People always talk about the glow you get when you’re pregnant, and the excitement of shopping for baby clothes, the crib and all the cute little details of the nursery. And while the journey through pregnancy and into motherhood is a great one, it also comes with a certain amount of challenges. Becoming a mother is a whole different level of commitment, both physical and mental demands. Sure, there are books about nursing and what to expect when your baby comes, but what about from the get go?

I’m Pregnant! What should I do now? 

You’re looking at the stick you’ve peed on and your heart erupts in a way you’ve never felt before. Congratulations, you’re going to be a mama!

Once your pregnancy has been confirmed it is important to prioritise and determine what course of action will be best for you throughout your pregnancy. First, start by researching doctors and hospitals in order to determine which medical professional is best for you. Midwives, nurse practitioners and obstetricians are among the popular options to choose from – and even these options can be split into even further divisions, such as natural or modern medicine.

Natural medicine will focus more on using natural remedies to combat various pregnancy issues, such as constipation and morning sickness. If you go for the option of modern medicine, there will be a stronger reliance on over the counter or prescription medication for any ailments you may have for the duration of your pregnancy. Once you have decided which option suits you best, you can choose a doctor or specialist in that area that understands well how you intend to handle your pregnancy.

Costs To Expect When You Are Pregnant

Depending on the type of specialist, ten antenatal consultations (tests, checkups and screenings) can cost anywhere from approximately $400 at a public hospital to almost $150 per session at a private hospital – excluding roughly $180 ultrasound fees. While many women believe that private hospitals will give them better care and service, it is perfectly possible to have a positive experience at a public institution once you have picked the right hospital and doctor for you. Options for midwives are often limited, as many hospitals do not use them; however, organizations like Mother and Child or other pre- and post-natal care facilities can connect you to a midwife for a fee. Whether private or public, CPF subsidizes some of the costs of the screenings and tests needed at your checkups. Some of the antenatal expenses, up to around $450, can be claimed from Medisave.

While the doctor can provide you with information that may settle any concerns you have, it is important to keep yourself knowledgeable of the risks and expectations at each stage. If you are aware of what changes should be occurring in your body and to your baby, you are more likely to notice if something is wrong and needs to be addressed by your doctor. It is also good to keep yourself updated on the various vitamins and supplements that can aid as you go along your pregnancy journey.

Shopping During Pregnancy

Now, the more exciting stuff – shopping! We know you might go overboard buying the cute little clothes, but buying infant clothes in a variety of sizes is suggested, as babies grow very quickly in the first few months. Clothes can be purchased in person or online at sites like Babylicious or iBabyFashion for $5 and above.

Diapers in a variety of sizes can also be bought beforehand, though some babies are allergic to certain fibres or materials in their sensitive areas so it may not be wise to over-purchase on these. Baby bottles, toys, accessories and various other items should be purchased before the baby has arrived – this removes some of the inevitable stress that will follow the birth.

Giving Birth

Most women prefer to be delivered by the doctor that was responsible for their prenatal care, as there is usually a familiarity and comfort that a new doctor may not be able to bring. The amount of money spent will depend on what type of practitioner you have chosen and whether they operate privately or publicly; private institutions will cost more than public, generally.

Depending on the type of room chosen and your location, a delivery room can cost between $2000 to $3000 for a normal delivery with the use of an epidural. A delivery room for a caesarean section is upwards of $3000; the price hike is as a result of the increased monitoring and equipment needed before and after a C-section.

If you are doing a natural water birth or home delivery, costs may drop for delivery as the services of the midwife, doctor or nurse practitioner and the rental of equipment will be the only real expenses. However, labor and delivery often do not go as expected. Due to this, it is important to create a plan with your specialist that can be executed if there is an emergency during the delivery; determine a hospital and doctor that you would like to take over the process if you need urgent medical attention.

Having a baby is a wonderful experience. While it can be a stressful journey, remember to relax and enjoy your experience. Good luck!

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).