By: Lauren Carmichael
Being pregnant for the second time is a whole different experience than my first, which was eight years ago. Aside from all my gear expiring and all the new products available, my circumstances are completely different and in every way better than before.
Yet, somehow, I still don’t feel super prepared. I have a lot of the big stuff out of the way though and I’m glad I had time to give thought to things that I might not have otherwise and definitely didn’t think about when I was pregnant last time.
- Maternity benefits. Make sure you are on short-term disability or are enrolled in any programs through work so that when the time comes for baby’s arrival, you have your maternity leave all set up. I have a friend who got pregnant and then found out she could not get the short-term disability from her place of employment because she was already pregnant. Ask other people who have had babies at your work how the maternity leave process went and what they had to do to be ready. At my work, we have to be enrolled in short-term disability; and then about a month or so before the baby is due, we visit our doctor with the required paperwork. The doctor then sends the required paperwork to the insurance company, and we are all set for our leave. Typically, you will only be paid a percentage of your salary while on maternity leave. Start saving now to make up for the shortage of funds. The time off differs between companies and insurance packages as well. Find out your benefits.
- The cost of the birth. This is a huge one for me. I was researching our health insurance benefits for childbirth before I was pregnant to see how much we would have to pay out-of-pocket because that number ultimately was going to determine when we had a baby. I first called my insurance company to see what they cover. They gave me the percentage that the insurance company would pay and the remaining percentage of the procedure I would need to pay. Pricing for different hospitals can vastly differ, a total cost of a non-complicated vaginal birth has prices starting around 10k- 36K. I was given a range of out of pocket expenses ranging from 1k-5k. That can make a huge difference in timing!
- Childcare. Who will watch the little cherub once it has entered the world? Depending on finances and maternity leave, childcare can be a huge determination for your future for the next 5 years. I was recently looking up childcare for my baby expected in September of this year. The lowest price of childcare I could find was $300 a week or $1200 a month. That is like another rent or mortgage payment!
- Emergency money. Something to consider when thinking of having a baby is life insurance. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to leave one parent to have to pay for the child by themselves. You might also want to consider saving a $1000 safety net in case of co pays, baby equipment breaks, medicines, or whatever issues might arise.
- Living situation. Do you have roommates? Will they want to live with the baby? Do you have a one bedroom apartment, but will need to move to a space with two bedrooms? Having the baby sleep in your room for a while isn’t the end of the world by any means, but it might make sleeping habits a little more difficult having you in the room with them longer than they should be. Babies typically sleep in their parents rooms when they are first born, but then will need to go into their own bed in their own room. Think about the timeline of sleeping and think about your living situation if you were to have even more kids. Get a 5 or 10-year-plan thought process going. Where will you work? What town has good school systems? Will you need to be near family? Get your wheels turning about the future so you can set goals and plan.
The world isn’t perfect. If you are pregnant before you figure all these things out, don’t stress! It will all work out in the end. It always does.