Unexpected Labor & Delivery Costs

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    Alright you guys. So our baby girl was born on Monday and this past week has been one of the roughest of my life. We love her tons and love that she’s finally here, but the labor and delivery process was definitely NOT what we expected.

    We weren’t prepared for a lot of things that happened this week, including the fact that as soon as Riley was born, she was taken to the NICU. We were separated, which was obviously super emotionally draining, but to make matters even worse, I was discharged on Wednesday night and she still had to stay at the hospital.

    Given that we live an hour away from the hospital, my husband and I decided to book a hotel room nearby. At $145/night, that definitely wasn’t in this month’s budget. Thankfully, we only ended up needing the room for 2 nights, but we learned that it’s not super uncommon for babies to require 10+ days in the NICU for monitoring.

    To add to those costs, I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding. However, with our baby girl having been in the NICU, it’s been extremely challenging to establish our breastfeeding since the NICU nurses bottle feed the babies. Now we’re currently supplementing and if this whole breastfeeding thing doesn’t work, we may be looking at 100% formula feeding – a budget item that will be SUPER EXPENSIVE and again, totally unplanned.

    This whole process has reminded me that even when I think I have my finances in a good place, unexpected costs come up in no time and that’s why having a good solid emergency fund is so important.


    Congratulations, Kayla. So happy for you! It’s a very special time. Keep your emergency fund stocked, as it will be needed for the urgent care visits, the ballet lessons, the soccer cleats and many more wonderful and challenging surprises in the coming years.


    Thank you, Carla! Yes, will definitely be working on increasing that emergency fund! 🙂


    Hi Kayla,

    Labor and delivery can be a real shock, even when you think you are prepared. I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time. Is she home yet?

    Here are some suggestions to make things easier for you now or if she ever is hospitalized again:
    1. Babies often go to the NICU right after birth is they have trouble breathing or have a buildup of a substance called bilirubin in their bloodstream, making them have a yellowish tint. What has the doctor told you about why he transferred her there?
    2. If she’s still in the NICU, befriend the nurses caring for her. They will appreciate your interest and have a wealth of knowledge about caring for your baby and how the hospital system works. I hope you had the opportunity to hold your baby and rock her in the NICU.
    3. Ask which nurse is in charge that shift and go to her. Ask to meet the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the unit and introduce yourself. If they don’t have one, ask to meet the nurse manager instead.Befriend either of them by praising the nursing care (assuming it’s good), and ask them any questions you have.
    3. Ask for a social worker, who can guide you to a lot of resources. She may know of less expensive places to stay if you need rooms in the future. Sometimes the hospital has arrangements with a hotel for discounted rooms, if you tell the front desk staff you have someone in the hospital.
    4. Breastfeeding crisis!! For immediate help with breastfeeding, ask to meet with the hospital’s breastfeeding specialist in. If there isn’t one, contact the community group LaLeche League and say you need help right away. LaLeche League is a group of moms who are committed to making breastfeeding successful. The nurse in charge should know how to contact them.
    5. If she’s been discharged, send an thank you note to the unit’s nursing staff. The nurses really will appreciate it.

    I wish you the best with your new little one!

    Best wishes,
    Nancy Holloway, RN

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