Author Topic: Put a pricetag on the baby!  (Read 19371 times)

kib

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Put a pricetag on the baby!
« on: December 26, 2014, 08:32:36 AM »
I was reading Nate and Shannon's post, and saw they are interested in starting a family.  I understand that the costs associated with child raising are extremely variable, but is there a rough calculation for the Mustachian Child Line Item?  If you were thinking of starting a family, what would you add to the budget?  How low could you go and still feel like a good parent?  If you have kids already how much extra do you believe they add to your budget?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 08:38:28 AM by frufrau »

Victoria

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 09:23:11 AM »
I'd estimate an average of $100 a month for diapers, food, medical, etc for a healthy baby using hand-me-downs. Plus health insurance which is another 150 for us.

There's also birth costs and childcare, but those are variable.

We use disposable diapers due to coin laundry.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 09:34:06 AM »
It depends on your health insurance, if you have daycare, if you use cloth diapers etc.  We spend about $650 annually on clothes, shoes, diapers and wipes but then again we have higher premiums for health care because of our daughter (because we don't use HSA) but that means our health care copays are low $300/annually.  But then we have daycare, $9900 now but about $13,000 when she was born.  This all also varies were you live.

Cassie

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 10:09:41 AM »
Before kids go to school I think it is easy to keep costs done: use cloth diapers, breast feed, use hand me downs except for shoes etc.  Medical care can be the one unknown as far as how healthy the baby will be.  As kids age they get more expense -especially in high school where they may play sports, go to formal dances, etc.

athomeintheworld

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 10:20:06 AM »
Breastfeed. Not only is it a financially smart decision, but it has lifelong health  benefits for mom and baby.

Cloth diaper. You can even buy used cloth diapers from a friend if you like. They typically last longer than one child if they are cared for properly. It's not that much work to wash diapers....really. Cloth diapered babies may potty train earlier than disposable babies too - so you could be done with diapers even sooner.

Avoid the temptation to do every class and activity out there. Find a good playgroup (meetup has lots in most areas) and meet other kids/families at parks, homes and other free (or mostly free) places.

We really like Thredup for kids clothing. Good used clothing - great condition, inexpensive. You can return it when your child outgrows (they may or may not buy back but I've had good results). http://www.thredup.com/r/5J4JXT $10 credit.

When you child does start to eat solids, don't buy (or make) special food. Just give baby what you are eating, assuming you eat a good quality, real foods type of diet. I notice that many people on here eat well and think that's great:)

Birth costs can be astronomical for sure. Consider birth center or home birth with a midwife if you are an appropriate candidate. Considerably less expensive, and again - better for mom and baby.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 10:23:44 AM »
Breastfeed. Not only is it a financially smart decision, but it has lifelong health  benefits for mom and baby.

Cloth diaper. You can even buy used cloth diapers from a friend if you like. They typically last longer than one child if they are cared for properly. It's not that much work to wash diapers....really. Cloth diapered babies may potty train earlier than disposable babies too - so you could be done with diapers even sooner.

Avoid the temptation to do every class and activity out there. Find a good playgroup (meetup has lots in most areas) and meet other kids/families at parks, homes and other free (or mostly free) places.

We really like Thredup for kids clothing. Good used clothing - great condition, inexpensive. You can return it when your child outgrows (they may or may not buy back but I've had good results). http://www.thredup.com/r/5J4JXT $10 credit.

When you child does start to eat solids, don't buy (or make) special food. Just give baby what you are eating, assuming you eat a good quality, real foods type of diet. I notice that many people on here eat well and think that's great:)

Birth costs can be astronomical for sure. Consider birth center or home birth with a midwife if you are an appropriate candidate. Considerably less expensive, and again - better for mom and baby.
Every peer reviewed article I have read disagrees, can you please cite your source?

ysette9

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 10:31:58 AM »
I was looking at our finances recently and our spending has actually decreased since our baby came almost seven months ago. We are using disposable diapers (really not that expensive in the end) but that is about all we buy for her. Everything else is used from friends or borrowed or bought with gift cards. What we are not spending money on so much is eating out, travel, entertainment, and really any non-essential shopping.
That said, daycare hasn't hit yet and that will be about $1200/month, a real bargain where we live.

justajane

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 10:51:14 AM »
Breastfeed. Not only is it a financially smart decision, but it has lifelong health  benefits for mom and baby.
Every peer reviewed article I have read disagrees, can you please cite your source?

Agreed. I breastfed my first two boys and am currently breastfeeding my third, but I did it because I wanted to, not because I think it improves their long term health trajectory. It does provide some antibodies while you are breastfeeding, though.

As far as the mother's health, it does lower breast cancer rates, but only if you breastfeed for a LONG time and have multiple breastfed kiddos. In my case, this applies but not for most women who usually breastfeed less than a year, many times even less than 6 months.

But ZsMom also recommended home birth, so clearly we probably won't agree on these matters. I have heard too many horrible stories from our good friend and pediatrician who has taken care of home birth babies deprived of oxygen to see that as a wise decision. In fact, he just attended the funeral of a home birthed baby a few months ago. Don't take the risk. At least give birth in a birthing center, preferably attached to a hospital.

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 11:38:12 AM »
What peer reviewed article disagrees that breastfeeding is better?   The only articles I've seen that disagree with the massive push for breastfeeding are addressing low-birthweight/twins or kids with allergies to what's in mom's milk.  Either way, formula isn't cheap.

Nursing past 1 year confers lower-breast cancer benefits, but it's not that hard to do.  I've done nursing at naps/once at night to put the baby to sleep until 2.5-3 years old for my kids. 

athomeintheworld

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 11:40:55 AM »
http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/bf-benefits/ has lots of sources for you to read through.

Baby - health benefits include decreased frequency and duration of illness as an infant, decreased risk of Type I Diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Decreased cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Not to mention that FORMULA ALONE IS A SIDS (infant death) RISK FACTOR - the big elephant in the room in Pediatrics that no one wants to talk to patients about.

Mom - decreased risk for reproductive cancers.  >20% risk reduction with a year of breastfeeding I believe, and I don't even think has to be with a single child.

I believe the minimum a child should nurse for is 1 year, with a preference for 2-3 or when the child self weans. This is normal in other cultures and historically. 

And yes I absolutely advocate for home birth for a woman that wants to do so and is an appropriately screened candidate. Nothing happens at a birth center that can't happen at home. Are you also against birth centers? For a low risk pregnancy your true risk is with going to a hospital. C/S rate >32% and that is using numbers from a few years ago. Read up please.

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 11:45:56 AM »
The biggest loss is loss of income/time.  Even if your mom is babysitting for free, someone is losing the time.  Otherwise if you're paying for daycare or a nanny, or you're home, and even if you can work from home, you won't be able to do as many hours. 

Our second biggest expense is private school.  Since we were doing parochial schools, the balance of rent + school in a bad school district vs. rent in a good school district was about even, even for three kids.  However, we are now looking at a higher cost private school for one of our high-achieving kids (99th percentile), so we were kind of screwed anyways. 

I think you have to keep the extracurriculars in check as well.  It's easy for people to go overboard.

My question for you is: Can you put your kids to work in a family business and recoup some of the lost time/cost?  That's what I'd like to do. 

It's too bad that parents don't get a cut of their kid's social security payments.  It'd be a great incentive to people to have kids that do well in school, get a good job, and are productive citizens.

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 11:56:33 AM »
And yes I absolutely advocate for home birth for a woman that wants to do so and is an appropriately screened candidate. Nothing happens at a birth center that can't happen at home. Are you also against birth centers? For a low risk pregnancy your true risk is with going to a hospital. C/S rate >32% and that is using numbers from a few years ago. Read up please.

Everyone should really research the c-section rates of the hospitals nearby before choosing one.  If people did, the overall c-section rate might be a lot lower.  In MA, the rates range from 20% to over 40%.  We chose a hospital that was 25% knowing that even that rate was high because of the city population (a lot of people from other countries such as Brazil end up being automatic c-sections because they don't know which way the inner cut is on their previous c-section), and we knew the mid-wife c-section rate would be lower.  We were allowed to birth with the mid-wives despite being a higher risk pregnancy as a doctor was always on hand should there be an emergency. 

A lot of research goes a long way.

Even if you're at a birthing center or doing a home-birth, definitely make sure you know which hospital you'd be transferred to should there be a problem.  If you have a choice (there were three hospitals near us), you want to know what your best backup plan is.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 12:02:38 PM by TerriM »

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 12:17:07 PM »
What peer reviewed article disagrees that breastfeeding is better?   The only articles I've seen that disagree with the massive push for breastfeeding are addressing low-birthweight/twins or kids with allergies to what's in mom's milk.  Either way, formula isn't cheap.

Nursing past 1 year confers lower-breast cancer benefits, but it's not that hard to do.  I've done nursing at naps/once at night to put the baby to sleep until 2.5-3 years old for my kids.
There are no articles that I have read that state there is long term benefit, most say there is no statistical difference past age 5 (or six, I can't remember which) between breastfeed and formula feed in a situation where there is not food deprivation.  However, I will read ZMom's articles and report back.

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 12:23:02 PM »
What peer reviewed article disagrees that breastfeeding is better?   The only articles I've seen that disagree with the massive push for breastfeeding are addressing low-birthweight/twins or kids with allergies to what's in mom's milk.  Either way, formula isn't cheap.

Nursing past 1 year confers lower-breast cancer benefits, but it's not that hard to do.  I've done nursing at naps/once at night to put the baby to sleep until 2.5-3 years old for my kids.
There are no articles that I have read that state there is long term benefit, most say there is no statistical difference past age 5 (or six, I can't remember which) between breastfeed and formula feed in a situation where there is not food deprivation.  However, I will read ZMom's articles and report back.

Try looking at the American Academy of Pediatrics pages.

http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/Breastfeeding2012ExecSum.pdf

Future Lazy

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2014, 12:36:44 PM »
What peer reviewed article disagrees that breastfeeding is better?   The only articles I've seen that disagree with the massive push for breastfeeding are addressing low-birthweight/twins or kids with allergies to what's in mom's milk.  Either way, formula isn't cheap.

Nursing past 1 year confers lower-breast cancer benefits, but it's not that hard to do.  I've done nursing at naps/once at night to put the baby to sleep until 2.5-3 years old for my kids.
There are no articles that I have read that state there is long term benefit, most say there is no statistical difference past age 5 (or six, I can't remember which) between breastfeed and formula feed in a situation where there is not food deprivation.  However, I will read ZMom's articles and report back.

Try looking at the American Academy of Pediatrics pages.

http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/Breastfeeding2012ExecSum.pdf

Reduction of breast cancer rates through breastfeeding (or general suckling by a partner on a regular basis) is proven, and therefore counts as a long term benefit for Mom. I see this reflected in TerriM's citation, as well as ZsMom's.

But that's pretty off topic as related to the cost of having a kid, unless somebody wants to put out a few price tags on breast and ovarian cancer treatments. :)

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2014, 12:45:04 PM »
But that's pretty off topic as related to the cost of having a kid, unless somebody wants to put out a few price tags on breast and ovarian cancer treatments. :)

Avoiding them is priceless in my book.

justajane

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2014, 01:38:16 PM »
Even if you're at a birthing center or doing a home-birth, definitely make sure you know which hospital you'd be transferred to should there be a problem.  If you have a choice (there were three hospitals near us), you want to know what your best backup plan is.

I am not against birthing centers attached to hospitals. That is a wonderful alternative for moms who want a more natural experience. If your baby is not breathing and your unattached birthing center does not have proper resuscitation equipment or the midwife is not adequately trained to deal with this emergency in your home, minutes matter. The hospital is likely too far away to make a difference. My doctor friend deals with these tragedies far too often, many of whom were giving birth in rural areas (say what?), and these are perfectly healthy moms. I'm not worried about the health of the mother. She will probably be okay if she is screened and determined to be low risk. The baby on the other hand....in even low risk pregnancies, the cord can be wrapped in strange ways.

I think Gin's point in the breastfeeding discussion (and correct me if I am wrong) is that the benefits aren't lifelong like originally claimed. No one is saying that breast isn't best for an infant. Breast milk is superior to formula. I'm not sure it's cheaper in every case (esp. if you get breast infections and need medication or need a bunch of supplies for pumping/ not leaking at work). Nursing bras and all the accoutrements are certainly not free. But there are also intangibles that go with breastfeeding, including bonding and whatnot.   

One more thing about c-sections, I think the notion that doctors unnecessarily push for c-sections is overblown. I think their main goal is to minimize the number of dead babies. Can we all agree this is a worthy goal? Sorry to be so blunt, but this is the reality. Babies do die in breech position and b/c of breathing in meconium  after long labors and post 41 weeks, etc. I chose a doctor I trusted implicitly who stated on his webpage that he specializes in VBACs and minimizing C-sections. On my third, he did just that when we had a scheduled induction at 40 weeks. I was ready to be done, and with a history of large babies, we had chosen to induce then. But when I went in, he was honest and said I wasn't dilated enough and he was afraid an induction at that point would lead to a c-section, which he didn't want for me. I trusted his advice and all was well a week later. The induction worked perfectly. Since it was on the schedule, lesser doctors would probably have just stuck with the original date, but he was willing to move everything around. Perhaps he is the minority, but I remain unconvinced.

mxt0133

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2014, 03:07:03 PM »
One more thing about c-sections, I think the notion that doctors unnecessarily push for c-sections is overblown. I think their main goal is to minimize the number of dead babies.

Unfortunately it is probably this goal and the fear of malpractice litigation that push a lot of doctors to go for a C-section.  It seems less risky to them as it has become a standard procedure and as long as they follow the procedure they have the process to hide behind if any complications arise.  Then there is also the obvious financial incentive, so to a doctor of they do not feel they are putting the patient at risk why not get paid and know when they'll be clocking out instead of waiting for a 6-20 hour natural labor.

But a purely anecdotal experience with my first son the OB told me that if the baby does not come out in the next push then we are going to do a C-section.  I then told her what about the episiotomy option, which she then did and out came the baby.  Basically before we even started active labor the surgery room was prepped and ready to go.  I'm sure it's done for emergencies but nonetheless they do "push" the option.

Goldielocks

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2014, 04:10:22 PM »
I reccomend planning about 2k per year for education savings and kid activities (sports, camps, art) combined.  Mostly savings as a baby, but there will be 10 years where  most of that will be on activities.

If you envision a league sport, dance or piano, plus education savings, you will need more.

This 2k does not include adding at least one room to your home, food ( which is not really a lot unless you start to buy convenience foods), utilities (a lot more as a % than you would think because you are more tired and may be less frugal there, our kids from age 3 to 10 were the years we had cable, for example) adding a transit pass as a minimum, assuming one car, and of course, presents and added vacation costs....  if you are already mmm, vacation with kids is always a bit more..., spendy types just adjust their vacation plans to cover more people with same money.

Then there are the copays, OTC meds , braces, and non covered eyeglasses or therapies.  We seem to spend these at every level of MMM.  As soon as childcare costs decline, these other items start up...

Babies are actually pretty cheap if you choose.  Once you have cloth diapers and food figured out, maybe a car seat and basic stroller or used bike trailer...everything else can be had for free or nearly free.  Childcare excepted!

MsFrugalista

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2014, 04:38:54 PM »
Babies are actually pretty cheap if you choose.  Once you have cloth diapers and food figured out, maybe a car seat and basic stroller or used bike trailer...everything else can be had for free or nearly free.  Childcare excepted!

+1
As someone about to become a first time parent (due end of January), we have spent to date ~$200 on baby stuff. This includes, cloth diaper stach, cloth wipes, car seat (bought used - not everyone is ok with this, but we were completely fine with this), stroller that came with the car seat for free, baby clothes (0-6 months), swaddlers, blankets, bassinet for newborn. I also plan on breastfeeding and hope that it goes well.  Otherwise, formula it is and we have been conservative in our budget to be able to account for this in the event we have to. Since we don't live near family and don't have a big circle of friends here so we will not be receiving any baby gifts; Craigslist and consignment stores were very useful to get all (or almost all) the items.

One thing that we have accounted for in our budget for 2015 is an increase in health insurance premiums. Adding dependents to either of our employer's insurance increases our premiums by quite a bit. We also have not decided on childcare yet (I will be on maternity leave for almost 6 months and unsure of my career plans thereafter) - so that will need to be assessed part way through the year.

I definitely agree that as the child grows, the expenses will increase (activities, food). It will also depend on the child and if they have any special needs and such. But babies definitely do not have to be expensive!!

kib

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2014, 04:50:26 PM »
I reccomend planning about 2k per year for education savings and kid activities (sports, camps, art) combined.  Mostly savings as a baby, but there will be 10 years where  most of that will be on activities.

If you envision a league sport, dance or piano, plus education savings, you will need more.

This 2k does not include adding at least one room to your home, food ( which is not really a lot unless you start to buy convenience foods), utilities (a lot more as a % than you would think because you are more tired and may be less frugal there, our kids from age 3 to 10 were the years we had cable, for example) adding a transit pass as a minimum, assuming one car, and of course, presents and added vacation costs....  if you are already mmm, vacation with kids is always a bit more..., spendy types just adjust their vacation plans to cover more people with same money.

Then there are the copays, OTC meds , braces, and non covered eyeglasses or therapies.  We seem to spend these at every level of MMM.  As soon as childcare costs decline, these other items start up...

Babies are actually pretty cheap if you choose.  Once you have cloth diapers and food figured out, maybe a car seat and basic stroller or used bike trailer...everything else can be had for free or nearly free.  Childcare excepted!
Thanks, this was kinda the reply I was looking for.  Cuz having a baby's not like buying a car, where you can always sell it when it starts to become expensive.  ;)   When I looked at the post and saw people already underwater speaking of having a child as if daycare would be their only extra expense, it seemed to me they needed a little realistic budgeting advice.

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2014, 05:24:01 PM »
We're pretty darn frugal. Always had free daycare options, now home school. Small activities, possibly more as they start expressing more interests. I'd say $2-$3K per year on average is a good number BEFORE daycare or education expenses. Our trailing average is about $2k annual and we have very generous extended families when it comes to clothes, activities, etc.

I could probably break it out further but I'm on holiday.

athomeintheworld

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2014, 06:36:26 PM »
Even if you're at a birthing center or doing a home-birth, definitely make sure you know which hospital you'd be transferred to should there be a problem.  If you have a choice (there were three hospitals near us), you want to know what your best backup plan is.

I am not against birthing centers attached to hospitals. That is a wonderful alternative for moms who want a more natural experience. If your baby is not breathing and your unattached birthing center does not have proper resuscitation equipment or the midwife is not adequately trained to deal with this emergency in your home, minutes matter. The hospital is likely too far away to make a difference. My doctor friend deals with these tragedies far too often, many of whom were giving birth in rural areas (say what?), and these are perfectly healthy moms. I'm not worried about the health of the mother. She will probably be okay if she is screened and determined to be low risk. The baby on the other hand....in even low risk pregnancies, the cord can be wrapped in strange ways.



Most respectfully I don't think you are aware of the evidence here. Low risk pregnancies WITHOUT interventions (IV, meds, epidurals, pitocin etc) are typically uncomplicated deliveries. Many OB's have NEVER seen an unmedicated,intervention free birth. True story - ask your doc.  It's not part of their training. They are surgeons. Which is great if you need one, most pregnant women do not. Nuchal cord? No problem - your midwife is well trained to handle. Baby not breathing? Again, EVERY birth center in the country, as well as midwives doing home birth, have resuscitative equipment, and skills to use. Further, your midwife is more likely than your doc to leave the cord intact, prolonging the delivery of oxygenated blood should baby have a slow start.

The problems you hear about with "have to get baby out now" etc are often due to a complication cascade caused by unnecessary interventions. (Cervical gels, pitocin, IV fluids, epidurals etc etc etc, as well as disallowing mom to eat/drink during labor).

Is every C/S avoidable? No of course not. But >30% is absolutely unacceptable. 

Also - this isn't my "opinion".

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/british-regulator-urges-home-births-over-hospitals-for-uncomplicated-pregnancies.html

http://www.jennifermargulis.net/blog/2014/09/why-doctors-nurses-and-other-medical-professionals-are-choosing-to-birth-at-home/

Full disclosure - yes, I'm one of those medical professional advocating for out of hospital birth, absolutely.

MayDay

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2014, 06:40:17 PM »
Just to throw out a fairly minor insane expense (not in the league of a majorly special medical needs kid) if you need weekly speech therapy for your kid, it'll run you 5k a year.

I think 2k per kid plus private school/daycare/unexpected health care beyond just the premiums is reasonable. 2nd, 3rd kids can be cheaper in a lot of ways (sharing bedrooms, hand me downs) but not in others (activity fees, health costs, needing a larger car).


Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2014, 06:46:46 PM »
So I finished read through the articles Zmom linked to and their source material.  I stand corrected, there is some small longterm benefit for breastmilk of at least three months.  However, studies that look at long vs short breastfeeding (three months vs six months or longer) showed no benefit to non-premature infants?  However, much of the linked studies are over a decade old.  I am going through reading more as I have free time.  Also, many of the studies don't account other comorbites such as the different in SES.  There were a few but not many.  I will report back if anyone is interested. 

Cressida

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2014, 06:55:55 PM »
It's hard to isolate the effects of breastfeeding. That's a big reason some are suspicious of the party line that there's a special circle of hell reserved for women who choose not to breastfeed. Also: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/sibbreast.htm

Breastfeeding is highly problematic if you are a mother who cares about equal parenting. If you breastfeed, you have to do all the feeding. (Yeah, you can pump milk and put it in a bottle - but it's still WAY more work for you than for the father.) Some women don't care about this, but some really do.

justajane

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2014, 07:45:56 PM »
Zsmom - what kind of medical professional are you? I'm presuming you are not a doctor, considering you haven't mentioned it. Sorry, but I am going to continue to trust those who undergo the most rigorous medical training. I wonder if you have this degree of suspicion for the methods of internists, pediatricians, dermatologists, oncologists etc. or if you reserve all your disdain for the training and perceived motivations of OB-GYNs.

I think this conversation has played itself out. We will never agree.

Regarding my own childrens' costs, I would say that the 2K number is fairly accurate, but the costs will go up as they get older. I have three boys, and the current appetite of my six year old has made me think that I should be very, very afraid. At some point, our food budget will likely eclipse our mortgage.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 07:47:43 PM by justajane »

Krnten

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2014, 08:07:36 PM »
Gin1984, I am interested in what you learn.  I am a breast-is-best skeptic and noticed the same problems you did with controlling for SES in most studies.  There was a sibling study within the past year or so that found the benefits to be very small or nonexistent depending on the benefit.

Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time.  Breastfeeding fits into MMM's general DIY ethic, but it's not for everyone.  And if the ~$100 extra per month for Costco formula for one year of formula delays FI by a few months, so be it.

At least for me, when faced with how much breastfeeding seemed to limit my life when I was trying it and how much time it would take, the decision to formula feed was a no brainer.


TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2014, 08:50:10 PM »
Don't forget that housing has a price too.  If you believe in all girls in one room, all boys in the other, then you're looking at possibly a 2-3 bedroom house.  If you believe in one room per kid, then add that to your mortgage budget.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2014, 09:04:36 PM »
Gin1984, I am interested in what you learn.  I am a breast-is-best skeptic and noticed the same problems you did with controlling for SES in most studies.  There was a sibling study within the past year or so that found the benefits to be very small or nonexistent depending on the benefit.

Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time.  Breastfeeding fits into MMM's general DIY ethic, but it's not for everyone.  And if the ~$100 extra per month for Costco formula for one year of formula delays FI by a few months, so be it.

At least for me, when faced with how much breastfeeding seemed to limit my life when I was trying it and how much time it would take, the decision to formula feed was a no brainer.
I'll post what I find as I read the last ten years.  I know that when I looked prior to this, I did limit my search to the last ten years and did not find any discernible benefits when I limited myself to what I considered properly conducted studies, but this time I am going to try to find some even if there are comorbites.  Also, that was two years ago.

firelight

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2014, 09:06:30 PM »
We just had a baby and though we bought many things at low cost, one thing we hadn't accounted for was the cost of convenience. We are doing more take outs and spending more on utilities (result of being up at ungodly hours). Also add the fact that sometimes you end up doing more grocery runs due to poor planning caused by less mental space and it's best to have a good buffer during the initial few months. So far, we've spent around $200/month more on non baby related items because of baby.

Cressida

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2014, 10:30:06 PM »
Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time. 

Exactly.

justajane

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2014, 06:21:43 AM »
Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time. 

Exactly.

You can do a lot of things when you breastfeed, though, especially with handheld devices like smartphones or Kindles. I read books and surf the web (incl. MMM forums) on my laptop. Pumping sucks (literally and figuratively) anyway you look at it, but they have created hands free devices that enable some women to get work done while they pump. Breastfeeding is most convenient time wise in the middle of the night, because the mom or dad doesn't have to prepare the bottle and then feed the baby. Plus some moms master the lying down technique so that they can snooze while the baby eats. Even if they perfect formula to be identical in substance to breast milk in the future, there will still be intangibles for some moms like the sense of increased bonding. For other moms, the onus of feeding the baby is too much (or too painful) and they prefer to have the father take part in the task.

Plus it's not like bottle feeding doesn't take time either. Until your baby can hold his or her own bottle, this takes a lot of your day too. Plus you have to clean all bottles (which you have to do with breastfeeding too if you are working). I'm sure my commitment to extended breastfeeding would have been much lower if I worked outside the home and had to pump all the time. My third breastfed baby is 7 months old and I've probably only pumped a dozen times. Since I established my supply, I have given him formula for the short time every month he goes to daycare.

In general, feeding a baby takes time. Period. You just have to weigh the variables for yourself and know that babies turn out fine with formula, breast milk, or a mixture of the two.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 06:24:11 AM by justajane »

TerriM

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2014, 08:18:19 AM »
Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time. 

Exactly.

No offense, but if you're worried about the time breastfeeding is taking, you should be more worried about the time that parenting is taking.  I'll say it again, but the biggest loss in parenting is time.  Time time time.  And time=money.  Breastfeeding is just part of that.

I learned to type one-handed, and did my work while breastfeeding.   You can read and respond to email, catch up on Facebook.  Whatever.  Plenty of stuff to do.

SnackDog

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2014, 08:27:18 AM »
Depending on your employment conditions, additional children can actually positively impact your finances.  For example, I am aware of expat packages which not only cover school costs, but also adjust for all costs by family size including generous airfare home allowances.  Living frugally, all these benefits become leveraged with children.   I had friends in Australia who received a cash home leave airfare allowance of $8500 per family member.  Family of 5. Ka-ching!

daverobev

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2014, 09:25:47 AM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2014, 09:36:30 AM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.
I was the "perfect" case for home birth.  Had a very easy pregnancy and birth.  No epidural but when my daughter was born she ripped a part inside me.  If I had not been in the hospital, I would have bleed out.  I was in the OR in minutes and yes the additional fifteen minutes to get in would have mattered in my case.  There is reason why babies die less now then back in day.  Having access to modern medicine is not a bad thing.

breadandbutter07

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2014, 10:26:13 AM »
I'll line-item as much as I can for the one child we currently have, aged 15 months.

Utilities:  ~$20/month for a 1000 sq. ft. apartment, low COL
Baby was born in the fall, and since little babies can't regulate their body temperature like adults can, and since it's not safe for them to sleep with blankets, we had to keep the temperature warmer all winter than we would have normally.
Housing: 0
We gave up having office space at home and now the 2nd bedroom is a bedroom.  Since about 1/3 of DH's job is from home, this has been difficult, and now a 3br is our minimum requirement next time we move.
Saving: 400/mo, YMMV
^College savings, as desired
Food: 40/mo?
Of course this starts out nearly free if breastfeeding (~75/mo for formula if not) and gradually increases as you add solids. Baby eats a lot of yogurt, frozen veggies, fruit, eggs, and beans.  I don't know how to quantify our convenience foods, but we did shift to eating more at home so that we could eat during Baby's naptimes.
Diapers, other: 60/mo
We use disposables, cloth was too much work for me, personally, though I know many, many people do it gladly.  Grandparents have currently gifted all of the baby clothes we have needed and I was able to borrow infant gear from a friend (swing, stroller, crib).  These things can easily be found used, as well.  Car seats can be an expensive one-time cost.
Medical: YMMV, greatly. 
Ours is 0 because of our insurance plus a reimbursement program through work.

netskyblue

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2014, 12:32:45 PM »
Childcare is the biggie, unless you have someone close to you willing to watch the kid for free.  It's either pay for child care, or give up income (assuming you were both working) in order to one parent to stay home, or for one or both parents to arrange a part-time situation.

It amazes me how "most" people seem to be able to afford children.  I would like children, but unless we had someone we trusted offering free childcare, I don't see how we could afford it.

What do most people pay for childcare, as a % of their income?  The prices I see for childcare make it seem like anywhere between 25-40% of combined our monthly take-home pay! 

Then there's insurance...most of mine is subsidized by my employer, but to add "family" is another $500/month, or 23% of my monthly take-home pay.  It would be a stretch, but we could probably get by ok if that were the only major expense.  Childcare is easily 2-3x that.

I look at my co-workers with small children and wonder HOW ON EARTH they still manage to eat and pay the bills.

Then again, I'm the only one in my department that isn't always dying for payday, and actually have money in the bank at the end of a pay period.

daverobev

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2014, 12:33:43 PM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.
I was the "perfect" case for home birth.  Had a very easy pregnancy and birth.  No epidural but when my daughter was born she ripped a part inside me.  If I had not been in the hospital, I would have bleed out.  I was in the OR in minutes and yes the additional fifteen minutes to get in would have mattered in my case.  There is reason why babies die less now then back in day.  Having access to modern medicine is not a bad thing.

Most in the medical profession would agree with you, and drug/caesarian you at the drop of a hat. Anecdotes are not data, but the fact is a hospital is a very dangerous place to be compromised.

I'm not disputing that, in a very small number of cases, being in a hospital can be beneficial. The midwives we were with had not had a single case where it would have made any difference. Statistical evidence they showed us agreed.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2014, 12:45:42 PM »
Childcare is the biggie, unless you have someone close to you willing to watch the kid for free.  It's either pay for child care, or give up income (assuming you were both working) in order to one parent to stay home, or for one or both parents to arrange a part-time situation.

It amazes me how "most" people seem to be able to afford children.  I would like children, but unless we had someone we trusted offering free childcare, I don't see how we could afford it.

What do most people pay for childcare, as a % of their income?  The prices I see for childcare make it seem like anywhere between 25-40% of combined our monthly take-home pay! 

Then there's insurance...most of mine is subsidized by my employer, but to add "family" is another $500/month, or 23% of my monthly take-home pay.  It would be a stretch, but we could probably get by ok if that were the only major expense.  Childcare is easily 2-3x that.

I look at my co-workers with small children and wonder HOW ON EARTH they still manage to eat and pay the bills.

Then again, I'm the only one in my department that isn't always dying for payday, and actually have money in the bank at the end of a pay period.
Childcare when my daughter was born was 33% of our income or $12,689/year.  However, we had been living on my husband's grad salary of $26K so basically my salary of $25K paid for daycare, taxes and savings.  Now daycare is only 24% of our salaries because the cost has gone down to $9740 and my husband found a job for $41700, which sadly is an hour away.  Basically you make it work.

Firefly

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2014, 06:53:44 PM »
We have 2 kids - 7 yo and 19 mo old. I agree with the advise to breastfeed and invest in cloth diapers (you can save them use for the next child). I spent about $250 on cloth diapers initially and around 100 when the 2nd was born to replace some, since the first time around I didn't know which ones worked best and bought some I didn't like. As far as cloths - tell anyone who would listen that you welcome any clothes they don't need anymore. With my second, we spent next to nothing during her first year - we got so many clothes as hand-me-downs from friends, that I could open my own consignment store :). We went from nursing to table food with her, so no need for special baby food. If you are going back to work and need a pump - check with your insurance. Some insurances cover the pump. I got a very nice one for free after my Dr. faxed the prescription for one. Childcare is a major expense. I am incredibly lucky - I can work remotely and for the first 6 mo worked almost exclusively form home. She nursed ALL the time, but it's pretty easy to work on your computer while nursing. from 6 mo to 14 mo my mom would come for 3 days a week to watch her and I would go to the office for several hours. As she got older, we had to enroll her in a home-based daycare. It costs me $275 per week where we live, which is around 20% of my personal take home, so it makes financial sense for me to work. Depending on what you do, I would recommend talking to your employer to see if you can have a flexible schedule after you have a baby. My company was surprisingly cooperative. I work "special" hours - I go the the office between 9 and 2 and then finish from home in the evening after the kids go to bed. This way I don't have to pay for before and after school care for my older. So you don't need a lot of money to have kids, unless you want to enroll them in music lessons, sports, clubs, etc - that's where it gets expensive. Ours add up to extra $200 for our 7 yo. And don't forget that you will probably want to start a college saving plan for them, so budget extra for that as well.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2014, 07:16:56 PM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.
I was the "perfect" case for home birth.  Had a very easy pregnancy and birth.  No epidural but when my daughter was born she ripped a part inside me.  If I had not been in the hospital, I would have bleed out.  I was in the OR in minutes and yes the additional fifteen minutes to get in would have mattered in my case.  There is reason why babies die less now then back in day.  Having access to modern medicine is not a bad thing.

Most in the medical profession would agree with you, and drug/caesarian you at the drop of a hat. Anecdotes are not data, but the fact is a hospital is a very dangerous place to be compromised.

I'm not disputing that, in a very small number of cases, being in a hospital can be beneficial. The midwives we were with had not had a single case where it would have made any difference. Statistical evidence they showed us agreed.
What do you compromised?  I was not drugged and made all of the decisions about my care.  I'd like to see that evidence.

Firefly

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2014, 07:28:41 PM »
I had a great experience at a hospital both times. They followed my lead, respected my wishes, no unnecessary interventions, no one pushed for anything at all. If anything, they pushed breastfeeding. Everyone who came into my room asked me if i was planning to breastfeed, if I need any help with that, if I need to see a lactation consultant. They gave me a chance to bond with both of my children before they measured them (with my second, she nursed for 2 hours before they took her weight and height, as they joked she is not going to shrink in the next few hours, so no rush). I delivered my second one at 8 pm and chose to go home at noon next day and no one stopped me. I am not advocating one way or the other, I am just sharing my experience. You have to do what feels right for you.

gooki

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2014, 01:10:00 AM »
$50 a week per child.

Primm

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2014, 01:59:24 AM »
Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time. 

Exactly.

It takes just as much time to bottle-feed a baby as it does to breast feed one. But with breast feeding you're done and you put them away. Bottles need to be washed, refilled and stored. I would think the time cost of bottle feeding would be way more than breastfeeding.

caseyzee

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2014, 04:47:27 AM »
HCOL area, single mother, pair of nearly 8 year olds - I've spent north of 150 grand on childcare over the years. Most clothes have been hand-me-downs, bought used, gifts but still add up to a couple hundred a year.  I trust you can make your own decision on breastfeeding, but at this point, 8 year Olds are hungry!  That's a couple hundred a month.  Activities - swimming, soccer, etc, - about $1000 a year.  More traveling to visit Papa and Grandma - $1000 a year.  Difference in healthcare premiums - $400 a month.  One just had surgery on her ear - $1200 out of pocket costs.  I'm sure braces are on the horizon, costs unknown at this point.

You get the idea.  Some expected costs, some unexpected.  Some optimized, some not.  It adds up.  I find it to be worth every penny, opinions vary.

mm1970

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2014, 01:20:13 PM »
Although technically breastfeeding is close to free after startup costs (nursing bras, milk storage, nursing pads, creams, medicine if you get mastitis, etc), it's expensive in terms of time. 

Exactly.

It takes just as much time to bottle-feed a baby as it does to breast feed one. But with breast feeding you're done and you put them away. Bottles need to be washed, refilled and stored. I would think the time cost of bottle feeding would be way more than breastfeeding.
When bottle feeding, you share the work.
When breast feeding, you don't.
Also, my experience is that breast feeding took longer in terms of time spent eating.

I also worked and pumped, so it wasn't just breastfeeding, it was also pumping AND washing bottles and pump parts.

daverobev

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2014, 01:24:02 PM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.
I was the "perfect" case for home birth.  Had a very easy pregnancy and birth.  No epidural but when my daughter was born she ripped a part inside me.  If I had not been in the hospital, I would have bleed out.  I was in the OR in minutes and yes the additional fifteen minutes to get in would have mattered in my case.  There is reason why babies die less now then back in day.  Having access to modern medicine is not a bad thing.

Most in the medical profession would agree with you, and drug/caesarian you at the drop of a hat. Anecdotes are not data, but the fact is a hospital is a very dangerous place to be compromised.

I'm not disputing that, in a very small number of cases, being in a hospital can be beneficial. The midwives we were with had not had a single case where it would have made any difference. Statistical evidence they showed us agreed.
What do you compromised?  I was not drugged and made all of the decisions about my care.  I'd like to see that evidence.

I mean in any situation where the nastiest bugs that live in hospitals can get in to you, or your baby. Cuts, reduced immune system, etc.

Look into MRSA, superbugs, etc. A cursory search brings me this, which I have not read:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/29/superbugs-hospital-infections/2120253/

Sick people have to go to hospital, I get that. I'm not saying hospitals are evil, I'm not saying don't vaccinate, etc, etc. I'm saying that a person should not go to a hospital unless they can help it, especially when cut or with a compromised immune system. If it's hospital or death, I'll go to hospital, 100%.

But birth does not need to be done in hospital, and for normal healthy people it is likely a smarter thing NOT to go. Midwives have access to all sorts of stuff, and assuming you can be to the hospital within tens of minutes, they call ahead and get stuff prepped for you, meaning little to no time is actually lost.

Scared of pain, pre-booking your caesarian, certainly getting an epidural? No, homebirthing is not for you.

Gin1984

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Re: Put a pricetag on the baby!
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2014, 01:31:54 PM »
Re homebirthing: our midwife explained that for those things where "minutes matter" it still takes time to prep the room at the hospital. Assuming you are only 15-20 minutes or less away from the hospital, being at home gives no extra risk.

Even better, you and the newborn are not in a hospital. Hospitals are, generally, a very dangerous place to be in terms of infections, superbugs etc.

Homebirthing FTW if you are healthy, no history of whatever whatever.

Source: we had a homebirth, SIL is training to be a midwife.
I was the "perfect" case for home birth.  Had a very easy pregnancy and birth.  No epidural but when my daughter was born she ripped a part inside me.  If I had not been in the hospital, I would have bleed out.  I was in the OR in minutes and yes the additional fifteen minutes to get in would have mattered in my case.  There is reason why babies die less now then back in day.  Having access to modern medicine is not a bad thing.

Most in the medical profession would agree with you, and drug/caesarian you at the drop of a hat. Anecdotes are not data, but the fact is a hospital is a very dangerous place to be compromised.

I'm not disputing that, in a very small number of cases, being in a hospital can be beneficial. The midwives we were with had not had a single case where it would have made any difference. Statistical evidence they showed us agreed.
What do you compromised?  I was not drugged and made all of the decisions about my care.  I'd like to see that evidence.

I mean in any situation where the nastiest bugs that live in hospitals can get in to you, or your baby. Cuts, reduced immune system, etc.

Look into MRSA, superbugs, etc. A cursory search brings me this, which I have not read:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/29/superbugs-hospital-infections/2120253/

Sick people have to go to hospital, I get that. I'm not saying hospitals are evil, I'm not saying don't vaccinate, etc, etc. I'm saying that a person should not go to a hospital unless they can help it, especially when cut or with a compromised immune system. If it's hospital or death, I'll go to hospital, 100%.

But birth does not need to be done in hospital, and for normal healthy people it is likely a smarter thing NOT to go. Midwives have access to all sorts of stuff, and assuming you can be to the hospital within tens of minutes, they call ahead and get stuff prepped for you, meaning little to no time is actually lost.

Scared of pain, pre-booking your caesarian, certainly getting an epidural? No, homebirthing is not for you.
Except I did none of the your last statement, and yes the ten minutes it would have taken to get to the hospital, much less get in to the OR would have mattered for my life.  More women died prior to giving birth in a hospital than they do today.  I understand you are pro-midwife and home birth but there are serious risks, even if you want to ignore them.  Yes there is a delay in many hospitals if you are coming from outside that is not within the hospital.  Yes there are issues with hospitals but waiting till the choice is death or hospital just increases your chance of the former.  No thanks, I'll take modern medicine.
"The risk of a baby dying is nearly four times higher when delivered by a midwife at home than by a midwife in a hospital, according to a new study."
http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20140203/study-ties-home-births-to-higher-infant-death-rates
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 01:40:58 PM by Gin1984 »