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.
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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.
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.