4 Most Common Pregnancy Expenses

4 Most Common Pregnancy Expenses
4 Most Common Pregnancy Expenses

Bringing another life into this world is an always joyful, sometimes complicated, and often expensive event. If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, it’s best to prepare your body and your mind with the best information possible beforehand, so you can make informed decisions that benefit both you and your baby when the time comes.

When it comes to pregnancy, what are the main medical expenses you’ll need to plan for? We asked Catherine Gay, clinical risk specialist for Fedhealth Medical Scheme, for some of the most common expenses that pregnant women should consider. Here are four of them:


-Pre-natal vitamins (including folic acid)

Before you even fall pregnant, there’s some preparation you need to do to ensure your body is in the best condition possible, and that pregnancy doesn’t strain it more than it should. Enter pre-natal vitamins, which contain all the recommended doses of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and nutrients that pregnant moms and their foetuses need during the nine months they are growing together.

One of the most important of these is folic acid, as it helps prevent certain serious birth defects such as neural tube defects, which can happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Because it’s best to take these regularly over the entire term of your pregnancy, this expense can add up over time, so be sure to include this in your pre-pregnancy budget.

-Gynaecology and obstetrician consultations

While it differs per person, for uncomplicated pregnancies, most women have their first major scan with the gynaecologist (gynae) at 12 weeks, with some opting for blood tests or earlier scans at 7 or 8 weeks to confirm the pregnancy. After that, most women will visit the gynae for pre-natal check-ups every four weeks up until 28 weeks, with more frequent visits after that until the baby is born.

At these appointments, the doctor will take your blood pressure, check your urine, and do ultrasounds, to monitor that both you and your baby are healthy. Here are some tips on making the most out of these appointments:

  • Check any designated service provider (DSP) rules if you don’t want any surprise co-payment costs (e.g. that your gynae is included on any specialist network, or that you’re using a hospital on the prescribed network)
  • Arrive early, as you’ll usually need time to provide urine samples for any checks needed.
  • If you’re able to, take your partner along with you to enjoy the special time and share the journey.

-Ultrasounds & blood work

As mentioned above, your gynae will perform ultrasound scans during your consultations, which use sound waves to build a picture of your baby in your womb. They use these to check the heartbeat and assess the size and position of the foetus, but this costs extra – on top of paying for the consultation. Similarly, your doctor will typically run blood tests and you’ll need to pay the laboratory for processing your bloodwork over and above your normal consultation fee. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are on the correct medical aid option so you can accommodate these pregnancy related costs.


-Any specialised medication

Some women will need to take specific medication when they fall pregnant (if they’re prone to blood clotting for example), which is another expense you’d need to cover yourself or claim from your medical aid. You may also need to change any existing chronic medication you’re taking for conditions such as diabetes to one more suitable for pregnancy. Your doctor would assess this on a case-by-case basis and would be the one to advise on this.

As you can see, being pregnant and preparing for childbirth carry a lot of expenses, so it’s important to get on a medical aid before you’re even thinking of starting a family. This is because most medical aids have a 12-month waiting period before they’ll cover pregnancy related expenses, so if you join only after you‘ve fallen pregnant, then you won’t be covered.

“Many of the expenses seem manageable on their own, but added up they can result in a significant cost. Luckily, most medical aids will cover a large portion of expenses like these if you are on the right option, including ante-natal classes” comments Catherine. She adds that Fedhealth offers a 30-day upgrade benefit for life-changing events – which pregnancy and childbirth certainly is –  “so you always know that you have the best cover for your growing family”.

Having the right medical cover in place before you’re pregnant will ensure that most of these costs are covered, so that you can focus on enjoying your pregnancy and awaiting the much-anticipated arrival of your baby bundle.