Pregnancy is a time of joy. We tend to focus on the excitement of a new baby. There’s anxiety, too, but it’s mostly around what kind of parent we’ll be. Most of the time, we’re not thinking about how much a pregnancy will cost us. But should we?
On the face of things, pregnancy doesn’t cost much. It’s not until the baby arrives, we figure, that the costs will start to add up. The truth is, though, that if we don’t think about the expense of having a baby right from the start, or even before conception, the costs could add up. When people talk about planning a pregnancy, they usually don’t have this in mind – but maybe they should!
Costing for your baby before you begin
You know you want to have a baby and you’re all ready to start “trying”. Whoa there! Experts recommend you consider how and where you want to have your baby even before you get pregnant.
The cost of delivering a baby
Having a baby in a private hospital in Nigeria can be a costly affair. Depending on which private hospital you choose to have your baby and the rates of your obstetrician / gynaecologist, anaesthetist and paediatrician, you can expect the final bill to be as much as N2 million - and sometimes even higher! Even if you have medical insurance, you may still have to pay out several hundreds of thousands of Naira from your own pocket.
HMOs in Nigeria do pay for childbirth delivery costs. However, your plan may not cover all services you may require.
NOTE: Many moms don't pay a kobo as they gave birth at some government hospital and many are happy with the help they receive. Don't rule out the government hospitals where you live, but always visit the facilities beforehand.
The daily cost of pregnancy
At no other time in your life will your body change as much as it does during pregnancy. It can be hard to keep up! An entire new wardrobe is necessary – and while budget-friendly maternity wear is available, it’s advisable to invest in quality basics, such as maternity jeans, maternity bras and maternity leggings. Or better still go traditional - traditional bubu's and wrappers are effective in supporting your ever changing body during pregnancy. These pieces will be on high rotation during your pregnancy and you may be surprised how long you are still wearing them after the birth. Look here for more information on budgeting for your maternity wardrobe
The unexpected cost of pregnancy
While most women these days plan to stay at work right up until a few weeks before they give birth, it pays to remember that this isn’t possible for everyone. Sheer fatigue can be a factor, but so can unexpected pregnancy complications. Even morning sickness can play havoc with your wages if it’s severe, particularly if you work on a casual basis. Get your family budget in order early on, just to be on the safe side.
Then there are the little extras that you might need during your pregnancy. A high-dose vitamin supplement will cost you anything between N1500 - 3000 a month. A special pregnancy massage to lift your spirits when you’re feeling large and ungainly will cost between N10,000 to N18,000 a go. You might require osteopathy or physiotherapy to keep everything in working order (check whether your HMO covers these so you can make the most of them).
You’ll also need to put your unborn baby down on some childcare waiting lists, particularly if you live in high-demand areas. Some centres may require a small fee to cover “administration costs” to put your name down, so be prepared.