If you’ve followed this blog, you know that this year at the beginning of July 2013, my wife gave birth to our first son, the beautiful Baby Romanian. I can’t really express in words how much of a blessing it is to hold the little fellow in your hands and how good that makes you feel – I am sure it’s a feeling some of you have already experienced and many can hardly wait to experience.
[Update notice:] This article was initially written back in 2013, after my son was born. All the costs listed below are for that period of time, but I did additional research for 2020 and you can expect them to be similar if you choose to give birth in Romania.
But before you get there… do you afford a baby?
It might sound harsh, it might sound ugly, but the truth is that being pregnant and giving birth is extremely expensive! We had no idea about that and found it the hard way.
Hopefully this article will give you an overall idea on the costs (sometimes hidden) that you should expect before delivery and answer your question: how much does pregnancy and giving birth cost in Romania. Hint: it’s probably cheaper than in most countries out there since Romania itself is such a cheap country to live in!
It all starts before getting pregnant
If you are like us and like to plan things in advance, then you will probably decide when it’s the best time to start trying for a baby (hey, good luck!): in our case, it was when we were confident that we are financially secure to both go through the pregnancy as well as have a stable income source to be sure that we can afford raising the little fellow.
Yup, it’s true, it shouldn’t be like that but if money is tight, you have to consider everything! And even when you do, expect hidden or unexpected costs to pop up!
And your spending on the pregnancy will begin before even getting pregnant: we both did full health checks before trying for a baby (no fertility tests, though – those are only necessary if after a few months there’s no luck) and it was good we did so because it was discovered that wifey had an infection and was put under treatment with antibiotics.
Finally, from that point on she started to take supplements (vitamins and minerals) and she’s still taking them even now, one month after delivery. And these babies are not cheap!
Total cost of pre-pregnancy checks and pills in Romania: $209
Note: For all these tests, we went to private clinics. These are still cheap in Romania, even in 2019: for this reason, things like medical tourism in Romania happens.
Prepare for 9 months of spending
I couldn’t believe it that there were so many tests and check-ups and visits to the doctor when being pregnant… and they were not free! We chose it to be like that as we decided to do everything through a private clinic, one that we highly recommend and still use today: Regina Maria (which has branches in multiple cities in the country).
The reason why we wanted to go for a private clinic and not the state-owned one was the poor quality of the services offered in the state hospital. We heard a lot of bad stories about really bad experiences, as well as the fact that there was a certain type of bacteria in our city’s hospital (which was proven to be correct, as the hospital itself was shut down because of this and a new one was built – it was that bad!)
Back to the pregnancy itself, every month (and sometimes bi-monthly) we had to go to the doctor to check on things. Do some tests, make sure that everything is OK.
Now, depending on your health plan, these might come in for free. If that’s possible, then you are saving a lot of money – we paid for them all, as I said. Sometimes we went for the routine checks in our city to keep costs low.
During these 9 months of pregnancy (which are actually 40 weeks, and we only did 35 of them because Baby Romanian decided to come early), we spent a total of $2702.
And we’re not including here all that extra food, like the sliced pineapple that she wants at 11 PM or a ton and a half of oranges that she simply has to eat. Ha!
Costs of giving birth in Romania (at a private clinic)
As I said, we had to go for a private clinic in Bucharest. And the prices here are way lower than in Western Europe or the US, while the quality of service is top notch. Really, it was an absolutely amazing experience for us and it felt like spending time in a hotel, not a hospital. It really makes you think about having more babies, ha!
Our costs for the “giving birth in Romania” part at the private clinic were $3326. This included the actual C-section (as we opted against natural birth for various reasons): it was scheduled for a specific date, but our son was born prematurely and we didn’t have to pay anything extra.
The money spent also included 4 nights for my wife and I in a private room in the hospital after she gave birth, the collecting of stem cells and their storage for 12 months. (We actually spent 2 nights more and paid a bit extra).
It was an “all inclusive” stay, meaning that both wifey and baby had food, consumables and clothes for free. Plus 24h/day medical support but fortunately we didn’t need that for anything than the regulars (painkillers mostly for the wife).
Not to mention that this was a very modern clinic with the latest generation equipment and amazing staff.
For the dad, there was just a couch to sleep on and nothing else included. I chose not to sleep there as my wife was under constant care and never needed my help during the night, but I would spend my entire days there. The place has a really nice cafeteria with all sorts of food options available and there are even more around the place.
UPDATE: I checked the website of the clinic we gave birth in and for 2020, they don’t have the price of the package listed on their website, but I don’t think it will be much higher (if higher at all) than what we paid.
Buying stuff for the baby
There are a lot of extra costs involved in this process, although not directly related to pregnancy and giving birth. However, the baby needs a place to sleep in, needs some clothes, needs some consumables and so on: and all these costs do add up, especially the initial costs (for all consumables, furniture and whatnot for the nursery).
We were right not to buy any clothes (really, we haven’t bought a single clothing item for the first several months) as all our friends and relatives kept coming with the cutest things ever. So my advice would be not to invest in clothes, you will certainly get more than you need from every friend you have!
What we had to spend money on was: a baby stroller, furniture and repainting for our baby’s nursery, a complete set of diapers, baby bottles, napkins, creams and some electrical devices (monitoring systems, humidifier, sterilizer, bottle warmer) and we bought all of them from Amazon (affiliate link). As a brand, we went for Philips Avent and we are extremely pleased with the products – we decided to purchase them online because options were limited in our area back then, but things have changed now.
Total costs in this “miscellaneous” area: $1072
Total costs of pregnancy & giving birth in Romania
So if we are to draw the line and do the maths, the total cost of pregnancy and giving birth was:
(and there may be some items that we simply forgot to list on our expense tracker because things can get really busy and crazy with a pregnant lady).
That is a lot of money in my books and I wasn’t really expecting us to spend that much. But I am happy that we did: everything went as good as possible and even though there were unexpected things happening along the way – the most important being the fact that our son decided to come early – things are great now and all I can say is that those were money well spent.
The good thing about spending so much money is that I guarantee that when you hold your little baby in your arms and you look at their cute little face you will be as happy and satisfied as you can be. And that is priceless – that is what matters in the end.
As I said in the intro – most of this article was written back in 2013 and the money we spent was for that period of time. But once more, I don’t think that the costs have gone up significantly and I would expect you to spend something around $7,000 in 2020 and beyond if you want to follow our route and go with a private clinic and do everything by the book. I wouldn’t recommend it any other way, to be honest!