Author Topic: Managing costs pre-birth  (Read 694 times)

tartrang

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Managing costs pre-birth
« on: January 14, 2019, 12:35:14 PM »
With our son due in June, we're starting to encounter more and more expenses that we will incur even before birth. What is your advice for how best to prepare while still be cost-effective? We are considering hiring a Doula ($800-$1200 in NYC) as well as taking Birth ($395), Feeding ($195) and Infant CPR ($195) classes. Obviously it all adds up quickly.

Help!

A very stressed soon-to-be dad.

Mrs.MLM

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 05:45:25 PM »
Can you find a student doula who will do it at reduced cost for the experience? Also, your insurance may cover a lactation specialist so you could potentially skip the feeding class. Also, check out fedisbest.org.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 05:47:17 PM by Mrs.MLM »

BeanCounter

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 06:06:15 PM »
Mom of two and I wouldn’t do any of it with the exception of the infant CPR. The rest is anxiety inducing crap designed to give you the illusion that you are in control. You’re not. The birth will go however it’s going to go. Breastfeeding is hard for the first few months no matter what you do, no need to add more stress about it. (Says the woman who burned her Dr Sears BF book in the fireplace in a fit of tears and frustration, yet went on to BF both babies exclusively for 13 months each) Just relax, listen to your gut and do the best you can. You will figure this out.

chemistk

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 06:08:33 AM »
Mom of two and I wouldn’t do any of it with the exception of the infant CPR. The rest is anxiety inducing crap designed to give you the illusion that you are in control. You’re not. The birth will go however it’s going to go. Breastfeeding is hard for the first few months no matter what you do, no need to add more stress about it. (Says the woman who burned her Dr Sears BF book in the fireplace in a fit of tears and frustration, yet went on to BF both babies exclusively for 13 months each) Just relax, listen to your gut and do the best you can. You will figure this out.

Seconded (I'm a guy who has been there for the birth of both of my kids). L&D never goes how you expect. Our first had to be induced after he decided to stay put almost 2 weeks after the due date. Our second ended up needing to be induced, my wife opted for the epidural and as the needle was being inserted, out he came. Someone we know basically gave birth in the lobby, while my cousin had a 23 hour labor.

There's nothing you can plan for, because when you plan for it, the opposite happens. Hospitals typically have a nursing coach on staff who will visit after the birth and help you out. Our oldest just plain refused to latch, my wife agonized for months that it was her fault, and then our second got it on the first try (ended up being a great indicator of their personalities).

Like is mentioned above, infant CPR is a great thing to know and probably one of the few classes new parents should take.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 06:45:37 AM »
I wanted a doula but skipped it, and was very happy with the labor and delivery nurse assigned to me. He was fabulous.

First birth we didn't have a class and it went fine. 2nd birth we did the "mindful birthing" class, and it gave us a bit of new information, mostly better labor positions, but nothing I couldn't have figured out on youtube...

Our hospital employees lactation consultants, they charge under the pediatrician- so nothing additional, and then has free weekly breastfeeding clinics, so there was no need to hire or take a class for that.

I'd do CPR- is that with Red Cross? That seems high?


There are LOTS of things to spend your money on before (and after) birth. Almost all of them are not necessary.
(My other advise- skip any form of "bucket" for your kid until you find you need it. A blanket on the floor is great; all the rest is unnecessary.)

tartrang

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 03:15:39 PM »
Thanks all! I've heard similar things after discussing this with some folks irl. I appreciate the responses!

karenP

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 06:54:30 AM »
Get the Doula! Doula's have been proven reduce chance of (expensive) C-sections.   The doctors and nurses, even if they are the best in the world, work for the hospital, not for you. They will make decisions based what is good for the hospital. Check your hospitals C-section rate. The WHO expects a C-section rate of 10% but most American hospitals are closer to 30%. A hospital will push people into C sections to reduce their liability.

The doula works for you. They will help you make decisions and support you to avoid an unnecessary C-section. If you end up in the percent that needs one, it is what it is, but trying to reduce that risk is totally worth it. Also a doula will often include birth and breastfeeding education, so you may be able to skip those classes and save money there. I'd recommend getting a doula sooner than later, because they will often offer pregnancy support also, and they charge a flat fee, so the sooner you get them the more for you get for your money. My doula also cleaned our house, made meals, did 6 loads of laundry and took photos for us. They're really a super deal.

meerkat

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 07:53:09 AM »
2nd birth we did the "mindful birthing" class, and it gave us a bit of new information, mostly better labor positions, but nothing I couldn't have figured out on youtube...

This was the useful information we got from the birthing class also.

For the doula, are they only going to be there for the birth? I was okay with not having a doula at the birth but I would have paid every cent I had for a night doula in the first weeks after the baby was born (a doula may also have some tips on feeding).

I did a feeding class also but it wasn't very helpful since the baby hadn't been born yet and it was all theory, I got the same information from books and then was able to see the hospital's LC (for free) after the baby was born and that was MUCH more helpful than the class.

Are you able to find a CPR class that covers adults, toddlers, and infants? $195 for infants only seems steep.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 08:52:31 AM »
Get the Doula! Doula's have been proven reduce chance of (expensive) C-sections.   The doctors and nurses, even if they are the best in the world, work for the hospital, not for you. They will make decisions based what is good for the hospital. Check your hospitals C-section rate. The WHO expects a C-section rate of 10% but most American hospitals are closer to 30%. A hospital will push people into C sections to reduce their liability.

The doula works for you. They will help you make decisions and support you to avoid an unnecessary C-section. If you end up in the percent that needs one, it is what it is, but trying to reduce that risk is totally worth it. Also a doula will often include birth and breastfeeding education, so you may be able to skip those classes and save money there. I'd recommend getting a doula sooner than later, because they will often offer pregnancy support also, and they charge a flat fee, so the sooner you get them the more for you get for your money. My doula also cleaned our house, made meals, did 6 loads of laundry and took photos for us. They're really a super deal.

You say expensive C-section, but depending on your insurance, there isn't an added cost to the consumer. I met my OOP max if I had a vaginal birth based on the prenatal care and hospital stay, nothing cost extra for a C-section for me. 
(My C-section was due to a partial abruption though, so a doula wouldn't have done anything to prevent that. Our hospital midwife clinic has a 8% c-section rate, and that's who I go with, and the midwife called in a surgeon when she determined I would need one.)  A doula, on the other hand is expensive and out of pocket.

Doula's around here charge a flat fee for labor/delivery services, but most charge hourly for the other services you describe. Between $30-$50/hour for prenatal and postpartum services, night services cost extra.
It's about $1,000-$1200 for labor/delivery support, which generally includes 2 half-hour prenatal visits and one or two hour-long post-partum visit.

I did nearly get a doula for my second birth (due to the PTSD from the stillbirth), but after interviewing, decided it would be way too much money, and the support offered didn't seem like that much more than what my skilled birth partner could provide.


I agree, book the doula early. Many are booked 6 months before a due date.

So much depends on how your hospital does thing. The midwife on call never has more than 3 patients (and there are OBs all over the freaking place- when my alarms would sound, like 10 would rush in); the L&D nurse is dedicated to you; he never left my side.   If you hospital is drastically different, I can see why having a doula would be worth the money
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:08:47 AM by I'm a red panda »

Richie Poor

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 09:40:20 AM »
We had good luck with a doula for the birth of our second child. The price was $650 (but $500 was reimbursed by our christian healthcare sharing). During my wife's first labor it lasted 26 hours (not typical) and she ended up taking the epidural, which she didn't originally want because it makes her anxiety skyrocket. The delivery nurse was nice but not present for much of the time.

The second delivery would have been easier even without the doula but I think it did give my wife enough confidence and comfort that she was able to skip the epidural and that saved thousands of dollars (it wouldn't have been out of my pocket but still nice to not consume). I think my wife does better with having a delivery expert present the entire time to talk her through each stage and confirm everything is going well and offer ideas/positions to make it go better. Some personalities may not need that and some deliveries are so simple they don't require it. Even having the doula help decide when was the right time to go to the hospital was helpful. With both children there were questionable moments where we couldn't tell if it was labor beginning or not.

We are having a third child in April and have hired the same doula. It is an easy decision for us considering the low cost to us. She didn't cook any meals or clean the house but she was a useful source of information and a big comfort for my wife.

TrMama

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Re: Managing costs pre-birth
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 10:41:11 AM »
I agree that most of what you're considering is useless. Some of it is less than useless because it gives you the idea you have some kind of control over the situation.

The one thing I'd do that's not on your list is take the hospital's maternity tour. I think these are usually free and will give you really useful information like, "Where are the showers?", "Where can I get food and drinks at 2am?", "Where do I park?", "What do I need to pack?", and "Where is the nursery?".  That last one is important so you can find your baby if things don't go according to plan (hint: they never do) and he/she gets whisked there immediately after birth.