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The baby bump bill: Parents-to-be spend £700 on pregnancies

Cravings, vitamins, and baby books are among the most common pregnancy costs. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

Soon-to-be parents in the UK spend just over £700 on pregnancy-related expenses, according to statistics released Wednesday.

A survey of over 2,000 adults by credit card company American Express revealed that Brits spend an average of £701 while waiting for the arrival of their child — and baby showers are the biggest cost.

Brits who have had a child within the past three years spent an average of £91 on a baby shower, according to the research. What’s more, almost three quarters (73%) of new parents now throw events to celebrate their babies before they’re born. Over a third (38%) said they held a baby shower, while another 12% said they adopted the newer trend of throwing a gender reveal party.

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Parents aren’t the only ones forking out on these pre-birth celebrations either, as family and friends are often expected to give generous gifts. British adults said they spend an average of £61 each on gifts when attending a gender reveal party, as well as £39 at baby showers.

In fact, American Express found that Brits have spent an average total of £261 at their friends’ and family members’ various pre-baby celebrations over the past two years.

For parents-to-be, the cost of a baby shower just surpasses the cost of maternity clothes, as well as private scans and appointments, which cost an average total of £81 each.

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Other expenses include antenatal classes (86%), which help parents prepare for labour, birth, and parenthood; cravings (£77); pregnancy massages (£70); pregnancy pillows (£60); pregnancy lotions and creams (£50); vitamins (£48); and baby books (£39).

“The impending arrival of a first baby is an exciting time for soon-to-be-parents as well as friends and family. During this time it can be easy to get swept up in the joy of the occasion and spend lots of money on treats for the baby bump,” Stephen Steinhardt, director at American Express, said.

“As a result it’s a good idea to put your purchases on a card that gives you rewards, cashback, or points for spending, so you can redeem these on the items you’ll need once the baby arrives.”