If you're expecting a child, chances are your expenses are already high. From doctor visits to preparing for your newborn child, you might feel pressured to cut your spending elsewhere. Surprisingly, this can actually be an expensive choice in the long run. By relaxing your budget and treating yourself, you may actually be able to save in the long run.
Getting Stressed Out Can Be Physically & Fiscally Costly
Pregnancy is a time of substantial hormonal change. Cortisol–commonly known as the "stress hormone"–increases significantly and can endanger the health of your child. In fact, research shows that prenatal stress at just about any level (even resulting from daily inconveniences) can elevate the likelihood of an adverse birth outcome and a child's long-term behavioral function. As if that weren't enough, stressed mothers are also more prone to depression after giving birth.
While MediShield Life recently expanded coverage for childbirth complications, medical treatments beyond birth may be costly, multifold, and ongoing. Fortunately, there are many ways to diminish stress during pregnancy, potentially reducing the chance of expensive negative outcomes.
Massages Can Reduce Risk of Premature Birth
Interestingly enough, research shows that prenatal massage not only reduces stress, leg and back pain, but also lowers the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Certain kinds of massage therapy can also decrease depression and cortisol levels overall. While booking a massage may at first seem expensive (the average cost of a spa treatment is S$130/hr) there's actually a wide range of available rates in Singapore. For example, you can enjoy a 60min prenatal massage at Z Spa for just S$78, or–if you have a big budget–up to S$235 at ESPA Resorts World Sentosa (including service charge and tax).
You can save on your spa day by booking through Vaniday, an online platform allowing you to search by treatment and location. If you own a Maybank or UOB credit card, you can receive up to 50% off your first Vaniday booking. Credit cards like Standard Chartered Visa Infinite also offer standing privileges at luxury spas within Banyan Tree hotels, The Fullerton, Westin Singapore, and the Ritz Carlton. With the right perks, you can de-stress affordably–but also in the most indulgent way.
Meal Delivery Can Be Safer than Driving for Food & Groceries
According to a Canadian research study, pregnant women have a 42% higher risk of getting in a car accident than the general population. Public transit, while less risky, can be crowded and may even exacerbate symptoms like nausea and lethargy. Is it worth taking an extra trip out to get food or groceries? As an alternative, you may want to consider meal or grocery delivery. If you have a credit card with dining promotions, you may have access to discounts and free delivery at Grabfood, Deliveroo, Foodpanda and others. If you enjoy cooking, you can easily order groceries from RedMart, Honestbee and others, enjoying free delivery when you hit a minimum spend for the order. Driving is not only riskier for pregnant women, it also incurs costs in terms of petrol and time to travel. If you're expecting, take a break and try delivery.
Buying Bright Maternity Wear Can Counter Depression
Finally, consider spending a bit extra on your maternity wear. Depression in pregnancy is frequently associated with negative body image, which is also linked to heightened anxiety and low self-esteem. New and colorful clothing can actually counter depression and boost confidence, research reveals. Because clothing color influences behavior and self perception, shopping for brighter colors may have a better effect than purchasing darks or neutrals.
Conclusion: De-Stress Whichever Way Works Best for You
No matter the method you choose, de-stressing is an important part of reducing risk during pregnancy. Keeping a healthy diet, even if fresh natural foods are a bit more expensive, can boost your self image and overall wellness. Maintaining active, within your doctor's guidelines, can also promote health and confidence. While it make seem expensive to invest in yourself now, it may ultimately be cheaper than paying for medical complications down the road.