Pregnancy brings with it many questions, even if you’re a seasoned pro at giving birth. Every experience is different. It’s challenging to find answers if you don’t know what to ask. Here are five things to know when you get pregnant and start on today.
1. Where To Find Pre And Postnatal Care
The United States has the worst maternal death rate out of 11 leading developed nations. It is the only one not to guarantee any paid family leave after giving birth. The problem lies with the nation’s for-profit medical system. Despite paying higher prices than anywhere else in the world for care, many women find theirs lacking. Some can’t afford any at all.
Prenatal care reduces the risk of pregnancy complications and congenital disabilities. If you find yourself pregnant without insurance, your first order of business is to find a community clinic offering free or sliding scale services. They can also direct you to other resources, such as nutritional support programs to get the vitamins and minerals and calories your developing child needs. They can also help you prepare for birthing costs.
Even an uncomplicated vaginal birth costs over $10,000 in the United States. Costs can soar to $30,000 or more if mom needs a C-section or other complications arise. Getting adequate prenatal care can help keep these prices down by reducing risks.
If you have financial hardships, you’ll need to line up postnatal care and resources for your baby, too. You can fill out a CHIP application for health coverage for your newborn on Healthcare.gov. Calling 211 can connect you with essential community services for anything from housing to electric bill assistance.
2. Where To Find Inexpensive Gear
It costs over $200,000 to raise a child to age 18 — and much of the cost goes to keeping them in clothes and, later, school supplies. You can’t rely on your baby shower for everything. Where can you get the things you need, like a crib and onesies?
Please don’t overlook your neighborhood thrift shop. You can often find those benefiting other causes, like the Humane Society. You can feel good about your purchase helping both your little one and a critter in need.
Your local dollar store is a logical place to get smaller supplies like pacifiers and bibs. However, exercise caution. Some such products contain BPA, a chemical linked to infertility and cancer.
3. How To Save For Your Child’s Financial Future
College costs continue to rise, and the Biden administration seems unlikely to act on loan forgiveness anytime soon. Unless you want your child burdened under what can become a lifetime of debt, you need to start saving early.
One way is by saving to buy a home. While it may seem like a daunting task, you can’t trust ever-rising rents not to leave you and your little one struggling. Plus, you build equity, allowing you to take out a home equity line of credit, often featuring a lower interest rate than student loans.
Another is to open a 529 savings plan. Many states let you do this with a monthly investment as low as $15 a month. It may not sound like much, but you reap considerable tax benefits if you withdraw the funds for legitimate educational expenses.
4. How To Divide The Household Chores
Having a baby means adding to your workload. Women still do the lioness’s share, picking up more than two hours daily over their male counterparts. If you want to avoid resentment in your romantic relationship, now’s the time to discuss the division of labor.
Tailor your solution to your family’s unique situation. For example, you might not mind tackling every 2 a.m. feeding if you work a flexible schedule and can catch a nap. Your partner might need their sleep but shrug their shoulders at scrubbing toilets and emptying dishwashers. Put your plan in writing and ensure you both feel like it’s fair.
5. How Flexible Your Employer Is
Having a baby can alter your career trajectory. Some women drop out of the workforce altogether, while others continue to juggle parenting and work. Those who do often need increased flexibility from their employers to manage their various responsibilities.
Fortunately, now is the time to act if your boss is rigid and unwilling to change. The “Great Resignation” and a labor shortage make this a hot job market. Ask questions about work-life balance in the interview process. You don’t have to say that you have children — instead ask questions like, “could you describe the company culture,” “what do you have to do to advance,” and “what is a typical day like in this business,” to gain insight.
Things To Know When You Get Pregnant
Having a baby causes changes throughout every aspect of your life. Know these five things when you get pregnant.