Couples spend bundle to speed process of having a baby
Many couples in their 20s and 30s who want to have a baby are spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on fertility-inducing products and services designed to speed the process, according to a survey that offers greater insight into the financial and emotional costs associated with getting pregnant.
Pregnancy and parenting website BabyCenter.com's annual cost of child-rearing report for the first time asked about costs associated with conception as well as giving birth, subjects not often included in parenting surveys.
Of the 1,289 women surveyed online (moms or pregnant with a first child), findings show:
• Almost half spent money on products or services to encourage pregnancy, from ovulation kits and fertility tests to vitamin supplements and in vitro fertilization. The average cost was $465.
• 54 percent said it took less than six months to conceive; 16 percent say it took more than a year.
• 27 percent said they received financial help from their parents or in-laws during the pregnancy or baby's first year; 10 percent lived with parents to save money to start a family.
“Today young couples are really deciding how many do we want and what's the right moment to have a child,” said Linda Murray, editor of the San Francisco-based website. “Once that moment hits, and they're really trying, people want to be successful as soon as possible. We've been noticing more and more that people are actively trying to conceive and do whatever they can to hasten that process.”
The combination of women delaying a first child and technologies that help assist pregnancy are making women a bit more anxious, suggested Shari Brasner, an obstetrician-gynecologist in New York City. She said she's sensed a “certain paranoia” surrounding pregnancy.
“Everybody they know has a story about trouble getting pregnant or getting pregnant and having a miscarriage,” she said.
Susan Dewald, 33, a mother of three in Sheridan, Wyo., understands that thinking.
“When you decide to have kids, you want to get it done because it's a process that takes nine months,” she said. “When you do start having kids at 25 or 30, and you look ahead to when they're college-age, and you're looking at 50 or 60, you say, ‘I want it to happen now.' ”
Dewald said it took took 2½ years to get pregnant with her 4-year-old daughter, Delinda, so she tried ovulation kits and hormone therapy as well as consulting an IVF specialist but didn't do the procedure. She got pregnant but had a miscarriage. Six months later, she was pregnant with now-4-month-old fraternal twins Douglas and Delaney. She estimates that she spent $2,000 to $3,000 in pregnancy efforts.
Laura Jones, 29, a hotel guest services manager in Valrico, Fla., is pregnant with a son — the couple's first — due in December. She and her husband, Kevin Jones, 35, have been married for three years.
“Originally, we had planned to start sooner, but we wanted to make sure we were settled down first,” Jones said. “The economy was still in the tanker, so we decided to wait a couple of years because we wanted to buy a house first.”
Just 8 percent of those surveyed said they did nothing different to save money since getting pregnant or having a baby. But Laura Jones said they've started trimming expenses.
“We're cutting back to save money and get our mindset ready,” she said.
Stay-at-home mother Danielle Evans, 33, of Howell, N.J., has two daughters, ages 2½ and 5 months.
“We've never paid a baby sitter,” Evans said. “My mom will baby-sit. But we don't really spend money on going out ourselves. We did on our wedding anniversary two years ago. That was the last time we went away for a weekend together.”
Even though parents say they cut back on expenses, they are starting to feel like maybe they're spending too much on the kids.
In this year's survey, 66 percent said that — a 22 percent increase over last year.
The survey asked about costs associated with the birth of a child, and found:
• The average cost for the birth of their child (before insurance) was $7,805; 40 percent say they spent $10,000 or more and 17 percent say they spent $5,000-$9,999. A quarter didn't know how much they spent.
• Out-of-pocket costs for the birth averaged $897.
The website's survey was conducted about the same time the federal government estimated that parents of a baby born in 2012 will spend $217,000 to $500,000 to raise a child to age 18 — not including college.
Annual costs for child-rearing, including housing, health care and child care, are estimated to be almost $13,000.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Officials say too many in the 18-64 age range skip flu vaccination
- March around the world seek to put focus on climate change
- Backers seek expansion of Till civil rights death law
- 121 tourists stranded on schooner near Statue of Liberty
- Pentagon program seeks to retain U.S. technological edge against foreign rivals
- Ticks reduce moose population in northern states
- Red tide threatens Florida economy
- FBI, federal marshals join manhunt for survivalist accused of ambushing troopers
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots
- License plate scanner networks gotcha