Understand from the outset that there's a wise order of priorities in family-planning.
Don't find yourselves weeks out from the birth of your first child before you pause to consider the issue of pregnancy insurance. Not that it's necessarily too late; you might be one of the lucky couples - an uneventful pregnancy, trouble-free birth, normal child with its full quota of fingers and toes and, for you and your wife, never any financial worries along the way. It means that you gambled and won. The maternity insurance plan, however, is for those husbands who are not prepared to gamble with their wives' health or that of the young and defenceless life that they, after all, have elected to bring into this world.
What it means is that before you and your wife try for a family, have her supplemental pregnancy insurance already in place. If you have a working wife, you will be losing her income so there's a loss to be considered at the same time as you incur all the expenses that come with pregnancy - maternity wear, vitamins and supplements, doctors' bills and medical checks - plus your own inevitable time off work occasionally (and that will always be at the most inconvenient times, you can bet on it!).
Add in any ante-natal complications that can arise - such as arrhythmia, high blood pressure, anxiety or panic attacks - and the money you have to find on a reduced family income can be a real worry.
Once your wife is already pregnant it's too late. You won't get supplemental pregnancy insurance, as pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. So before you conceive, consider both your options in maternity cover.
Major medical insurance for doctors and hospitals
Have this sort of plan in place before your wife becomes pregnant, and your worries are over. Major medical health insurance "bulk bills", which means you receive no accounts - the bills are paid directly to the provider (doctor, radiologist, hospital and ultimately hospital or mid-wife at the time of birth).
Your group plan, through your employer, should cover everything; certainly labour, birth and any complications that might arise. If not, go to the private market, but you'll find that expensive without your committing to a hefty excess.
Supplemental pregnancy insurance that fills crucial gaps
The supplemental pregnancy insurance works slightly differently, in that the benefits are paid directly to you and it's up to you to pay the doctor or hospital. When purchased prior to conception, it helps create a maternity leave income by covering normal labour and delivery expenses. If your wife works and her employer has a plan in place, she can use these supplemental payments to see her through her time off work.