Planning to have children? Before you start trying for a baby, consider if you are financially prepared for the ensuing costs involved. According to local experts, from pregnancy to childbirth alone, you might spend as much as RM 20,000, and that is if your childbirth comes without complications. These are the things you will need to budget for, pre-pregnancy:
As your baby bump grows, you will naturally find yourself unable to fit into your old clothes for the time being. This is when mothers might splurge hundreds on beautiful maternity clothes to accommodate their baby bump. However, remember that you will only be wearing these clothes for just a few months, so why not save on your maternity wardrobe costs by borrowing these clothes from family and friends, or stick to a few essentials only?
Maternity & Unpaid Leave
In Malaysia, if you work in the private sector, as long as you have worked for 90 days in the four months before starting your leave, you are entitled to a 90-day maternity leave. However, you may still want to take unpaid leave to take care of your child in the first few months, but that would mean less income, which you should plan for.
When you are pregnant, you should start receiving prenatal care and monthly checkups at the hospital or with your healthcare provider, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both mother and baby. These regular doctor visits can help detect, prevent or reduce potential health problems and risks of miscarriage. Depending on your condition, each visit can cost around RM80 to RM180. Other necessary services like ultrasounds, tests, scans, lab work and sonogram, to check on your baby’s development (or reveal gender) can spike the cost too. This is the time to check if you have health insurance that covers these, or else you will have to start working on a budget.
A mother should also be taking prenatal vitamins and supplements to give your baby a healthy start in life. Supplements like fish oil and folic acids are good to have during pregnancy, and can be bought at the hospital or pharmacy, with cost ranging from RM60 to RM150 monthly.
Many parents do not know this but there are now comprehensive maternity and pregnancy insurance plans you can get, to protect both mother and baby. Consider getting prenatal insurance coverage for financial aid during the delicate months of pregnancy and infancy if any complications arise, to cover unexpected, expensive costs such as hospitalisation, special treatments for pregnancy complications or infectious diseases, needs for incubator, Phototherapy Treatment for jaundice and more.
Before you decide to have a baby, it is important to sit down and discuss with your partner to assess if both of you are ready (both physically, emotionally and financially) to invest the time, efforts and money needed to raise a child.