Life is full of surprises. Some are good. Some are bad. Generally speaking, though, when a woman discovers she's pregnant, it's a good surprise whether she's been trying or not. Most pregnant women develop a very strong protective instinct toward the child she's carrying and she wants to make sure that both before and after birth, the child is taken care of. Medical expenses are going to be a crucial part of this with prenatal care for the mother and unborn child and post-birth pediatric care for the baby. In order to do this right, a mother will need health insurance with maternity coverage over and above her regular medical insurance.
While your existing insurance policy might include maternity insurance by default, most don't. Generally, maternity coverage is available as an added option or a supplemental plan and you will usually have to pay an additional premium to obtain it. However, when compared to the high costs of all associated pregnancy costs these additional premiums are well worth the cost. Each health insurance with maternity coverage will come with conditions and terms that are specific and you need to make sure what these are prior to agreeing to it. It may be that you want to look at a different provider for something better.
Most health insurance with maternity coverage will cover most unexpected hospital charges, doctor visits, and medications. However, even though they are supposed to cover maternity costs, a lot of them don't cover prenatal vitamins, regular and additional check-ups, and other costs that most mothers will have to incur. Keep in mind that the more things a maternity plan covers the higher the premium will be. A lower cost plan will have a more broad, but more limited coverage.
Despite the fact you can add maternity coverage onto an existing plan or buy a new one, most policies will not cover you if you seek out coverage after you become pregnant. It's a standard practice to have a waiting period for health insurance with maternity coverage that won't become active for one to two years. If you can't get maternity insurance for this, consider adding coverage for the infant that will be available the second the child is born.
Your current policy will determine if you can extend benefits to the child or get extra coverage. You may need to get a new plan. If you're already pregnant and you can't get insurance, consider a maternity medical coverage discount program which will give you discounts on the medical costs, but typically won't cover you as well as the insurance would. In addition to this, apply for different maternity programs that are available from the state, the federal government, child and family services, private interest groups, and advocacy groups.