7 Tips for Dealing With Financial Stress During Pregnancy - Baby Chick
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7 Tips for Dealing With Financial Stress During Pregnancy

An expert financial planner offers seven great, easy-to-follow to help you feel more in control of your finances.

Updated April 19, 2024

by Meredith Rines

Accountant and Certified Financial Planner

Pregnancy can be such a joyous time. It’s moments filled with wonder and awe as the little one inside you begins to grow. The first time you feel your baby kick is the most amazing and strange feeling. As the days pass, you begin to dream of the perfect nursery and what your days will look like. You think about how you will give your baby everything they could ever dream of. However, as your pregnancy progresses, you start worrying about the investment your new little one will cost you. It’s not long before the financial stress sets in.

You’re worried about many costs — baby gear, hospital bills, doctor appointments, daycare costs, maternity leave, new clothes, and traveling to see family. It’s no secret that financial stress can disrupt this wonderful time and even be a huge distraction to a woman’s natural pattern. When you worry about money, it affects almost every area of your life. You eat differently, your sleep is disrupted, and your attitude changes. When you’re pregnant, the financial stress seems much heavier. You worry about affording a new addition, your home, everything you have to buy, stress about your job that you will have to step away from while on maternity leave, and so on.

7 Tips to Manage Financial Stress During Pregnancy

A recent study shows that expectant mothers who worry about finances are more likely to have babies with lower birth weights.1 It’s a scary thought, and as a mother, you would do anything for your little one to thrive, even when they are still developing inside of you. One of the most important things you can do while pregnant is get a handle on all your financial stress. Here are seven great tips to help you combat the financial stress while pregnant:

1. Get Comfortable With Your Finances

Spend time creating a budget that works for your family. When you have a financial plan, a lot of stress can be lifted from your shoulders. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be complicated, either. You can simplify it by making a list of your actual income and actual expenses. These expenses should be what you must have to live — things like rent or mortgage, groceries, insurance, car payments, utilities, etc.

After you have your list of income and expenses, you want to make sure those numbers line up. The worst thing you can do is have more expenses than income. Knowing your finances is great because you can recognize any area that needs to be reduced before your baby arrives.

2. Start To Pay Down Your Debt

A big financial stressor is debt. It can be hard when your statement arrives each month, and you see the balance unchanged. Look at your debt and plan to knock out either your smaller balanced bills first or the ones with a higher interest rate. But once you have a debt plan, stick with it. Ensure your budget allows debt payoff after all your living needs are met.

3. Build Your Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is a great way to help reduce the financial stress of a new baby. It’s recommended always to have at least $1,000 in your savings account. If you feel that amount is too low, increase it. Having about $1,000 in an emergency fund will take a lot of pressure off your checking account. An emergency fund can help when an unexpected medical bill or home repair arises.

4. Save Money When You Can

There are many ways to save money on maternity clothes, baby clothes, and baby gear. One great way is to buy used from either consignment shops or online. Research any nursery items to ensure they comply with the latest safety guidelines. And check out our guide for the best budget-friendly baby items.

You can buy affordable maternity clothes from consignment stores to save money or borrow from friends who have recently had a baby. Most new maternity clothes can be quite costly, and considering pregnancy is just nine months, you may be able to find quality pieces that still look new for a fraction of the retail cost. Clothes shouldn’t lead to financial stress!

Buying secondhand also applies to baby clothes. You can look online or thrift stores for high-quality baby clothes at very reasonable prices. You can borrow from friends’ children who have outgrown a specific size range.

5. Learn About Your Insurance Benefits

If you’re unsure how much your insurance will cover or what your deductible will be, call them. Most insurance providers are happy to explain benefits over the phone or online. It’s important to know what is covered or not covered so you don’t have any surprises.

Many insurance companies have added a provision that if separate insurance providers cover both parents, the baby will automatically be added to the oldest parent’s insurance for the first 30 days. Not every insurance policy has this provision, but it’s important to find out before taking your little one to their first doctor’s appointment.

6. Plan For Your Maternity Leave

You should take some time to plan for your maternity leave. This is true whether you work away from home or are a stay-at-home working mom. Creating a plan for who will help with your workload can relieve stress and frustrations with maternity leave. Take some time to write down your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Make sure to include everything. After you have your list, ask co-workers, friends, and family members to help with specific tasks. Most employers will be very appreciative if you have a plan before your maternity leave starts.

Also, now is a great time to talk to your human resource representative to ensure you understand your maternity benefits. Do you know how much maternity leave you will be given? Can you extend it for less pay? Do you plan to take the full leave given to you? Do you want to try to work part-time after so many weeks or even try to work from home? Many employers can be flexible and willing to work with you.

7. Relax and Enjoy This Time

You can get yourself flustered when it comes to money. So take time to step away from the financial side of everything and enjoy this time. It may feel like an eternity when you’re in the middle of your pregnancy, but it’s such a short time. Make sure to enjoy every moment. Pregnancy is a beautiful moment that will pass you by too fast. Here are some great tips to make sure you are making the most of this moment:

  • Have fun creating a space for your little one to come home, too.
  • Go for walks with your partner without discussing money issues.
  • Spend time with friends. Having a close-knit group of friends you can talk to and share your fears with can help.
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Meredith Rines, MBA, CFP®
Meredith Rines Accountant and Certified Financial Planner
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Wife, Mom, MBA, Certified Financial Planner, and a budget and financial strategist helping families pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted. Meredith resides in Missouri with her… Read more

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