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The Economy is Effecting Baby Makin’ Plans Pt2.

If you haven’t voted in the poll to the right please do. I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks of this dilemma. I came across this story, in the New York Times and quite frankly was disgusted. Times are tough… Yea, but this is a little disturbing. I think it would be scary going on maternity leave and worried about having a job to come back to… Especially now. But can you imagine not even being able to go on maternity leave, or even worse… Losing your job before then, and not being able to have your company pay for your labor and delivery bills. Yikes!

Could you ever imagine getting this desperate?:

Starla D. Darling, 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Cesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.

I looked at some comments on a Blogher post about this article and found this one to be so heart wrenching:

I am 35 weeks pregnant (and diabetic) and will be losing my job in a couple of weeks, when I finish training my replacement. I work for a very small company who can get around FMLA laws (though I’m not sure about the Civil Rights Commission ones) and so they’ve just replaced me. When I took the job, I could only find part-time work, so we’ve relied on my husband’s insurance, which is pretty terrible and will most likely end shortly after the baby is born.
I’m young, only 25, but this is the most terrifying thing I’ve had to go through. Where are we supposed to go for help? What happens if insurance decides not to cover anything? What happens if the baby gets sick? This economy has completely changed my view on life and the dynamics of my marriage … and there’s nothing we can do about it but hold on by the skin of our teeth and hope for something better soon.

Do you think about these things? My company seems to be doing pretty well right now, we’ve been told layoffs are not in sight but who knows right?

I know money shouldn’t matter when it comes to having a child but how about insurance? I have friends who worry about their husbands (the sole income in the house) losing their jobs which in turn usually means losing their insurance. I’d be lying if I said I’m completely ok to have a child with things being the way they are in the economy.

What if our renter decides she doesn’t want to rent out house anymore? What if I lose my job? I know you can’t live your life in fear but in times like these it’s not fear it’s being cautious… It’s being SMART. I know “if we’re doing what’s right we’ll be blessed… yada yada,” and I hate to be so cynical but the truth is: Bad things happen to good people. That’s just reality.

Experts are actually saying that they predict less women will get pregnant while the economy is tanking. While it may make sense intuitively, it’s slightly depressing. Less cute babies in the world means less happiness!

Am I alone or are there other women out there who worry about these same things? What do you do to keep going and not worry? And for all of the women out there who voted “it’s not effecting my plans at all,” why not? Do you feel like your/your husband’s job is secure? I’d love to know what you’re doing to work through this.


Kind of reminds me of women having babies in the wilderness while living on raw meat and no homes. That would be Sariah and daughter in laws 🙂

Mommy Bee says:

I appreciate the cost side of it…I am blessed to 1–have super good insurance (via hubby’s job) and 2–have super good job security (he’s a public school teacher–they get good benefits and people may stop buying things but nobody is closing the schools!).
Back when he was still in school though we didn’t have insurance, and it was a little scarier. Maternity care can be very expensive–it’s a little ridiculous how expensive it is actually. I think that may be one reason some women are turning to out-of-hospital births–because if you are paying out-of-pocket, they are much MUCH cheaper. I wanted a homebirth anyway, and discovered that for what we’d pay in premiums to have my midwife covered, we could pay cash to the midwife TWICE. So we stayed off insurance and hedged our bets…then I miscarried…there was no bill from the midwife, but there was a of big one from the ER. We ended up being able to get me covered on medicaid for it, for which I am very grateful, but if we’d had to pay it it would have been really hard.
While I think that the cost of actually having a baby (ie, clothes, equipment, etc) can stay quite low, I definitely appreciate that the medical side of it can be a financial burden.

Most of the civilized world has mandatory maternity leave (usually paid, and usually at LEAST 6 weeks, extending to as much as a year). The USA is sadly backwards in this regard–which is sad because they pride themselves on being so forward-thinking and it’s just not true. 🙁
It makes me almost cry to think of women inducing labor (or scheduling c/sections) early so that they can get the $$ covered before they lose their insurance. That’s detrimental to the baby’s health, and often to the mother’s as well. It’s a sad, sad commentary on our country.

You know, people having babies actually BOOSTS the economy (because more babies = stuff people have to buy, and also more future workers and buyers)…one would think that someone up there would get smart about that and increase support for people who want to have kids!!

haha, Cory says the Lord gave us a brain for a reason…to use it! If a doctor tells you not to have kids right away, or to wait a year and you don’t then that’s stupid…if we don’t feel that we are ready to have kids then that’s our own decision. I for sure think I am getting better at the whole kid thing way soon after marriage, which I am grateful for, I want to spend time with Cory, alone, for a while!!! Missssssss you Jenn.

Mommy Bee says:

Oh, I didn’t answer your last question–we’re not waiting because we don’t have financial concerns (hubby’s job is secure) and also we feel like this is the right time…we’ve felt ready for a while. 🙂

Jenna says:

Well, my husband works for the most volatile financial company in the world right now, Citigroup. So yeah, I worry about this stuff all the time.

It certainly makes me think twice about getting pregnant any time soon. What if my husband gets laid off and we can’t pay for prenatal care, delivery, and (don’t forget) all the doctors appointments in the first year? What about diapers? Food (breastfeeding doesn’t always work out)?

Yes, it is scary. But, I don’t want to live my life fearing the follies of man. If we feel inspired to add to our family, rain or shine, we’re going to do it. Now, I am not saying everyone should go popping out babies because I do believe parents should be able to provide for their children. But (and I’ve said this before), the LORD KNOWS BEST. He sees the big picture, we don’t.

Nickell says:

The economy isn’t affecting our decision at all. We feel that if it is the right time it will happen. We’ve had a lot of miracles that have helped us believe that if we are doing what we are supposed to then we will be ok. Things have been tight but even with my husband not having a job since August, which means no insurance, we have survived very well!!

Ok, here we go, here’s what I think.

It’s against the law to do what some of these women are experiencing. They should either go even more public with their stories, or sue.

That being said… I know a lot of women end up quitting after maternity leave because they decide they want to be stay-at-home-moms. Still, employers should not go off of that.

So, the solution… I don’t know

I don’t think there’s something to be said for being wise, waiting, and then having enough $ (and a nest egg) so that when baby comes it’s not a fiasco. I cannot imagine getting pregnant now, and having to deal with all of the employment/insurance stuff. It’s scary!

Anonymous says:

The economy started going down hill mid-year last year. Anyone who decided to have a baby at that time have no rights to complain. Making a decision to have a baby should’ve required careful and proactive planning. Although the loss of a job might have been less apparent last year, money should’ve been saved up a long time before conception. Relying on insurance is a mistake. What about people who have kids with health problems? They have financial burdens regardless of the economy.

Alicia says:

I’m one of those people you talked about in a previous post who had a “surprise” pregnancy. Yes, I’m pregnant and really my husband could lose his job any given day. I do have insurance (that we pay for ourselves because he is self-employed) and it sucks. I just went into a dr. appointment today and the billing lady informed me (not my insurance!) that my maternity deductible went from $5000 to $6500! An extra $1500 is a huge thing in times like these! So yes, it is all very crazy and I wonder how we will pay for everything, but I know it will all work out. All I have is hope. I just hope our savings aren’t completely wiped out from all this. I am grateful for that cap at $6500 though- if something horrible happened and baby was in the NICU or I was hospitalized for awhile, it is comforting I won’t be paying 10’s of thousands of dollars. Insurance plans and the price of having a baby is ridiculous. I can’t complain about the end product though!

Heidi says:

The economy is influencing our decision. We believe in the whole bit about having faith and the Lord knowing best – but I don’t think that is the end of the conversation. We are feeling less ready to begin a family because of the economic situation. It doesn’t mean that we won’t, but I believe that it is a totally relevant and practical conversation. I also feel that if it was a year ago, we wouldn’t spend as much time talking about it as we do know. While it is impacting our readiness to make a decision, it may not, ultimately, affect our decision to start a family.

My insurance is the same as Alicia — a $6500 deductible. Crappy. But AFLAC offers a great maternity plan — you just sign up for their supplemental insurance, pay a reasonable amount every month and then they pay you a few thousand dollars when you deliver.

Rixa says:

We’re fortunate to be very financially stable, and the prospect of my husband losing his job is very very low (he’s a university tenure-track professor). We also have no debt since we own our house and our car, so that really cuts down on our expenses. I really feel for people who are facing such tough choices right now. I’m married to a Canadian and he is always frustrated at 1) the high cost of health care in the States and 2) the fact that 1/3 of the people here can’t afford health insurance so one big (or even relatively small) medical incident can ruin them financially.

On top of that, our country is extremely restrictive with women’s health care choices, to the point of outlawing midwives–sometimes just for home births, sometimes also for freestanding birth centers–in many states. In addition, hospital-based midwives are often pushed out of business or kept from being able to get hospital privileges if they start being too competitive (ie, taking too many patients away from OBs). This conflicts with the evidence that midwifery based care, whether in hospital or at home, leads to great outcomes at a lower cost.

When I was doing my PhD coursework, I did some research into the average cost of birth in my state. For an umcomplicated, unmedicated hospital vaginal birth, it was about $7-8,000 in my state. At the local university hospital, a vaginal birth on average cost between $9,000-$11,000, while a cesarean delivery ran between $16,000 and $18,000. These prices do not include any baby care/problems such as NICU stays (which are more common with cesareans). Compare that to the average cost of a birth center birth (including all prenatal and postpartum and baby care through 6 weeks after the birth) at around $4,000 and for a home birth midwife, between $2-4,000. The prices for the hospital births were as of 2003, so they’ve likely gone up.

Angela says:

Well I’m passed that stage but I can understand what all of you are saying. With all of the layoffs and threats of more layoffs in the future I don’t think I would bring a baby into the world. Provided that I were young I would wait it out a year. How could you enjoy a new birth if you are worrying about how to pay that humongous bill.

Sarah says:

We aren’t planning on having a baby anytime soon but if we were going to have a baby or we had an “oops” baby my husband job is very very stable. The only way he would get laid off is if he did something really really stupid and he’s not going to. He’s in the military so his chances of getting laid off are nil and our insurance is completely paid for by the government (aka taxpayers), no copays no nothing.

Nichole says:

My hub got laid off in December. We haven’t seen a dime of unemployment payments yet, and he’s had no luck finding work. This hasn’t stopped us from trying for #1. I’m very grateful for my job, which pays our bills (not gas/food) and has low probability of layoffs.

After an unplanned/ectopic pregnancy two years ago, I got short-term disability coverage at work so that when I did decide to get pregnant again, I’d have sickness/delivery coverage. They pay 6 weeks for regular deliver, 8 weeks for c-section. That and my accrued leave, and I’ll still be able to take a full mat leave, even with him not working.

I’ve never thought about losing health insurance, but am definitely thinking about how to pay for dependent coverage, not to mention all the new baby gear. . .

My husband is in school full time and his hours at work fluctuate week to week. My job is at a call center so the turnover rate there is pretty high. And I’m not going to lie, my daughter is on chip now, and i was on medicaid when i had her and she was on medicaid till recently.

She was an emergency c-section, and had to be life flighted to a NICU and stayed there for a week. In total she was around $30,000. If we hadn’t had help we could never afford her. But knowing we couldn’t make it hasn’t stopped us from trying to have another.

Times are very tough and bad things do happen to good people, but they happen for a reason. And even though hospitals are ridiculously expensive and we can’t afford insurance, they have worked with us on our bills so much.

My husband is allergic to nuts, and sometimes he eats one when people say the food doesn’t have them in it. We rush to the ER, they give him a stronger drug than benadryl, and send us home $2000 poorer. But if you talk to the financial aid, they help you with your bill. This last time we paid a total of $100 bucks.

But if God tells you it is time to have a baby, no matter what the financial status of your life is, I would follow his prompting. He doesn’t want to give kids to people who can’t afford them, so he always makes a way. It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth the struggle.

Alicia says:

I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. I just wanted to add that who knows really when the “economy” will get better. You just have to be smart, make good decisions, but also live your life. Even in good times, things happen that could put your life in spin and it might not be a good time to bring a child in the world. I think it is harder to decide when to start a family than to add another child. I already have 2 kids so adding another one won’t change my life style, just my bank account. But it would be a lot harder decision to go from 2 pay checks to one and being a first time mom. Good luck with your decision!

I feel ya up to the point where less babies=less happiness. But then again, I only think I’ve seen 5 cute babies in my whole life. I guess I’m picky.

But anyway, the economy isn’t affecting my plans for kids because my plans for kids are no kids. So it’s easy to keep up the plan of no kids when it’s near famine.

However, when it comes to fear of getting pregnant, let it suffice for me to say we are taking extra precautions and using more than one form of birth control.
I hope it works!
-Chow

Oh and I H-A-T-E that seriously so blessed blog. It disgusts me. We’ll have to talk about that later though.
-Chow again.

tara @ kidz says:

I don’t know anyone who’s not at least a little concerned about the economic status. I quit my job just a few months before everything went south, but thankfully my husband has a very good and very stable job. Ya just never know though.

This is a great discussion. I have wanted to have another baby for awhile now and my husband has been against it. Not so much because of the economy but the general costs associated with raising children. Where we live the school system is not the greatest (although there are some charter schools that are exceptional) and if we are not able to get our son enrolled in a charter then we will need to send him to public school.

It is several years down the line but we still have to think about the cost of educating two children, having them involved in extracurricular activities and the like.

Great post.

Natalie says:

Money does matter when you’re having kids!! You need to pay for these little ones!! I think it’s way unresponsible for having kids without being able to afford them — I mean a true surprise aside. It’s the same thing as wanting to give your kids a mother and a father and stability to me. That’s why we’re waiting until my husband is done with grad school and not having a kid with student loans like so many Mormon girls do just because they need a baby so bad (sorry, TOTAL hot button for me!!)

It’s hard, I understand the woman rushing to get a C-section. Totally! But that seems stupid too because she took a risk!

Helene says:

I’m past the baby-making stage but I do worry about the insurance part of it and my husband losing his job. We have 4 kids and I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have any insurance. I don’t like to think about it even though I know we should have a back-up plan.

I found your blog through BSU!

Oh and I H-A-T-E that seriously so blessed blog. It disgusts me. We’ll have to talk about that later though.
-Chow again.

My husband is in school full time and his hours at work fluctuate week to week. My job is at a call center so the turnover rate there is pretty high. And I’m not going to lie, my daughter is on chip now, and i was on medicaid when i had her and she was on medicaid till recently.

She was an emergency c-section, and had to be life flighted to a NICU and stayed there for a week. In total she was around $30,000. If we hadn’t had help we could never afford her. But knowing we couldn’t make it hasn’t stopped us from trying to have another.

Times are very tough and bad things do happen to good people, but they happen for a reason. And even though hospitals are ridiculously expensive and we can’t afford insurance, they have worked with us on our bills so much.

My husband is allergic to nuts, and sometimes he eats one when people say the food doesn’t have them in it. We rush to the ER, they give him a stronger drug than benadryl, and send us home $2000 poorer. But if you talk to the financial aid, they help you with your bill. This last time we paid a total of $100 bucks.

But if God tells you it is time to have a baby, no matter what the financial status of your life is, I would follow his prompting. He doesn’t want to give kids to people who can’t afford them, so he always makes a way. It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth the struggle.

Nickell says:

The economy isn’t affecting our decision at all. We feel that if it is the right time it will happen. We’ve had a lot of miracles that have helped us believe that if we are doing what we are supposed to then we will be ok. Things have been tight but even with my husband not having a job since August, which means no insurance, we have survived very well!!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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