Child-bearing On The Cheap

Which statement do you think is true?
[  ] A. Having babies will cost you a lot of money
[  ] B. Pregnancy is an expensive time of your life
[  ] C. All of the above
[x] D. None of the above

Let me tell you right now, having a baby does not mean you’re going to have to spend a lot of money. No really I’m serious. Everybody will tell you how expensive babies are and honestly, I don’t see it. I’ll write a blog more specifically about raising a baby without spending your life savings, but that can wait. Right now I want to focus on non consumerism and saving money while being pregnant.

 

6551534889_9c8ae52997_zI’m almost 18 weeks pregnant and as you can imagine, my life is changing rapidly. In about six months I’ll be taking care of a tiny human being, with all kinds of needs, but right now I have a lot of new needs of my own.
We were well on our way to lead the lifestyle we want; Buying second hand, eating healthier, working on our environmental footprint. Nonetheless, when I got pregnant we still needed to review our lives. We decided I’m going to stop looking for a new job when the baby is born, and be a stay-at-home-mom. This means we have to be able to live of of and support a baby on just Bas’ income. Needless to say, a frugal live has become a bit more urgent. Also eating healthy has become even more important, as of course we want to teach our child healthy eating habits.
To be honest, I thought continuing on my quest for a greener lifestyle would become more challenging during pregnancy. Instead, I found even more ways to go green and save money! I was amazed at all the great initiatives I encountered. Such as a website that helps people trade children’s clothing and toys when they grow out of them (Which I will also write a separate blog about). It was so easy for me to find non consumer solutions to the challenges that came up.

Medical cost were never an issue. We have very good health insurance where I live, and I picked an insurance company that lets you add extra’s to your insurance when you need them. So when I got pregnant, I chose to add an extra bundle to my basic insurance. Now I pay about 5 Euros more a month, but they cover pretty much ALL pregnancy related medical expenses. Like I said, not an issue.

I’ve been wearing maternity clothes for about three weeks now. I knew I would eventually need them, but the moment my clothes started to get too tight came much sooner than I expected. Luckily for me, I’m a member of the local second hand Facebook page and the local “giving-this-away-for-free” Facebook page, and up came an add from someone offering all their maternity clothes… for free! I was the first to respond, and I could pick up the clothes the next day. It was a full grocery bag of clothing, and I was SO thrilled! Among the clothes were 5 pairs of maternity pants, FIVE! I now actually have more maternity pants than regular ones. And it didn’t cost me a penny.
I did have to buy new bra’s, but I found some that stretch out a bit, so you can still wear them when you go up a size, and they also function as nursing bra’s so I won’t have to buy new ones for a looooong time. I would have needed new bra’s in the near future anyway, so this is hardly a dent in our budget.

 

$_85Lastly, I already found a non consumer solution to a problem that’s still way ahead of me: nursing pads. I’ve been doing a lot of research on pretty much anything pregnancy and baby related. And I realized sooner or later I would need nursing pads. Especially as a member of the compact, it’s important to think ahead. (Since second hand shopping is really difficult if it’s last minute.) So I started looking into it. It didn’t take me long to find out washable cloth nursing pads are widely available. When using cloth instead of disposable, you don’t create any extra garbage or manufacturing, and so you’re making less of an impact on the environment.
Then, after doing some more research, I found a lot of people are selling their used cloth nursing pads. So a few hours later, I had bought a set of 6 pairs for about 9 Euros, including shipping costs. The person who sold them to me, even send along a pack of nursing tags! (You know, the ones you can attach to your bra so you can tell on which side you should nurse.)
So that’s a double non consumer win!

As you can see, I hardly made any extra costs being pregnant. All it takes is a different mindset and a little creativity.
If you have any questions or maybe some more tips of your own, please, leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear other peoples experiences.

Gree(n)tings,
Cyndi

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