No one wants to spoil the excitement of welcoming their new bundle of joy by thinking about money. But the reality is, babies and budgets go hand in hand.

Just how much does it cost to have a baby? It can vary widely. Depending on where you live and whether you have a vaginal birth or Caesarian section, the average cost for prenatal care, hospital delivery and postpartum care ranges between $30,000 and $50,000 — though rates as high as $70,000 are possible.


If you’re considering pregnancy, it’s extremely important that you have health insurance, which can cover anywhere from 25 to over 90 percent of these costs. With the state of health care currently in limbo, you’d be wise to have insurance before you get pregnant, and to do a deep-dive into what is covered for maternity care and what isn’t. You’ll be thankful when those bills start rolling in.

Know what your deductible is, what length of hospital stay is covered and make sure to use an in-network OBGYN and hospital to avoid extra out-of-pocket charges. Make your birth plan and budget after you’re clear on insurance coverage.

In addition, know what tests are and aren’t covered. Insurance will often cover genetic testing for moms who are at-risk or 35 and older, but may not for younger moms. If those tests are important for you, make sure to budget for them.

One tip you probably wouldn’t consider: Bring your own over-the-counter medications, such as painkillers. Hospitals can charge $20 a pill for these basics. Just be sure to let your doctor know so he or she can make sure they play well with anything you’re prescribed.

Make your birth plan and budget after you’re clear on insurance coverage.

Below is a cost cheat sheet to help you prepare.

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