Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
4 minute read
9 Jun 2021
3:56 pm

How much does it cost to raise 10 babies?

Kaunda Selisho

Nappies are estimated to cost R10,000 a week alone for Gosiame Thamara Sithole and her husband.

Picture: iStock

Now that South Africa knows that Gosiame Thamara Sithole really gave birth to 10 babies, many are left wondering how she and her husband will manage the costs associated with 10 babies.

The cost of being pregnant in South Africa

Newborn costs begin before they’re even born. Pregnant South African women have two options for their antenatal care; public or private healthcare.

Antenatal visits are free at government facilities across the country. However, you may have to encounter long waits and unhappy nursing staff from time to time. You also will not be able to see your babies during clinic visits as sonar scans are only done once or twice during the final trimester.

With private antenatal healthcare, one can visit a GP who will be slightly cheaper than an ob-gyn. However, a GP will not provide the specialist care and insight of an ob-gyn.

A midwife can a happy medium between the two.

GP visit: R500
Midwife consultation: R600p/h
Ob-gyn consultation: R2,000 initially and R1,100 every visit thereafter.

The pricing above for a midwife consultation is according to the pricing of Tén n Tén Birthing, headed by Lilo Mthembu.

midwife costs south africa

The cost of hiring a midwife during pregnancy by Tén n Tén Birthing. Picture: Screenshot (lilomidwife.co.za)

It should be noted that a pregnancy with multiple babies is regarded as high-risk in South Africa.

This, according to Mthembu who explained that a midwife can work in conjunction with an obstetrician to provide care for twins (two babies) max, depending on the facility protocol and admission criteria of the facility.

“Triplets and more are considered high risk and can only be an obstetrician who provides care for that mom,” she added.

The cost of giving birth in South Africa

Newborn costs then extend to ensuring that they are brought into the world safely.

Delivery at a public facility is free.

Government hospitals to give birth at

Without medical aid, delivery at a private healthcare institution can cost anything between R29,400 (with The Birthing Team) and upwards of R60,000 at hospitals like Netcare and Mediclinic. People on medical aid may have to cover most of these costs out of pocket and may not always be eligible for a refund from their medical aid.

As is the case with midwife-led antenatal healthcare, a birth with a midwife – either at home or a birthing centre can be a happy medium. The cost for this would range between R12,000 and R20,000 depending on the midwife, facilities chosen and what the mother needs during delivery (birthing pool, etc). Not all medical aids cover midwife-led deliveries.

The cost of caring for an infant

Todaysparent.com has a very handy list of everything you will need before your baby is born. The list is very extensive so we cut it down to the bare necessities.

In their first few weeks of life, infants need a number of things from clothes, to formula, toiletries and nappies. Nappies are a popular gift item at baby showers and they tend to go quickly.

To cover the costs of nappies for the 10 babies in their first month, Sithole and her husband would need to pay an estimated R10,259.20.

That would cover 40 jumbo packs of new baby size 1 Pampers containing 96 nappies – assuming that one child goes through 1 pack per seven-day week in a month.

It would also cover all the tubes of barrier cream if each child had a tube of their own as well as 24 packs of Clicks baby brand wet wipes to cover a 30-day period.

Newborn baby budget

Newborn baby budget. Picture: Screenshot

*Some of the items were calculated on a “per baby” basis. However, Sithole and her husband may need to buy less as they can share certain items.  They may also be able to do without the strollers in the early days

With 10 babies on her hands, Sithole will definitely need professional help and one nanny is not going to cut it.

If you are looking to pay a nanny fairly for a day’s work, the national minimum wage dictates an hourly rate of R21,69 with effect from 01 March 2021.

R21.69 x 8 = R173.52 per day.

R173.52 x 20 = R3470.40 – and that’s only enough to cover a nanny looking after one child for eight hours a day.

All of this excluding the cost of the mandatory vaccines the babies will need, the possible medical costs arising from routine doctors visits, the cost of food when they start eating solids and the amount of electricity that will be consumed by their needs.

At a minimum, Sithole and her husband would need about R40,000 to start if they seek medical care at public facilities and that’s an incredibly conservative estimate.

*These costings are all based on research and estimates. Newborn costs may vary from person to person.

READ NEXT: C-section vs natural birth: Which is better?