By Nalika Unantenne | This article was first published by the Asianparent on 29 December 2015.
The moment you see those two blue lines on a pregnancy test, you start planning the next nine months of your life and beyond - even if you are the most disorganised person you know!
So, you book your first visit to the gynaecologist, you spend hours online researching the best baby products, and you talk to your mummy friends about their experiences and store in your memory bank the most useful tips. You research the best hospitals to give birth at.
In your quest to make your little one's grand entrance to the world as smooth as possible, there is one thought that may cross your mind: pregnancy, birth and beyond, is quite expensive. How do you go about making sure the financial costs are under your control?
Of course, you will spare no expense when it comes to your little one's health, wellbeing and happiness. However, it still makes sense to be thoroughly organised in the financial department of your life too as you go through your pregnancy and birth journey, so that you can continue looking after your little one in the best way possible.
Planned expenses during pregnancy and birth
When you are expecting a baby, there are some expenses that are quite easy to plan for financially, such as the following:
Baby items and accessories
What should you get first? Those impossibly tiny baby socks or that gorgeous little hat? What about that sleek (but very expensive) stroller? Or that state-of-the-art cot? As a mum-to-be, it's so tempting to buy loads of baby accessories and items -- but it's best (for your wallet!) to restrain yourself.
Your baby will grow quickly in the first year so instead of buying 10 adorable size 0000 onesies, consider buying several different sizes. Also keep in mind that expensive doesn't necessarily equate to effective. So that cheap plastic high chair just might do a better job than that very expensive wooden masterpiece!
Prenatal visits are very important throughout your pregnancy as they assist in monitoring both you and your baby's health. These visits also give you the chance to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
During the course of your pregnancy, you can expect to have at least 10 or more prenatal visits. The cost of these can vary from around $400 at a public hospital (for all 10 visits), to approximately $150 per session at a private hospital, according to financial experts.
Whether you choose to go public or private, the expenses of some of the screenings and tests can be subsidised via CPF. Medisave can also help you save more prenatal care expenses.
Choosing the hospital you want to give birth at is an important decision for many mums-to-be. Experts say that "the amount of money spent will depend on what type of practitioner you have chosen and whether they operate privately or publicly." Usually, private hospitals will be more costly than public hospitals.
Once you choose your hospital, there are other financial considerations, such as the cost of the delivery room, birthing assistance such as having a hospital-provided specialist midwife (e.g. The Enhanced Midwifery Maternity Care Programme, or EMMa Care, at NUH) or requesting for a water birth etc.
For a vaginal birth, the cost of a room could be between $2,000 to $3,000. It will definitely go higher if you need a Caesarian Section due to pre- and post-operative care.
As you can see, with a bit of thought, it's quite easy to manage your finances in relation to planned expenses around pregnancy and birth.
Dealing with unexpected expenses during pregnancy and birth
Yes, pregnancy is an exciting time like no other. But at the same time, it can also be stressful.
Pregnant mums often worry about their unborn baby's health and development. More often than not, their worries are unjustified. And even if there is a health issue, it is often picked up by a scan and can usually be treated accordingly.
But sometimes, even scans don't pick up problems. And unfortunately, pregnancy and birth complications may occur for some. While we hope such complications never happen, it's always best to be prepared -- and one of the biggest factors to consider in the incidence of pregnancy and birth complications is cost.
Treating many of these conditions can be very expensive. Yet effective treatment can not only save lives, but also significantly improve the outcome of certain congenital birth conditions, such as a cleft palate or cleft lip.
So how do you tackle the unplanned expenses that will be the result of such problems? With MaxMaternity Care (MMC), a maternity insurance plan distributed by OCBC Bank, of course.
MaxMaternity Care embraces your wellbeing and that of your little one right from the start, thus reducing the financial stress on the family should the situation arise. Without doubt, this brings you peace of mind in difficult times.
Here's how it works
MaxMaternity Care protects both you and your child from as early as 13 weeks into your pregnancy.
1. Care for Mum
2. Care for Baby
MMC also protects your child against 18 congenital illnesses upon birth. These conditions include Down's Syndrome, Spina Bifida, cleft palate/cleft lip, and congenital deafness.
In addition, you enjoy the following:
Lending a helping hand beyond your pregnancy
Besides helping you deal with hospital costs for your pregnancy and covering your child against 18 congenital illnesses, MaxMaternity Care plan also gives new parents a further helping hand.
When you sign up for OCBC's MaxMaternity Care plan, you will receive a double bonus of $216.
For full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/maxmaternitycare
Child Development Account savings are matched dollar-for-dollar up to the cap for Government matching contributions - visit www.babybonus.gov.sg for details.
MaxMaternity Care, SupremeHealth and TotalShield are provided by The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eastern Holdings Limited and a member of the OCBC Group.
These plans are not bank deposits and OCBC Bank does not guarantee or have any obligations in connection with them. This material is for general information only. It is not a contract of insurance. It does not constitute an offer to buy an insurance product or service.
It is also not intended to provide any insurance or financial advice. The specific terms and conditions of the plan are set out in the policy documents. A person interested in the insurance policies should read the product summary and benefit illustration (available from OCBC Bank) before deciding whether to buy the product.
No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake an obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time.
All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein.
It is usually detrimental to replace an existing accident and health plan with a new one. A penalty may be imposed for early plan termination and the new plan may cost more or have less benefits at the same cost.
MaxMaternity Care Promotion: For full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/maxmaternitycare
Policy Owners Protection Scheme: These plans are protected under the Policy Owners Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).
Deposit Insurance Scheme: Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.