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Financial implications of a baby

By Hannah Chira | September 29th 2012

Planning your finances prior to the birth of a baby is crucial, writes HANNAH CHIRA

News on conception is always received with great joy and gladness by the couple and the family at large. 

Even so, whether the pregnancy is planned or not, getting pregnant is the biggest, most life-altering thing you can do free of charge for those who conceive naturally.

Unfortunately this is not the case for those who undergo fertility treatment!

Finances play a major role once conception takes place as expenses start as soon as the sperm hits the egg and don’t end until — well decades later.

Many parents to be and especially new one panic especially wondering whether they would be able to afford everything a baby requires.

If you are planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant planning your finances are key.

Start by laying out on paper your current income and expense. Look through the expenses and determine where you will cut. For instance, do you really have to visit the theatres and spend on night parties when you have other important costs to pay?

Determine how much you will be spending in the next year on baby related items and save up for the same.

Here are some of the expenses you should anticipate:

1.Prenatal care

You may opt for private care where you will visit a doctor’s clinic or opt for public services from a government or even private hospital. Visits to the gynaecologist may be covered by medical insurance, but if you have extra scans, chances are you’ll be paying for those out of your own pocket.

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2.Birth costs

 Medical insurance will pay towards these costs, even though it might restrict your to some services. For those who do not have a medial cover, you will have to pay from your pocket. Take the case of one renowned hospital in town, which offers a package of Sh65,000 for prenatal care visits, delivery and a few days of hospitalisation.

However, what this package does not tell you is what happens in case of complication such as labour being induced, delivery through C-section and so on. You may end up topping up the amount to cater for such eventualities.

3. Nappies

 Many new parents get shocked on realising the cost of disposable nappies. The big pack of Pampers (jumbo) costs Sh1,500 for about 64 pieces of diapers, while brands like Huggies are much more costlier.

Consider using cloth nappies at least when you’re at home. They now come in easy to use shaped styles, and with liners the clean up job isn’t as bad as you might think.

6. Feeding paraphernalia

These range from feeding bottles, a steriliser, breast pump (manual or electric) formula and a warmer. If you plan to give your baby formula milk, the costs of bottle-feeding do add up. Breastfeeding, if possible, is a whole lot cheaper in financial terms.

7. Childcare

 Whether you opt for a nanny, a crèche or a combination of the two, finding a decent place for your baby to spend his or her time while you’re at work is a stressful and costly business. In case one of the parents opts to stay at home there is a financial implication, as you are likely to be losing income.
Others are, furniture, clothing, car seat, pram

 The first year of parenting goes by in a blinding flash, and your baby will have everything it needs, as long as you have a roof over your head, food on the table and love to go round.

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