Ultrasound baby photos

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People always talk about how having children can be expensive. But the costs can add up even before your baby arrives. Enjoy a frugal pregnancy with these prep tips from Nuthatch Naturals to get a hold of your finances before your child is born.

Go Low-Cost for Good Health

Safe physical activity is a building block for a healthy pregnancy and birth, but it doesn’t have to cost money. Walking is one of the simplest ways to stay active and promote positive outcomes for birth.

Other exercises may also help encourage labor to begin and are simple to do at home. Walking, lunges and stretches can all help prepare your body for labor.

Pregnancy prep on a budget can also include drinking more water, eating more whole foods (versus eating out), and resisting the temptation of junk food.

Buy Frugally, If At All

Pregnancy costs add up quickly whether you’re buying newborn gear or maternity clothes. Making frugal choices while shopping helps you save on some items so you can splurge on important purchases.

Buying consignment or thrift maternity clothes that you’ll only wear for a few months saves money on your wardrobe. The savings can go toward a brand-new car seat for your baby, which is far safer than buying a secondhand one, according to Verywell Family.

However, that doesn’t mean you must buy the most expensive model. All car seats in the U.S. have to meet the same federal safety standards. Thus, the “best” seat fits your child and is easy enough to use correctly.

Prep for New Baby Financials

New parents have multiple financial puzzle pieces to put together, but budgeting now can save you later. Take a closer look at your finances before your baby arrives and outline a family budget.

Then, decide where to divert money. Setting up a savings plan for your child now gives the funds more time to grow before they reach adulthood. Trimming your household expenses ensures you have cash for emergencies now and in the future.

Seek Out Freebies

Though having kids can become expensive, there are some financial perks to pregnancy and having a newborn. For example, many brands offer moms-to-be all manner of freebies, including samples of diapers and wipes.

What to Expect lists pregnancy (and new mom) specials from retailers, many of which are welcome kits for your baby registry. Sending your pregnancy or birth announcement to big companies could earn you some coupons or free goodies.

Another great way to get good-quality freebies is by asking friends and family for hand-me-downs. Many baby items can be safely reused, especially clothing, and could save you hundreds if not more.

Finally, check out your local (or online) stores’ rewards programs; earning points, cashback, or rewards could get you free diapers, wipes, and other baby supplies.

Pack a Smart Hospital Bag

Plenty of soon-to-be parents have a wish list of items they want but probably don’t need. Paring down your hospital bag packing list is a smart way to start your labor off right while saving money.

Pack comfortable clothes, personal care products, and snacks for a manageable and frugal hospital bag. For the ultimate comfort (and setting the right vibe for your delivery), consider a labor and delivery gown. A comfy gown that’s practical and functional is a worthwhile investment to make your hospital birth more you.

Read the Insurance Fine Print

No matter what type of delivery you’re planning—homebirth, at a center, in a hospital, or with a midwife—insurance will factor in. Unfortunately, in the United States, childbirth can be expensive, even with insurance.

To prepare for your little one’s arrival, choose your care provider carefully. Per PBS, the average after-insurance cost of childbirth is around $3,000. Ask your insurer about your payment portion, check your deductible amounts, and start saving to pay anything your healthcare plan doesn’t cover.

Welcoming a new baby can be stressful, but making budget-conscious decisions during pregnancy can alleviate many worries. Building up a nest egg also offers peace of mind once your little one arrives, so you can enjoy them even more.

This post by Colleen Stewart of Playdate Fitness in Orlando, Florida.