The True Cost of Pregnancy

We’ve all read the research suggesting that it now costs upwards of $1 million dollars to raise a child to the age of 18* in Australia.  We get it – having children is expensive and it’s not getting any cheaper.  But what about before they even arrive?

I am currently 30-weeks pregnant with my first child (a boy!) and, despite being a financial savvy person (read: scrooge), I’ve been blown away by the amount
I’ve spent in the last 7 months preparing for my little fellow’s arrival.

It is difficult to put a dollar figure on preparing for a baby.  The baby industry is a multi-billion dollar juggernaut, and expectant women are bombarded with thousands of item
s that advertising tells them are vital.  Therefore, what some mums may class as a necessary purchase may be something that many others have decided to do without.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun challenge to keep track of everything I’ve spent during my pregnancy, categorising things as either required or optional spending. The required spends are things that I’ve been told by professionals that I must do – things like doctors appointments and vitamin supplements.  I’ve also included things like maternity clothing – because as any pregnant lady knows, if you don’t invest in at least one or two pieces, you won’t be leaving the house much in that third trimester!  Again, some of my required category may be optional to other mums-to-be, but you get the idea.


Emma’s pregnancy spend

Vital stats:

  • 30 weeks pregnant (due July 2016)
  • First baby (no hand-me-downs available)
  • Prenatal care & birth plan: public system

Yikes! That is a required spend of over $4,000; plus an extra $2,000 for the optional purchases.

Where you have your baby also has a huge impact on costs.  I am planning to give birth in a public hospital, and have thus far been cared for by midwives only.  For comparison, our Director Chris’s wife Alisha is also currently pregnant, but planning to give birth privately under the care of a private obstetrician.  Chris estimates that they have spent an additional $5,000 on top of my spending’s, bringing their total to nearly $11,000!  And all this before the baby even arrives.

Having a baby is a huge financial decision that should be planned and saved for.  But, as they keep on telling me, it is all worth it in the end.


If you are planning a family and would like some budgeting advice, please call our office on 07 4646 4970 or contact us on

Written by Emma Linton Doig, Practice Officer at Fortress Financial Solutions

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.

Information on this site may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.

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