16 Dec Financial Preparation for a New Baby in Ireland
Antenatal Advice: Are new babys expensive??
Great news! You’re having a baby! Although now you might be beginning to wonder how much does a new baby cost?? These are questions that as a Mum, a friend, a sister and a midwife I get asked all the time!! Let me answer as best as I can.
There are lots of variables when we look at hospital costs, let me explain. So, you can choose to attend the public, semi-private or private maternity services. The public services in Ireland are excellent, giving you the choice of midwifery led care if you are considered ‘low-risk’, and obstetric led care if you are considered ‘higher-risk’. This service is completely free and is generally shared with your GP. Your GP will provide you with free alternate antenatal check-ups alongside your maternity hospital during your pregnancy,
The semi-private service is suitable for women in both low and high-risk categories. You will see a midwife and obstetrician at your hospital appointments, and your GP at alternate appointments. The cost of this service varies; however, a rough estimate would be €1,500 per pregnancy, part of which may be refunded by your health care provider.
And the private service which will allow you to choose an obstetrician of your choice who you will meet at each antenatal check-up, and you can choose to avail of free alternate GP visits if you wish… this is something you will decide together with your obstetrician. The cost of the private service really varies so my advice would be to call the secretary of the obstetrician you wish to attend, who will happily discuss fees and health insurance refunds with you. (A list of obstetricians and phone numbers can be found on each maternity hospital website).
Kitting out your home-the necessities
A new baby will require a few basics such as a cot, a pram and a car-seat (if you drive). If you are buying these items new my advice would be to shop around. However please ensure that anything you do purchase holds a CE safety standard logo. You could expect to spend approx. €1,000 all in for these three necessities. If your plan is to borrow a few bits just ensure that everything is in working order… and splash out on a new mattress for the babys cot.
People love to give practical pressies so don’t be shy about asking for changing bags, cellular blankets etc if people ask you what you need.
We know breast is best… and breastfeeding is free so that’s one less expense. However wet and dirty nappies will be plentiful with all of that feeding. You will expect to add nappies and cotton wool pads into your weekly shop. We are what we eat so please go the extra mile when thinking about nutrition for yourself as well. Childcare may be something to think about if you are returning to work-I would start chatting to, pricing up and checking availability in your local creches and childminders etc towards the end of your pregnancy as this will allow you a little bit of time to plan and budget.
There is also a really cool website called Baby Doc Club that update parents on daily deals in the supermarkets, everything from nappies to baby wipes and everything in between. Check them out here: https://www.babydocclub.ie
We fortunately live in a country with a good support system for new parents. We have:
- Maternity benefit of €245 per week (payable for a total of 26 weeks).
- Child benefit, which is €140 per child, per month (from birth until 18 years).
- Free GP care for under 6’s (soon to be under 8’s).
- Free ECCE program for 2 years preceding primary school.
- Free vaccination programme.
Refunds on private antenatal classes
Depending on your health insurance policy, you can get a refund of up to 100% on our m1-day Antenatal class. Feel free to send us your table of benefits and we would be happy to calculate your refund entitlement. Our email is [email protected] Refunds are offered by VHI, Laya Healthcare, Aviva and Irish Life Health. All insurance companies with the exception of Laya allow either the mother or partner’s policy to be used. The process for getting your refund is very simple. When you pay the fees we issue you with a receipt, that includes the information the insurance company requires. You send this receipt to your insurance company, who will then issue you with the relevant refund.
Bringing it all together
What I hope you can see here is that you can have a baby on any budget… yes, there will be an extra cost to the families living costs and this is where budgeting is key. I hope this helps to give you a brief forecast, or a starting point…. And from here you may be able to plan a bit.