Many women are tied to unexpected pregnancy costs. Unfortunately, when these expenses follow them postpartum, they make this very special time more stressful than exciting. In this article we will talk about the help pregnant women in the united states and where to get it, so you can quietly enjoy this wonderful stage of your life.
Normally, having a baby brings a lot of changes. Your career, social life, and rest may have to wait while you focus on caring for your little one. While many good new experiences await you on the wonderful journey of raising a child, debt and financial stress are likely to take up some of your time. Fortunately, there are ways to find financial help.
- 1 What is the real cost of pregnancy?
- 2 What costs might you have to bear?
- 3 Help for pregnant women in the United States: Where to get it
- 4 Help pregnant women in the United States: crowdfunding
What is the real cost of pregnancy?
The costs associated with prenatal and postnatal care can be very large and varied. This makes it difficult for expectant parents to know how much to budget for maternity bills.
A 2017 report from Time highlighted the wide discrepancy in childbirth costs across the country. An uncomplicated delivery can cost anywhere from about $5,000 to more than $10,000. While cesarean deliveries from 7,000 to 14,000 dollars. These figures do not include costs prior to the child’s birth, or any expenses incurred after the birth.
Recent changes to the Affordable Care Act may also complicate maternity coverage for women. New short-term insurance plans under the current administration are not required to cover maternity care and other essential health benefits, according to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
What costs might you have to bear?
When the costs of labor and delivery are so varied, it’s no wonder that the costs of prenatal and postnatal care are too. These are the most common maternity expenses pregnant women can expect throughout their pregnancy:
- Prenatal visits for ultrasounds.
- Prenatal vitamins.
- Laboratory tests to detect infections or abnormalities at birth.
- Childbirth classes.
- Actual delivery expenses, which may or may not include expenses for epidurals and other procedures.
- The overnight hospital stay.
- Lactation consultant if breastfeeding is difficult.
In cases of complicated or high-risk pregnancies, women will need to undergo additional tests or procedures. Insurance companies may not cover these additional costs. On the other hand, complicated pregnancies can mean a longer and more expensive recovery process, even after mothers have already used up their maternity leave.
These are the most common items needed for newborns:
- Diaper carrier and baby blankets
- Baby clothes
- breast pump
- Baby bottles
- Baby formula
- Baby monitor
- Car seat, stroller and baby seat
How to handle wage loss during maternity leave
Many women are lucky enough to receive a paycheck from their employers while caring for their newborns. But some wonder how to survive unpaid maternity leave in the United States.
The law of Family Medical Leave (FMLA) requires employers to provide women with up to 12 weeks of maternity leave. But they are not required to pay their employees for time off. In fact, only 15% of US workers received paid family leave as of 2017, according to Bloomberg. Unpaid maternity leave, in addition to other health expenses, can hit families and single parents especially hard.
Costs don’t end after giving birth
Maternity expenses are only a small part of the multitude of expenses that parents may have to pay throughout the life of their child. The cost of raising a child to age 18 in 2013 was already a staggering $245,340, according to a USDA report. Food and housing are the biggest expenses, while health and education are other big blows to finances.
Childcare assistance also comes at a high price that working parents must budget for. According to Business Insider, the average cost of childcare in the United States each year is $10,000.
Help for pregnant women in the United States: Where to get it
Since pregnancy is a financial challenge, Please note that government programs may provide assistance to pregnant women in the United States. Financial aid for single parents is also available. These are the most popular programs for pregnant women who need financial help.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The WIC program is intended to help low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum and who are struggling to provide their infants or children with a nutritionally balanced diet. WIC provides supplemental nutritious foods, counseling, nutrition education, and health screenings.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The CHIP program helps families keep their children healthy, providing free or low-cost health and dental coverage to children up to age 19. This type of assistance can make all the difference for mothers who are still struggling to pay the bills for childbirth.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The TANF program is essential for low-income families as it can help them regain self-sufficiency during difficult times. One of the main focuses of the program is provide financial assistance to families so that they can care for their children in their own homes.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This government program focuses on providing low-income families and individuals with nutritious food to fight hunger. Approved families or individuals they can use their SNAP benefits to buy items like bread, poultry and meat, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. Some restaurants and stores also accept SNAP benefits.
Medicaid is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to pregnant women and postpartum care, among other medical needs. It is intended for those who have inadequate health insurance, or no insurance coverage at all. Requirements vary from state to state.
Help pregnant women in the United States: crowdfunding
Crowdfunding can be a lifesaver alternative for those who need financial help quickly and cannot afford to wait for government assistance. If you’re still wondering how to get help with your bills, online fundraising may be a good option for you.
How some pregnant women got help through crowdfunding
Thousands of pregnant women have used online fundraising to get financial help for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Here are the cases of two mothers who found relief through crowdfunding:
Danielle and her husband Trent were overjoyed when their daughter was born healthy. But all that changed five weeks later when Charlotte developed a cough that turned into a lung infection and was sent to the ICU.
Danielle, on unpaid maternity leave, spent every moment with her daughter while her husband cared for their 2-year-old son. A friend started a crowdfunding to help the family with living expenses and to offset mounting medical bills. The fundraiser raised nearly $7,000.
Olivia and her twin brother Liam were born four months prematurely and required mechanical assistance to breathe. Tragically, Liam passed away after three weeks while Olivia was fighting for her life through multiple surgeries.
Olivia is still battling a chronic illness that requires 24-hour care and extensive treatment every day. His family was faced with huge medical debt due to gaps in insurance coverage, so a friend took the initiative and launched a crowdfunding. The fundraiser raised more than $12,000 to offset costs.
Get help with maternity care costs
Whether you need to get rid of debt or just need to buy the essentials to prepare for the arrival of your little one, crowdfunding can help. You deserve to enjoy every moment of this important event, without worrying about looming medical bills or unpaid maternity leave. Create a crowdfunding fundraiser and start raising money for pregnancy expenses today.