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8 Programs to Help with the Costs of Having a Baby

By Kerry Weiss
Reviewed by Jessie Everts, Ph.D.
January 12, 2024

Having a baby can cost a lot of money. Many pregnant people and parents can’t afford all the costs.

Reach out to these programs if you need some help. They offer ways to keep parents and babies safe and healthy.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The WIC program is for families who need help getting healthy food. That includes low-income parents, babies, and children up to age 5.

With WIC, you can get:

  • Baby formula
  • Baby food
  • Baby cereal

And it can help you pay for healthy food for you. This can include:

  • Iron-rich cereal
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Juice
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Whole-wheat bread

WIC also offers breastfeeding info and support. It gives access to health screenings and social services if needed.

What WIC covers varies from state to state. To learn more, visit the WIC website. You can also call the toll-free number for your state.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is also a healthy-eating program for low-income families. It used to be called food stamps. Now, funds are added to a debit card each month. This card can be used at many stores to purchase healthy food.

It may also be used to buy seeds and plants to grow food.

SNAP rules and benefits vary from state to state. Find your local SNAP office to learn more.

Child Care Assistance Programs

Each state has programs to help low-income parents pay for childcare. You must go to work, job training, or school to qualify.

Search for your state to learn about the childcare help it offers.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

This program gives short-term cash help to low-income parents. TANF funds can be used to cover food, clothes, and housing costs. This program also helps people find a job.

Search for your state to learn more about the TANF program near you.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Having a hard time paying to heat or cool your home? LIHEAP may be able to help. This program helps cover the cost of:

  • Energy bills
  • Weatherproofing a home
  • Energy-related home repairs
  • Energy emergencies

To find out if you qualify, contact your state LIHEAP office. You can also call 866-674-6327.

Free Home Repair Grants

Other programs can also help cover the cost of home repairs. Grants are given based on income and the type of repairs needed.

Reach out to your local housing office to learn more. You can also contact your local office for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Government Housing Assistance Programs

Public housing programs help low-income families find homes with rent they can afford. You must make less than a certain amount of money to qualify. You must also be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status. And you must give references.

Contact your local housing office to learn more about public housing.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

This program offers low-cost health coverage. It is for parents who make too much money to get Medicaid. These families may still need help with health costs.

Every state offers CHIP. What is covered can vary from state to state. CHIP often covers kids’:

  • Well visits (checkups)
  • Vaccines
  • Prescription medication
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Hospital visits
  • Lab work
  • X-rays
  • Emergency care

Some states cover even more care. Some states may also cover pregnant people.

For more info on how to apply, visit the CHIP website. You can also call 800-318-2596. You can apply anytime.

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