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The Cost of Pregnancy (So Far)

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The cost of pregnancy extends beyond just doctor visits and new baby furniture. Here, one writer runs through the costs she’s encountered on her way to motherhood.


  • Pregnancy test, most expensive one that was on the shelf because I figured now is not the time: $23
  • Breakfast with best friend after stricken fiance goes to work, FREE, because, “Girl, you’re pregnant!”
  • Prenatal vitamins at drug store after breakfast “I guess this means I’m committing? Better get the smallest bottle…” $20
  • Subsequent bottles of prenatal vitamins: $45
  • ALL OF THE TUMS: $10
  • Pregnancy pillow, the aptly-named Mini-Snoogle: $32
  • Three-week supply of crackers for when I couldn’t get out of bed without eating crackers: ehh, $20?
  • Relationship costs of lying in bed surrounded by humidifier, crackers, Tums, huge pillow and growing fetus: untold

Subtotal: $150

 Maternity Clothes

  • OK, fine. I definitely need a new bra and a new sports bra because wow: $44
  • And now my coat no longer zips up and it’s January, Maternity coat: $42 on sale at Old Navy (really proud of this price)
  • A maternity shirt from Gap that I wore every day so I bought another one in pink, $42 total
  • Maternity leggings because Dustin is afraid waistband of regular leggings is “crowding my son”: $9 on sale
  • Black pants, why did I buy these, they were on sale at Old Navy, $25
  • Another bigger bra a few weeks later, because wow: $26
  • Two new pairs of underwear since only 1/3rd of mine fit anymore: $16
  • Maternity jeans, forcibly bought by my mom when she came to town (thanks mom!): FREE for me, $39 for mom.
  • Three tank tops (one white, one black, one gray) to put under all my shirts that no longer cover my body: $45
  • More leggings: $12
  • Five more pairs of underwear a month later, because it’s really soul-crushing to wear underwear that’s too small for you: $25
  • OK I gave in and bought a skirt from Storq, this new maternity store for fancy people, it is black and comfortable and I wear it every day now, but still feel kind of guilty: $65

Subtotal: $300

So Many Books

  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, so great! Gift from my nurse cousin. FREE
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (the best/worst/best)$12
  • The Expectant Father (aww / kinda dumb book) $15
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting (had to) $15
  • Expecting Better $26.95 (hardcover! worth it)
  • From the Hips $22.99 (totally into it, even the dated graphics)
  • Operating Instructions, Annie Lamott, FREE with a gift card from my birth partner’s mom (some very real info in here, worth reading)
  • The Baby Book, Drs. Sears, FREE from a friend, though I’m sure I will pay the price emotionally

Subtotal: $91.94


  • Class at the birthing center you’re required to take to give birth there, $40 each, $80
  • 4-week childbirth class: $395 for both of us, which is ridiculous but we’re still doing it
  • Prenatal yoga: $18/class, um I’ve tried to go twice a week the past couple of months, but you know how that goes. So maybe $250? Oof.
  • Hypnobabies home-study course, which is insane but let’s do this: FREE, hand-me-down from a friend (would be $150!)
  • Cloth-diapering class (jury’s out) and then a “babywearing” class because why not just do it all in one morning: $20

Subtotal: $745 

Health Care

Disclaimer: Results not typical (I hope!). I don’t qualify for Medicaid and didn’t have a job with benefits at the time, and my partner works at a company with fewer than 50 people so they are not required to offer benefits to dependents. The first few months I paid for prenatal care out of pocket, and from January on I’ll be paying a hefty insurance premium.

  • Three monthly OB/GYN visits in 2013: haven’t billed me yet but guessing $750
  • Three ultrasounds in 2013, see above: $780, originally $1780 but when they learned I was paying out of pocket they knocked off $1K. I’ll take it.
  • Bloodwork (and peework?) from a lab, out of pocket: $117
  • “Platinum” level insurance premiums, sans discount: $515/month for the premium, no co-pays for visits, $35 for ultrasound, no deductible. So far $1,130 (birth will be a $500 [minimum]).

Subtotal: $2,777 and counting

Stuff for the Baby

Oh yeah, that.

One four-pack of muslin swaddling blankets because Dustin was sick of “browsing” at baby stores and refused to come with me unless we actually bought something: $50

Subtotal: $50 We have a few months!

GRAND TOTAL: $4,113.94 ($1,336 without the health care costs)

This is a little frightening knowing that I am still going to be pregnant for three more months and then there is a, um, NEW HUMAN to pay for, but as you can see by going through this, there are definitely ways we could have saved money. For starters, we could have checked out books from the library, gone to a sliding-scale clinic for health care in 2013, not taken a $400 birthing class. These are all decisions we made with eyes open, though perhaps actively choosing not to add these costs up as went (yow), and with priorities consistently evaluated. I feel fine if not great about these costs, but don’t want to imply that any of it is necessary. Though the Tums, for me, were very, very necessary. And that Snoogle. BUY THE SNOOGLE!

This post originally appeared on The Billfold.

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