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The Cost of Having a Newborn Without Insurance

Childbirth is undoubtedly a miracle, one that only a certain percentage of the population is ever going to experience firsthand. Thanks to modern medical techniques, many older women or women with reproductive issues are now able to have their own children, which brings joy and a sense of contentment to thousands of additional households each and every year. But the glow of pregnancy may dim a bit when you begin to consider the costs of having a baby. If you have health insurance you’ll be in good shape, but you should read the fine print. Many insurance providers don’t cover prenatal care, or only cover a small amount of the birth itself. And millions of Americans without insurance don’t even have that small break to rely on. You’ve got nine months or less to get ready, and lots to do. So consider the practical cost of having a newborn without insurance, to make sure you’re prepared for whatever this process throws at you.

First off, you’ll want to ready your body for what’s to come. The majority of pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin over the course of their pregnancy. Packed with folic acid, these vitamins help cut down the risk of neural tube birth defects, which is something no baby should have to contend with. You may very well be okay without them, but considering most doctors suggest that any woman within childbearing age should take one of these, regardless of whether they’re pregnant or not, it’s not worth it to roll the dice. A good prenatal vitamin will cost you about $20 a month.

In addition, you’ll have to have regular diagnostic tests and checkups. This is always the case, even if the pregnancy is moving along without issue. You’ll want to have a couple of ultrasound tests, to make sure nothing is wrong with your baby and to discover its sex if you choose to know before the birth. This preventative care is crucial for a safe, happy and healthy pregnancy. Without insurance, you should be able to cover this activity for around $2,000. And you’ll want to start scheduling these visits as soon as you know you are pregnant.

Part of the fun of the pregnancy is shopping for your newborn. There’s a massive industry packed with toys, clothes and accessories, and the sky is really the limit. But as long as you have at least $500, you can purchase what you must and fill in the gaps with hand-me-downs and secondhand stores. You’ve got to have a supply of diapers and wipes for your baby’s sensitive little behind, and you’ll need a table to change him or her on. You’ll require a crib for the bedroom, a car seat to get the little one around, and some clothes so he’s not running around naked. Feel free to raid the used bins for clothing, but don’t skimp on the car seat. Standards have changed over the years, and you’ll want something that’s a safe as can be. Don’t forget to buy supplies like diapers in bulk when you can as well.

The real expenses kick in when you check into the hospital for the birth itself. Here is where you can get into some real trouble if you haven’t saved effectively, as you’ll never know exactly what to expect. Hopefully you spent a couple hundred dollars taking some prenatal classes, to help you remain calm and prepare your body for a safe delivery. But there are all sorts of factors at play that are outside of your control. For a rough estimate, reserve around $10,000 for a traditional birth and $15,000 or more for a c-section. If you plan on checking in with a California cryobank to store your baby’s cord blood, leave several thousand extra for that as well. But don’t forget to negotiate a discount. The hospital will always want to work with you, and the bill they send off to the insurance companies is often twice as high as what it costs them to physically perform the procedures. If you don’t have insurance, work to find the wiggle room here.

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