Get Ahead of these 5 Sneaky Birth Bills 

Many people think their insurance covers every birth related expense, but there are several hidden costs associated with childbirth that are not typically covered by most insurance. These hidden costs add up to a significant amount of money that may not be fully reimbursed. So, make sure you have cash on hand so that these 5 sneaky bills don’t blow up your birth budget.

Doula

  • Doula Services

A doula is a person (almost always a woman) who is paid to assist a pregnant woman through labor. They can be patient advocates when parents want a certain type of care or treatment, and they can comfort a laboring mom at home so she can delay going to the hospital until it is absolutely necessary. Because doulas do not have professional training in obstetrics, they are not typically covered by most health insurance companies. This means that families who want to use a doula will need to pay for one out of pocket. Thes costs typically range between $500 – $3000 depending on the level of care and length of time the doula assists the expecting family.

  • Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

If you’ve never heard of the pelvic floor, get ready to get real acquainted. The pelvic region extends from the belly button to the thighs. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), around 24% of women in the U.S. develop pelvic floor disorder, which is a weakening of the pelvic muscles. Childbirth is one of its primary causes. After birth moms can do pelvic floor physiotherapy to try to regain strength in those nether regions, but not all insurance companies cover preventative pelvic floor treatments or physiotherapies. The reality is that it is well worth the money to make sure that incontinence and other core issues don’t worsen later in life, but you’ll need to check with your health insurance to verify if these actually costs will be covered. 

 

Massage Therapy

 

  • Massage Therapy

Regardless of how a woman gives birth, she’s going to feel pain. If not during birth, then certainly before and after, moms commonly complain of back, stomach, and shoulder pain. While physiotherapy and chiropractic appointments might be covered by health insurance, masse therapy usually is not. However, massage therapy is not only vital to heal mama’s mental health, but also to relieve stress. If you’re experiencing severe pain, your OB/GYN may be able to prescribe massage therapy, acupuncture, and other non-medicinal treatments that your insurance may consider covering. But, for many moms, getting massages may be a regular out of pocket expense. In these cases, moms can save a lot by trying to work with students at massage therapy schools or using a subscription plan to a spa that offers discounts for pre-paying for multiple sessions at once.

  • Therapy 

Pregnancy changes you–physically and mentally there are so many changes. Between hormones and life changes, many expecting moms and dads realize they need mental health support. Moms with a history of sexual or physical abuse may particularly struggle with the bodily feelings of pregnancy. And many parents experience anxiety and overwhelm with the amount of responsibility they’re facing. While many insurance companies cover general mental health support, it’s important to learn more about how to access them. Some require you to get a referral, others only allow you to use in-network providers, and others still need a diagnosis of a behavioral or mental condition (including postpartum depression) to reimburse for treatment sessions. And many holistic therapies, like hypnotherapy or neuro-linguistic programming, may not be covered–so those would be off the table. If you’re a student or have a W2 job, you may be able to supplement your mental health support by using campus or employee benefits that don’t require you to tap into your savings to cover sessions. 

  • Circumcision 

You might think this would be looped into all the other hospitalization costs, but not always. In over 15 states, Medicaid does not cover circumcision for infants. Check your State Medicaid office to see if your state does: https://medicaiddirectors.org/who-we-are/medicaid-directors/.

While most private health insurance plans do cover it, but this one can be tricky to navigate if you’re planning a birth in a birthing center or at home. Since surgeons aren’t just hanging around those places, parents would have to book a separate pediatric surgeon or doctor’s appointment after the baby is born. This could mean waiting months after birth to get this taken care of, and that could count against your deductible since it’s not a birth expense.

If this sneaky expense creeps up on you, expect a bill around $500.