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What Does is Cost to Have a Baby?

In the U.S., a hospital birth can cost from $10,000 to $25,000.
A pregnant woman.
An obstetrician provides medical care for pregnant women until delivery and the postpartum checkup.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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The question of what it will cost to have a baby is not simply answered. There are many things that may determine what each mom will pay. Having health insurance or living in a country with socialized medicine can significantly reduce costs. For those without insurance, cost estimates will vary based on the kind of pregnancy, the frequency of prenatal care, and the actual needs during delivery. Another variable cost may include where you plan to have your baby, such as at home, in a birthing center or at a hospital.

Many obstetricians, when working with the uninsured, charge a single fee for prenatal visits and eventual delivery of babies. Others charge on a visit-by-visit basis. Average number of prenatal visits is about 14 during the pregnancy and cost per each visit for an uninsured person can range from approximately $80-$150 US Dollars (USD). This cost doesn’t account for high-risk pregnancies where many more visits may be needed. On average though, at the high end you can expect to pay $2,100 USD for prenatal visits.

Pregnant women may require various lab tests and exams, which add to the cost to have a baby. Blood tests may be several hundred dollars, about $300 USD for a complete blood count. A sonogram averages about $200-$700 USD and amniocentesis, which not all women have, may be about $1,500 USD. This adds about $2,500 USD to the total.

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Actual delivery in a hospital ranges in price too and will depend on whether your labor is complicated, if you need a caesarean section, the type of medications — like an epidural — you might use, and the length of hospital stay. An uncomplicated vaginal birth is priced at about $8,000 USD, but hospital stay afterward can easily increase bills to anywhere from $10,000-$25,000 USD. Average charge for a c-section is about $11,000 USD.

Delivery at a birthing center staffed by nurse midwives can reduce the cost to have a baby, provided no complications occur that require transfer to a hospital. Average cost to deliver in a birth centers is about $4,000-$6,000 USD. Home delivery with a nurse midwife may be even less expensive, priced at around $2,500-$4,000 USD. This may include all prenatal checkups too.

It’s important to view these figures as estimates only. They are subject to change and will be different outside of the US, where costs can be more or less. Insurance can significantly help reduce expenses and women who do not have insurance and can’t qualify for government health care might want to look at pregnancy discount insurances, which can help reduce total cost. Another valuable consideration is that these costs represent only the beginning of expense. Care for a newborn during its first year of life can easily be as much as, if not more, than the initial cost of having the baby.

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Discuss this Article

lsmithb
Post 3

I have a question: how much does it cost to have a baby in the US? Do I need to have insurance? How much would the total be? I am planning to have a baby, but I need to have more information.

renee03
Post 2

Knowing in advance that there are always unexpected costs of raising a baby, it's a good idea to hone in your budget now. There are a lot of well-known ways to save -- like breastfeeding instead of buying formula, using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers, and avoiding in-home daycare services.

In addition, you should try to set aside money every month for a larger place. Parents are very hasty to begin looking for a new place because of the limited space but it may not be very budget conscious at the time.

You can also make small dents in your gas and electricity bills by switching to cold water in wash cycles and setting the thermostat at a more money-friendly temperature.

Does anyone else have any alternatives to add when trying to be budget conscious with a new bundle of joy?

hrquir
Post 1

New parents may find it very alarming at how much it will cost to bring their little bundle of joy home, but also just the cost of care in first year is alarming. The average parent spends approximately $10,000 in the first year of their baby’s life!

Most mothers grow anxious about money after having a child. And, a good chunk find out that it's more expensive to raise a kid than they had originally expected. Not only do the items that you are prepared to spend money on hurt you financially, but unexpected doctor’s visits and having to purchase formula when you expected to breastfeed can contribute.

These numbers make it very realistic for first time parents to begin planning and adjusting their budget to accommodate their very small -- but costly! -- new addition.

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