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    Raising a child is so important that you should plan thoroughly before taking that step. You and your partner should have an open discussion about your views on having and rearing your children and your emotional, physical and financial readiness. As important, you need to educate yourself on family planning and parenting – and appreciate the significant financial commitment you will need to make.

    While the cost of having a baby, from maternity costs through the first two years, can be high, this doesn’t usually deter us from starting a family. However, knowing in advance and planning for these costs, makes the impact on your family’s finances easier to manage and, sometimes, save you money.

    Your planning process starts with knowing what you need and understanding what it costs to have a baby before the baby is born and after you bring him or her (or them) home from the hospital.

    Considerations include:

    • If you are on an employer-sponsored health plan, what maternity benefit does it provide? Do you qualify? What additional costs will you need to cover and how will you do so?
    • Does your company provide paid maternity leave – or will you need to rely solely on national Insurance payments?
    • Does the company provide paid paternity leave?
    • How will you care for the new baby, if and when you return to work?
    • Who will your doctor be? Where will you deliver your baby?
    • What about your maternity wardrobe, baby clothes and supplies and other related expenses?
    • Will you do any renovations, like add a nursery? What about the baby’s crib, car seat and so on?
    • Do you have sufficient insurance coverage for both partners, now that you are planning to have someone else to depend on you?
    in Your Child
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