45 Women on Unexpected Expenses from Pregnancy

Pregnancy already can have a lot of ups and downs, and unexpected expenses can add stress to an otherwise exciting time. GenTwenty asked people to share stories of unexpected expenses that popped up as a result of being pregnant. Most of the responses were health-related, but many responses also mentioned extra purchases and other surprises along the way.

X Women on Unexpected Expenses from Pregnancy

Health-Related Expenses

Maybe not an expense, but when I was pregnant I was put on bedrest at 31 weeks, so we lost my income 9 weeks earlier than expected. Although we planned on me staying home after the baby was born, we were also expecting those last several paychecks. You don’t expect to be put on bedrest, especially with a desk job, but it happens! – Nicole

I agree with the previous comment of bed rest. A woman may be put on bed rest by her physician, and I think that’s something that couples need to plan for. They might want to have extra savings to cover three or so months worth of their partner being off work. I was personally on bed rest for about two months due to preeclampsia. – jrgoddess

Medical bills that your insurance won’t cover because it is considered optional. Like testing for any medical issues the child might have before it’s born, Down syndrome, etc. Insurance companies vary but most won’t cover more than a few sonograms.  If it’s recommended that [you[ get more for observation of the baby [you] have to pay for additional doctors visits and tests or run the risk that your child’s health is in danger. Some doctors offices can help you out but some will not even try to fight with your insurance company.   The copay for the birth is a few thousand dollars up to possible $10,000 if you or the child have a hospital stay over a few days. – Jessica e Luna

Chiropractic adjustments to help with sciatica and pelvic alignment. Towards the end of my pregnancy I went once a week. – Awkward Alien

I got gestational diabetes and had to test my blood and also take insulin. This meant I had to buy the machine, the pins, the strips and two different types of insulin pumps. Luckily insurance covered most of it but I shudder to think of the cost of all that if I didn’t have insurance. Another small cost was paying for parking when I had my appointments at the clinic which was in the hospital. – Ameena Ola

One unexpected expense that I never knew about before I got pregnant is that your insurance usually only pays for a portion of your doctor visits and my doctor charges about $2,000 extra for the entire pregnancy which was divided into 5 payments or so. Also with my son, we chose to circumcise which is an added expense of about $250 that our insurance didn’t cover. Formula also costs an arm and a leg! – Abby Tassin

Absolutely. I had severe nausea the entire duration of my pregnancy and had to stop taking prenatal vitamins and take nausea meds daily which are expensive. I also had a difficult pregnancy and was on bed rest as of 20 [weeks]. I didn’t make enough hours to qualify for maternity leave. – Stephanie Robinson

Unexpected ER visit, new bras and underwear (wasn’t expecting to grow out of my underwear), had to get a belly band for a really bad pinched nerve in my back. Oh and flip flops but they were cheap (couldn’t fit into any shoes at the end) – Julie Jerles

The biggest unexpected expense for me was my own fault – not thoroughly understanding how much and what type of coverage we had with our health insurance. That affected us throughout the pregnancy at the regular, required, visits to the doctor’s office, as well as the actual hospital stay for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. – Karen Wang

I never realized how expensive the scans are. – shezzy d

Needing to purchase a pelvic support band, followed by weekly hot cupping and acupuncture to mange the pain of diastasis pubis which was an unexpected ailment, though not completely uncommon, I got during my second pregnancy. Also medications, teas, nausea bands etc to help with unbearable “morning” sickness. – emilynmax

I was hospitalized a lot during my pregnancy. – Tara Arnold

Any pregnancy complication where there is a need for constant blood work and monitoring. I had to deliver 9 weeks early and stay at the hospital a week later due to preeclampsia (before delivering and after delivery), and my daughter stayed in NICU for 43 days. This racks up money very quickly even with insurance still had a lot of bills to pay. There’s also prenatal vitamins and having to buy maternity clothes. – Amanda Zanella

I ended up having to buy several new pairs of shoes and socks. I had pre-eclampsia and went from a UK size 5 regular width to a size 8 wide because my feet got so swollen. After I had my son I had to buy more shoes because I returned to a size 5 but the width of my feet remained wider for the first two years. As it was snowing in the late stages of my pregnancy, buying cheap sandals wasn’t an option. I definitely didn’t expect that expense. – DemonicSmurfette

I just had a baby and all throughout my pregnancy I planned to breastfeed and after having emergency c-section and blood transfusions because I had a complicated delivery my milk never came in so we had to buy formula, and formula is not cheap. All I can say is expect the unexpected and save where [you] can. – Joann Alli

Unexpected ER visits, I ended up in the ER twice due to severe pain in my ovaries, the second time I could barely walk it hurts so bad. – Melissa_Mania_19

I had to buy wrist braces for my carpal tunnel, a pregnancy pillow for my back pain, vitamins and anti nausea wafers for my nausea, maternity clothes and then pretty much a whole new wardrobe after the baby is born. New shoes as my feet swelled so much that I couldn’t fit them in my normal work shoes. Pregnancy and the first year after pregnancy are a very expensive time! Makeup becomes the last priority and you start to realize just how much money you used to spend on it – Gandalf’s Mum

I had a friend who had an IV hooked up for most of her pregnancy due to nausea which costs a lot even with insurance. She only had one cause it freaked her out. During labor if you don’t heal correctly you may need more medical attention which may cost more money. Not to mention mental health. Postpartum depression. Seeking a professional for help will cost money. – OneBeautyAddict

I ended up having a pretty rare umbilical cord complication that required extra monitoring which ended up meaning like 20 extra doctors appointments with scans and monitoring at each of them. This really added up not only for transportation costs but in missed work and what our insurance didn’t cover. Also after two months of nursing, struggling with latch, lip and tongue ties, I decided to exclusively pump which has had its own challenges and expenses. Breastfeeding is not free. – Nicole Booz


Purchases

The prenatal vitamins, they cost a fortune, also the oils for skin on the belly to keep it from stretch marks.. new bra and underwear cause the body changes fast and you need a lot of comfort…Here in Croatia women on maternity leave or when they are keeping the pregnancy have only half of their usual incomes – Ines Marković

New bras and prenatal vitamins. I wear a 34GG now, but over the course of my pregnancy I had to buy new bras twice because my boobs just kept growing. Then after birth had to buy some nursing bras and I bought a handful of sports bras from target for comfort while I’m home on maternity leave. Also, this might seem obvious, but as someone who planned on breastfeeding full time, formula was an unexpected cost as breastfeeding hasn’t worked out as planned. – Tiffany Cromwell

My unexpected expenses – bras and underwear through pregnancy, nursing bras (saved some money when I realized Hanes makes some cheap sports bras that were easy to pull down under my boob).  An electric breast pump was something I didn’t even consider until my MIL brought it up (she is an angel and helped with the cost). And formula when we switched to that. – Dee S

I borrowed my Mom’s clothes instead of buying Maternity clothes, you do not HAVE to exclusively buy maternity wear… I would recommend maternity jeans but you can save a ton by borrowing! – Carla Turner

Maternity clothes are very expensive, especially if you’re working and need to abide by a dress code. – Ashley Chatman

I realize what great healthcare we have in the Netherlands. My assistant had to go on early leave after 16 weeks. You will get a full paycheck here and paid leave after the baby is born for around 4 months. All extra doctor costs like testing and such are paid for by your insurance. ([Except] for 1, that one is still in the testing phase). Including when you have some issues like diabetes or thyroid problems. And aftercare is also paid for. Insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands so nobody is without, if you can’t pay for it because of your situation (no job for instance) then you will get help from the government for around 80%. My healthcare insurance is each month around €120, around $150. (Your insurance for leave is paid by your work and when you don’t have a job by the government).

My biggest expenses right now [are] extra clothing and bras because they don’t fit anymore. But that was a calculated cost for us. It did surprise me how much more it costs than regular clothing. To skip some costs I’m not buying regular bras in a bigger size but breastfeeding bras so I could wear them longer. – Nikki Weijdt

Definitely bras. My boobs grew a whole size and I was busting out. Then when the baby came I needed breastfeeding bras. – marcia martinez

Like someone said, the hospital parking! Also, peeing into a cup. What?? Prenatal visits are covered by insurance, but apparently none of the work they do in the appt. Between the two, a covered visit to the doctor somehow ended up costing me $30 each time.

Also, I don’t generally eat out, so I ended up spending a lot on food, especially in the first trimester when appetite is really finicky. And my husband would eat out a lot more as well since I do most of the grocery shopping – Cambri Morris

I had such bad morning sickness that I could only eat one thing each week, and because that’s all I was eating, we had to get whatever it was no matter what, whether it was pizza every night or the same thing from a restaurant every day. – PaintThosePiggies

The cost of your cravings. I know it sounds odd but when you have a good budget it suddenly becomes really obvious that you need to put more money aside because [you’re] spending so much on cravings that you won’t share. Like my cravings currently are red grapes… Thats worked out at £10 a week, our budget for two people was £20. – Jan Spence


Other

Paying for parking! This would obviously depend on your healthcare provider and their facility, but I had to pay $5.00 for parking for every appointment. This adds up when there are so many appointments throughout pregnancy. – C Quist

My unexpected expense was TWINS. The last three months of my pregnancy I had to go to a high risk OB [doctor] every two weeks along with my regular OB. I also got huge (babies were a combined 14.3 pounds at birth) so new clothing was needed as I didn’t fit into maternity clothes anymore. I also couldn’t drive towards the end of my pregnancy because I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel so there were a few times I had to hire a car to go to [doctor] appts. We spent more on conveniences such as take out meals, grocery delivery, and housekeeping service since I was on bed rest the last 2-3 months. Then I had to have a C-section which was an added expense plus recovery time. About a year later I had to have surgery to remove the excess skin that was hanging from my abdomen as well as having my stomach muscles stitched back together because they didn’t come back on their own. It was all worth it though, I got my first born and my last born all in one shot. Lol. – Cherie P


Multiple Expenses

Prenatal vitamins, taking time off work for [doctor appointments], MATERNITY CLOTHES (not optional you will NEED them at some point), new bras(a necessity), pregnancy pillow so you can sleep (sort of), and food. A lot more food. And specific kinds of food. – Stephanie Rybarczyk

I tried to save money on the clothes by buying tunic tops a size or two up from my normal and just wearing maternity leggings from Walmart underneath. All the nursing nightgowns and bras and covers for out in public cost money. I also saved money with friends and family by sharing used maternity and nursing clothes and baby gear. Breast milk storage bags and breast pumps and parts cost money too.  I too was on bed rest, although after ten days, they decided to induce 3 weeks early because of gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes complications. I only got 9 weeks at home with my newborn daughter because I used the first ten days for bed rest. It’s criminal how short paid maternity leave is in the States. I also fixed up my daughter’s bedroom while I was pregnant, so furniture and paint and curtains had to be purchased too. – Abi Eshleman

Some things that I can think of are extra testing during pregnancy. You don’t expect to have issues during the pregnancy but for instance if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes now you have to go to a nutritionist to help with that and constantly be monitored. 

Other unexpected expenses are clothing. I had to declutter so much clothing because I knew they wouldn’t fit again. I am still slowing growing statement pieces again. Sometimes your [shoe] size changes. Gym or working out expenses can add up as well as eating. If you are breastfeeding, you have to watch what you eat which may cost more. Some may want or may need corrective surgery. Hemorrhoids may be an issue which could need medical attention or surgery. Ok let me stop there. I could go on and on! – OneBeautyAddict

Prenatal vitamins, extra ultrasounds to monitor the baby’s growth, larger clothes and shoes. Lots of things! – whatgwenloves

New clothes, new shoes and boots because my legs swelled and it was winter, a new winter coat, new underwear, new bras, more food, massages, a sleeping cushion. – Erin A

I had to leave work early too and that was a definite blow but I think even more than that were the small but numerous unexpected expenses. Severe food aversions (vomit-worthy)  or cravings requiring more shopping and not your typically budgeted items, pillows or cushions for comfort, a special wardrobe, a belly band, hormone fuelled purchases or unnecessary cute things, etc. Some of those things will be more or less important for some women and there is no way to predict it until you are in that situation and the ONLY thing you can stomach is (for example) a $14 jar of fancy green olives and you have to eat *something*. – Elise Thomsen

Maternity clothes are super expensive, I had super high blood pressure so I went up a shoe size, my dr was kinda far away so extra gas, honestly everything about being pregnant and having kids is super expensive – frankensteins_daughter

I had to buy a band to wrap around my belly after having my twins. I almost had to buy a sling because my belly was so big.  Also, our hospital stay was longer as I had a C section. I’m in Canada so that didn’t cost anything but my husband had to take more time off work. – Erin Heenan


Other Advice

After reading all this I’d say it would be nice to plan ahead by buying yourself gift cards from Target during the holidays like $300 in gift card purchases (at one time during their sales) will get you something like $50-$100 in extra gift cards as a bonus. Keep your eye out for that. You can use your gift cards towards future purchases of diapers, formula, bras and undies and/or snacks. Maybe other stores have a similar deal too. Also ask for Visa gift cards during your baby shower as an optional gift people can get you if you’re not sure what else you’ll need in the future. That way you can use it to pay for things you need to purchase online or from the pharmacy (CVS or Walgreens) if your clinic doesn’t have a pharmacy. – Zari A

I might be in the minority but I can’t think of any totally unexpected expense. We did our research on what was absolutely necessary and didn’t buy more than we needed. We also did things as frugally as possible — accepting hand me downs, shopping at second hand stores, shopping sales and deals, and receiving gifts from loved ones (even if they weren’t exactly what I had hoped for or wanted). With each additional child, we “splurged” (but still shopped around for the best price) on one or two things we thought would be helpful from our previous pregnancy/postpartum experiences. I will also say that the most expensive things we ended up trying out (a Mamaroo, a Dockatot, various baby carriers except for 1) our kids didn’t even like! 

With my last pregnancy, both baby and myself ended up staying in the hospital longer than usual, which was a huge expense but nothing we could have planned for. We just did everything we could with our budget to pay off the bills as quickly as possible. – Truly Mama

What are some unexpected expenses you experienced with pregnancy?