Schedule a Free Consultation

facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
6 Surprising Costs of Motherhood Thumbnail

6 Surprising Costs of Motherhood

While bringing a baby into this world is an exciting and fulfilling experience, it comes with numerous implications that may be overlooked. According to the Pew Research Center, while women in the U.S. are waiting longer to have children than before, they are “still starting their families sooner” than women in other developed countries.1 In fact, the average age of women in the U.S. becoming first-time mothers is about 26-years-old.1  Additionally, when compared to the 1990s,2 parents are now spending more time and money on child care,3 signifying a heightened concern for children’s overall well-being during their developmental years.

From child care to higher education, there are a multitude of expenses to consider before starting your own family. While motherhood could add more meaning and purpose to your life, evaluating your own financial standing before conceiving could prevent you from spending more time worrying than enjoying the experience. When it comes to motherhood, there are six surprising costs you want to be well-prepared for before you enter the delivery room and become responsible for another individual.

Surprising Cost #1: Income Decrease

Often called the “motherhood penalty,” a study found that children born to or adopted by a woman left the mother with an income decrease of four percent.5 While this number may not seem substantial, four percent can add up quite quickly when paying for food, diapers and baby sitters. Interestingly enough, that same study found that the father’s income rose by six percent, which is often referred to as the “fatherhood premium.”5 

Surprising Cost #2: Hospital Delivery Fees

While many expectant mothers may assume insurance will cover the hospital bill for delivery, depending on your policy, you could very well have a deductible to pay before your insurance covers costs, which could amount to well above a hundred or even thousands of dollars. This often surprises many families who are not prepared for the hospital bill they receive post-birth. And considering how many new costs you incur when you become a mother, every dollar counts. A good rule of thumb is to ask your chosen hospital beforehand what your out-of-pocket expenses will be up-front to be fully prepared.

Surprising Cost #3: Breastfeeding

While you may think breastfeeding is technically free, there are accessories associated with the practice that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Breast pumps, nursing bras and special pillows all have a price tag attached to them, and if you’re serious about breastfeeding, you’ll likely want to have all three just in case. And while we all hope there are no issues, trouble with breastfeeding can be a cost-inducing factor as well. Consulting with a certified lactation specialist can quickly add up as well, with appointments costing between $200 and $350.6

Surprising Cost #4: Varying Schedule

Even when your child is being taken care of by your spouse or a trusted friend, you never know what could happen while you’re away. From unexpected illnesses to sudden dietary needs, a baby could have you leaving work for more than just your normal lunch break. While some employers are understanding, not everyone understands the unpredictability that goes along with having a child. 

As your child grows older, there are more moments you may not want to miss, like soccer games, dance recitals and school presentations. Some of these events take place during working hours, and you are not always able to fit them into your schedule. However, if your job already offers more flexible work options — such as working remotely — you may not have as many scheduling conflicts to navigate as you raise your child.

Surprising Cost #5: Less Opportunity for Advancement

Even if you’re not expecting a child, even just the impression that you may be having a baby soon could prevent your employer from assigning you to higher-level, more time-consuming projects. And once you have a child, your employer may not consider you for a promotion as seriously as they would when compared to a woman without a child (terrible, but we know it happens). According to a study by researchers at Cornell University, “mothers were penalized on a host of measures, including perceived competence and recommended starting salary.”7 Interestingly enough, “men were not penalized for, and sometimes benefited from, being a parent.”7 It’s an unfortunate reality for many women that with more responsibility in their personal life comes a diminished perception of their workplace potential. 

Surprising Cost #6: Child Care

Although most parents plan ahead for childcare costs, many may not realize that the costs for child care are rising steadily each year. According to Child Care Aware of America (CCAA), “Parents across the country spent $9,000 to $9,600 annually for one child’s daycare in 2017, up roughly 7.5 percent on the year.”8 In fact, these expenses can eat up almost 40 percent of a single parent’s household income.8 And while you may expect your child’s college tuition to be the largest cost, CCAA reports that childcare can actually add up to be “roughly double the price of a year’s tuition to an in-state public university.”8 So, before you start worrying about where they’re going to go to college and how you are going to pay for it, be sure to factor in childcare costs first.

Planning Ahead is Key

While motherhood comes with its own unique costs (both tangible and intangible), raising a child can be an extremely rewarding experience. In order to make the most of parenthood, take some time to educate yourself so you’re well prepared for what lies ahead. From online articles and forums to your friends and family members, there are a variety of avenues you can take to gain more insight into motherhood and the financial implications of this exciting new chapter. 

Click here to schedule a call with a BWC advisor today.


The information presented in this article is obtained from or based on sources believed to be reliable. BWC does not represent or warrant its accuracy or completeness and is not responsible for losses or damages arising out of errors, omissions or changes or from the use of information presented in this article. The article does not purport to contain all the information that an interested party may desire and, in fact, provides only a limited view. Information presented does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal invested. Past Performance does not guarantee future performance. Individual client accounts and performance vary. BWC does not provide tax advice.

About Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC –

Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC (“BWC”) is a privately owned, SEC Registered Investment Advisor with offices in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. BWC provides independent, fee-based investment management services and customized financial planning solutions. Our institutional business provides consulting expertise to defined benefit and defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations and non-profit organizations. Our private clients include high net-worth individuals and prominent families, many of whom bring complex wealth management challenges and multigenerational planning needs. For more information, please visit or give us a call today at 888-231-6372.

*Registration does not imply a level of skill or training.

© 2021 Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC (BWC). All rights reserved. Reproduction or Use without permission is prohibited.