. By focusing on the basic needs of mom and baby, the birth can be cheap, more comfortable and less stressful for the whole family.
The childbirth business pie is large. Open your purse, take a piece of the pie and spend your money wisely on products and services that would add value and comfort to your family during this memorable happy time of having a baby.