As wedding bells fade away, you will not be able to avoid having conversations on having your first child. Although you will want to enjoy the first few years of being newlyweds, that does not mean that you can’t start planning for one! Many would wait until they are mentally ready but even so, are you financially prepared to have a baby? From pregnancy, delivery, food, clothing, education and healthcare – having a child will cost you a lot more than providing love and care.
It is time to get down to the numbers. Here are the important expenses you and your spouse should consider and start saving prior to having a baby.
During the stage of prenatal, pregnant mothers are required to go for compulsory monthly check-ups. However, towards the last trimester, it will be as frequent as weekly check-ups. This varies with the condition of both mother and baby. Check-ups at a private hospital cost averagely RM 200 per visit.
On top of that, supplements such as folic acid, fish oil and more are encouraged to be taken during pregnancy in insuring a healthy baby. The cost of these supplements can range from RM 50 to RM 200 every month.
Conversely, if you don’t mind the long queues, you can opt for government clinics at your district known as “Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak (KKIA)” for free pregnancy checks and supplements. Here is a link to the location of KKIA available in KL & Putrajaya while this link is for KKIA in Selangor. You can read more on the procedure and documents required for first-time registration here.
The cost of ward and delivery in Malaysia has increased drastically over the years. If you are planning to delivery your baby at a private hospital, a natural delivery can cost at least RM 4,000 while Caesarean delivery can cost RM 7,000 and above.
On the other hand, a natural delivery in the government hospital will only cost you between RM 60 to RM 600 while Caesarean delivery will cost you between RM 100 to RM 2,000. You will definitely save much more if you choose to deliver at a government hospital, but of course this offsets with the comfort and personal attention you will enjoy in a private hospital.
The estimated costs above is only based on an assumption for normal birth. For additional treatments such as epidural, assisted delivery (vacuum or forceps), birth induction (Pitocin) or NICU for newborn baby, you will then incur additional charges.
The confinement period is very crucial for mothers after their delivery to recuperate their health. It is important that mothers consume food that provide the right nutrients for post-partum healing. Malaysians commonly hire a confinement lady to their home who is experienced in taking care of both mother and baby. Their charges can cost averagely RM 4,500 and above.
Alternatively, confinement centres have gain popularity over the years offering similar services as a confinement lady, except on a larger scale. Mothers and babies are given a cozy room for them to stay like their own home. Confinement centres generally cost lower than a personal confinement lady, ranging from RM 3,000 to RM 3,500.
However, if your mother or mother-in-law can replace the confinement lady, you will then be able to save that money.
As your newborn baby will have to go for regular check-ups and compulsory vaccination in the first year, you also have a choice to go to a private or government clinic. Be prepared to spend about RM 1,000 to RM 2,000 on full vaccination at a private clinic/hospital. Don’t forget that our little one is very prone to fall ill and every visit to the doctor will cost you averagely RM 70 and above.
Alternatively, consultation and vaccination is free of charge in government clinic at your district known as “Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak (KKIA)” or Klinik Kesihatan. Here is the link to the locations of KKIA available in KL & Putrajaya while this link is for KKIA in Selangor. As for the directory for Klinik Kesihatan, click here.
Today, most parents are both working as it is tough to sustain the family financially with only one source of income. However, when both parents are working, you will need to prepare a fixed monthly expenses for a babysitter or baby centre. Similarly, having your child taken care among other children in a baby centre will generally cost lower ranging from RM 800 to RM 1000. On the other hand, babysitters averagely charges RM 1200 and above.
However, some parents can scrap this cost off if their parents are able to look after their child for them.
Some parents would opt to get a domestic maid to take care of the child, house chores and meals. It will definitely ease a lot of workload for them but hiring one is not cheap at all. Although a maid is paid only around RM 1,200 a month, you will be required to pay an upfront fees of more than RM 12,000 to maid agencies. A solution to that would be to hire a maid directly from this online portal which is a government’s initiative.
It is typical for parents to provide only the best for their little bundle of joy but good quality always comes with a price. An alternative would be to buy second-hand or get free from your friends or relatives. However, for some parents who are particular with hygiene and would rather buy everything brand new, you can consider getting them online. You will be surprised with the deals some of the online sites offer for a very good quality product. Some of the sites you can consider are Lazada, 11thstreet, Taobao, Shopee, and Buy2Taobao.
You can opt to buy milk formula, solid food, puree and diapers from smaller grocery stores or online sites as mentioned above for much cheaper price. Many people are not aware that you can totally find these items online! As for clothes and toys, it would be advisable to buy 2nd hand online through site like Mudah.my or Carousell. Another alternative is to rent toys from Rent A Toys.
If possible, save that money by getting used clothes and toys from your friends and relatives. It is not worth spending on clothes as babies grow up too fast.
It is also important to include medical insurance for your newborn in your budget planning. As babies are prone to sickness, a hospitalization for a slight fever can cost you a good few thousands. A decent medical card will only cost you a minimum RM 700/yr. If you have the budget, it’ll be wise to invest more in a better medical card.
The normal medical card in Malaysia does not extend the coverage to pregnancy-related hospitalization. Hence, you can also consider getting a maternity insurance to create a safety net for the mother’s pregnancy in case of complication during delivery.
As FINPosts members have done an extensive research, we conclude that Prudential currently offers one of the best comprehensive coverage for expecting mothers and babies. A few recommended riders would be the Infant Care Plus and PRUmy Child. As for a decent and affordable medical card with unlimited lifetime limit, you can opt for Great Eastern’s GMX Xtra & Extender and Allianz’s Medisafe Infinite Xtra.