So, you’re pregnant and can’t wait to hold your little “mini-me” in your arms. Congratulations! The experience of becoming a parent is priceless, but sooner or later you’re going to run into the expenses involved with a pregnancy.

The actual cost of pregnancy and childbirth can be steep, especially if you don’t have a medical aid. The price tag of a healthy pregnancy can add up starting with prenatal care to ensure a healthy baby and a healthy delivery. 

You will need to visit your gynaecologist throughout your pregnancy; if you have medical aid, prenatal visits and diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds will be covered. They are generally considered as “preventative” care and could cost anything between R600 to R800 upwards.

But let’s take a look at the approximate costs of the actual birth of your baby. Off course, if you’re giving birth at a government hospital and you meet certain criteria, your birth will be free of charge. Should you, however, choose to have your baby in a private hospital, it will be costly. According to Guardrisk’s Admed Gap Cover, 2019 claims showed that the average cost of a natural birth could be approximately R25 000 with an average of 2.7 days in the hospital and that a Caesarean delivery could amount to R43 726 with an average length 3.8 days in the hospital.

In fact, the final bill for mom and baby may come close to R45 000 for a standard day stay for mom in the general ward, and for baby in the nursery.

Should a baby need care in the neonatal ICU, the cost could be as much as R16 000.00 per day depending on the level of care needed. Truth is, without medical aid, many parents may be unable to afford high care or neonatal care in a private hospital.

Immunisation and primary health care for any child under five is offered free of charge if you visit a government health clinic. However, if you prefer to take your baby to a private baby clinic for his/her immunisations, the costs will be in the ballpark of R5000 for the first year. Also, expect to pay between R500 and R1000 per paediatrician visit.

Every day, scores of women in South Africa scramble to find a medical aid that will cover them for their current pregnancy and childbirth. At one time medical schemes did cover the pre-existing pregnancy’s costs if a woman joined in the first month or sometimes the first trimester of pregnancy, but those days are over. If you join after you’ve become pregnant, you will not receive maternity benefits. Even if you are unaware that you are pregnant when joining a medical aid you will still not receive maternity coverage.

So, if you’ve missed the boat, is still worth considering joining a medical aid? Definitely. Although the pregnancy and delivery will not be covered, your new-born will be covered from birth should he/she need medical care.

However, if you have a medical aid before you get pregnant, you have little to worry about. You may have to fork out a little extra to doctors as many charges above medical aid rates, but it wouldn’t be close to what you have to pay if you had to pay for the delivery out of your own pocket.

Although nothing can prepare you for the joys and the challenges of becoming a parent, you can prepare financially.

Make sure that you are covered by a medical aid BEFORE falling pregnant.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.