Five Unexpected Pregnancy Expenses
Yeah, babies cost a lot of money. A LOT of money. But pregnancy isn't so cheap either. Here are a few expenses that you never saw coming.
1. Clothes: Okay, so maybe you saw this one coming. After all, your wife is going to be going up more than a few sizes. But she not only needs new pants and shirts - she needs new everything from shoes to underwear. Everything's growing!
Helpful Hint: Maternity clothes are forever being passed around, from sister to sister-in-law to best friend. Because they're only worn for about six months they're pretty gently used. If you want to buy new, there are discount stores (like Ross or Gabriel Brothers), consignment shops, and good ol' Craigslist.
2. Food (actually, take-out): If your house is anything like ours, your wife probably does most of the cooking. And if her first trimester is anything like mine, she does not want to get off of the couch. No, she's not being lazy, she's growing a baby.
Helpful Hint: Grill out on the weekends and then eat leftovers all week - that will save on the take-out bill and insure that she's getting the nutrition she needs. At the very least, keep your cupboards stocked with dried apricots, applesauce, fiber bars, and fruit. (And ice cream. Of course!)
3. Time off work: And I'm not talking maternity leave. I'm talking I'm-throwing-up-or-too-tired-to-go-to-work.
Helpful Hint: She knows as well as you do that you need the money, so she's probably not exaggerating her illness. For now, just bite the bullet and keep in mind that these problems will probably end around the same time as the first trimester. Friday night pizza may have to go by the wayside for a few weeks to make up for her missed wages.
4. Classes: Birthing classes are a real thing. So are new parents' classes and baby sign language classes and prenatal yoga. And they cost money.
Helpful Hint: Sometimes these classes are covered by your health insurance, and sometimes you can find them at a community center that may be cheaper than your hospital or birthing center. Make a list in order of what you feel is most important, and then look at the cost. Choose your top two or three.
5. Skin care: Two words: stretch marks. Nobody wants them. Despite the fact that most health care professionals say that stretch marks are largely genetic, women will try anything and everything to avoid getting them.
Helpful Hint: Don't tell her she's wasting her money- for all you know, she might not be! (See? Even I'm eternally optimistic about this!) Oils and creams don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Bio-oil costs anything from 20 to 30 dollars, and shea butter can be even cheaper.
By Laura Lee Anderson, a mom-to-be.