Here’s an interesting yet a hard to comprehend fact: There’s no knowing how much you will pay for childbirth at a hospital even if you are not expecting any complications. Ask around and the response you’ll get, after hours of being put on hold and transferred from one department to another, is that childbirth has to happen before you know how much you will have to pay.

It seems absurd, but it’s a product of America’s highly privatized healthcare system. Depending on the health insurance you have and the hospital you give birth in, costs vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Given that you cannot have an accurate estimate, set that aside for now and focus on the following costs:

Health Checkups

Pregnancy is not something you should leave to chance. There are many things that can go wrong during and even after childbirth. Find an obstetrics practitioner in Provo who has affiliations with outstanding hospitals, so that the baby’s delivery will be done in a safe environment.

If you plan to give birth at home, have the number of your doctor ready for whenever you go into labor. You may not be able to predict the exact moment your water breaks, but if you’ve been showing up to your scheduled checkups, your doctor can have a clear estimate. The cost associated with visits to your doctor are far easier to predict and prepare for, and in the long run, it will have a positive impact on your health as well as that of your baby.

Baby Items

No parent forgets to go baby shopping. Even if you’re months away from delivery, you’re excited to fill the nursery with the cutest items you can find. You want the best for the newborn, especially if it’s your first child.

You think no expense should be spared, but hold back until after the baby is already there to see their actual needs. You may not think much of the clothes you have been buying from time to time, but remember that you have that cost of giving birth that is still a void for now. Buy the basics and purchase more than needed when the baby is finally here. It’s better to have disposable funds rather than overflowing clothes in case there is a unique health condition you have to pay to keep the baby safe.

Parental Leaves

woman talking to doctor

Even until now, there is no standard to follow when it comes to offering maternal and paternal leaves. Most companies will offer paid leaves up to a certain period, but after that, you will have to think about the household situation and whether you will go back to work and leave the baby at daycare, take them to work if allowed, or stay at home longer despite it being unpaid.

There’s a belief that allowing parents to have longer parental leaves results in them being more productive when they return to work, but it’s hard to see it from the company’s perspective when they are one man down but still paying a salary. Whatever they decide to do for their policy, you should save enough to get by even with a few months of unpaid leave.

Pregnancy is an exciting and challenging time. You will not regret it if you prepare for everything you will face.