Money, Money, Money.

This post originally appeared in my old blog,

One thing that has been a big shock to the system recently: PREGNANCY IS EXPENSIVE. In an ideal world, we’d planned to have been married 2-3 years and have saved up a nice little wad of cash before we became pregnant, but due to my supposed fertility issues (apparently not such an issue anymore, but that’s a whole other post) and our ‘what will be will be’ attitude, this wasn’t to be for us.

So far, we have spent a fair bit of money on:
– Ante-natal vitamins – Pregnacare, whilst they were the most expensive brand, seemed to be the best
– Maternity clothing – I have been LIVING in maternity leggings, nothing else will do at the moment. And I bought my first maternity bra at the Baby Show… that was expensive, nearly as much as my Rigby and Peller birthday undies
– Travel to and from the hospital – I’m going on average twice a month
– Furniture for the nursery – I’ve been lucky and found some bargains on eBay, but there are some things (cot mattress etc) that you really do need as new
– Baby clothes – why are so many baby items the same price as adult items when they’re a tenth of the size? One of life’s great mysteries I guess
– Pregnancy books – I like reading, I like to be informed, I do not like how expensive pregnancy books are!
– Food – I’m hungry, need the good stuff, enough said

… and I’m not even a quarter of the way into my ‘baby essentials’ purchasing list.

Factor in a trip in May to see the in-laws in Greece so they can see the baby bump for themselves before my July due date, a house move and all the fun money-spending things that come with living in London, and you’ve got yourself a couple of expectant parents with empty pockets. Plus we want to save up for a car as we sold ours when we moved down to London two years ago, and the situation isn’t helped by my expensive tastes…

It’s come to the time to decide what ante-natal classes we want to take. Throughout this pregnancy (and before, if I’m honest) I’ve always considered myself to be fairly well-read on the subject of pregnancy, birth and beyond; I don’t like surprises and I’m adamant that there won’t be any when I’m in labour so I’ve educated myself on every single outcome and possibility during this process. I’ve devoured pregnancy books, magazines, TV shows, YouTube clips…

At 7 weeks pregnant I pre-registered myself with my local NCT and selected to attend their standard ante-natal class, however when I received information on the course I felt I knew it all, and there was nothing new there for me. The problem is, every mum I know has cited NCT classes as essential for getting to know new mums – even Jools Oliver waxes lyrical about it in her 0-9 months baby book (hormones drove me to make some bad book choices…). If I choose not to go to classes will I be massively missing out? I know as a younger mum in a new area I’m going to find it challenging to make new friends, but what if I do choose to go to the classes and make no friends at all? Then I’m out of £280 and no better off. Mellow Mummy discusses this more eloquently than I do at her post ‘NCT: An Expensive Introductions Agency?

One thing I am certain on is that I want to use the hypnobirthing method during my labour and delivery. And hey, guess what? More money. I looked into doing a course but all local to me were around £350-400 so I’ve decided to do a home study course instead. And here’s somewhere I can save money! I’m going to buy the book off Amazon (along with Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth which I have heard brilliant things about), and couple that with Dany Griffiths’s Tums2Mums Hypnotherapy MP3s. She’s running a competition on her blog at the moment where you can win one of her Home Study courses – go here to enter as I have done.

I would love to hear from mums who have been through all this and can give me some advice on a) how to save a bit of money, and b) how to stop worrying about it. Help!

NB: please come back in 9 months time for the inevitable ‘Boy, aren’t babies expensive?!’ post, and if anyone needs a soon-to-be-mummy friend in the N10/N22 area, I’m on the market!

Picture credit: me, from back when I worked in the corporate world and could afford to flash my cash on frivolities such as work roulette nights…

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  1. Kat wrote:

    NCT nearly new sales are awesome – so much to be had but be prepared for a SCRUM! Classes very good, I thought I knew it all but well, I didn’t :) Have made friends this way but can be quite sad when it doesn’t work out that way! Big way to save money is not to buy a new pram. A sling is so much more useful and second hand prams better value for money. John Lewis all the way for mattresses. Take a look at Bambino Goodies, we feature stuff for all budgets which is all design led.

    Posted 2.24.10 Reply
  2. Alice wrote:

    Ahah – I’d forgotten about the NCT nearly new sales! I will look up my local one now.

    Thanks for the heads up on JL for mattresses, we have a gift list there (we are lucky and have lots of generous friends who kept asking us for a baby list). My parents are buying our pram which is the biggest headache out the way and a friend has offered me an unused sling.

    I swear when I get talking to people about the realities of this it’s not so bad :) Will take a look at Bambino Goodies now!

    Posted 2.24.10 Reply
  3. A. wrote:

    I loved Jools Oliver’s book! I don’t think it was a bad book choice, the Myleene Klass book on the other hand….

    Posted 2.25.10 Reply
  4. Alice wrote:

    A – I think I found Jools Oliver came across really hyperactive in the book! Though I have been back to re-visit it at various stages. I also own Myleen Klass’s book (oops) and I agree with you on that one. Bad!

    Posted 2.25.10 Reply
  5. Alex wrote:

    This could be written by me! Except for the bit about the in-laws (my parents are Greek, and they live here, so no need to travel to a much warmer country, etc. Wait… fail!). I ditched NCT classes in favour of hypnobirthing, which my sister has volunteered to buy me as a birthday present. :)

    Posted 2.25.10 Reply
  6. Alice wrote:

    Alex – what a great present! I’ve just been on Amazon to order my hypno books and CDs, I’ll let you know how it goes…

    Posted 2.25.10 Reply
  7. YoungMummy wrote:

    I was lucky on the food front – had such bad morning sickness I hardly ate anything for 5 months!

    Books – try to get them on ebay

    NCT – personally I can’t recommend it enough. I met such a fantastic group of friends there, and we meet up at least twice a week. I left the first class wailing, ‘there’s no-one I like!’ but we are all firm friends now and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

    Posted 2.25.10 Reply
  8. I’m a bit further north than you (just outside the M25) but do have some books you could borrow if you’re interested …

    I found that being really disorganised helped – we didn’t have much before the birth and to be honest got given lots of clothes in the early days which helped

    Posted 3.2.10 Reply
  9. Not So Yummy Mummy wrote:

    Hi Alice, in response to your question about NCT, I was unable to attend their antenatal classes as they were fully booked by the time I enquired at around 6 months into my pregnancy (you are super organized!)

    However, I have been fully involved in meet ups with other mummies that have been facilitated locally by NCT. I’m in Islington and our October 2009 group meets every Wednesday and in addition there’s a spin off group that also meets every 2 weeks.

    NCT is pretty good at getting mums together, regardless of whether you take part in the antenatal classes. I can add though from experience that the mums that do the classes tend to remain a tight bunch.

    Hope that helps!

    Posted 3.14.10 Reply
  10. want to get pregnant wrote:

    Lalrodinga (39), a postmaster at Vaphai village, withdrew the money to be distributed to the MNREGS beneficiaries in two villages from Khawbung post office on Friday. He was arrested from Khawmawi village in Myanmar on Saturday after Vapahi village …

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  11. Pregnancy Books For Moms wrote:

    That is awesome and a great present…..Thanks for sharing

    Posted 5.28.12 Reply
  12. Good Reading Thanks to sharing 

    Posted 6.15.12 Reply