Cost of childbirth in the USA

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How much do US parents pay out of pocket to deliver their own baby?

As a foreigner myself this whole topic still baffles me to this day.

In general the cost of healthcare services in the USA are so much higher than many other countries.

In many European countries you can give birth without any cost to you at all. Your insurance covers all of it – yes, ALL of it.

The average cost of having a baby without complications during delivery in the US is $10.808.

More than $10.000! That could easily be a down payment for a house or buying a really nice used car.

If you want to include the cost for prenatal and after birth care this amount can go up all the way to $30.000. C-sections are more expensive than a vaginal birth.

C-sections are on the rise though, since the early 1970s the number of C-sections increased by 500%.

Costly experience

How much you pay out of pocket for childbirth in the USA always depends on many factors.

Do you have insurance? What state are you giving birth in? What insurance plan do you have/how much is covered?

Did you experience any complications during birth?

By federal law cost for maternity and pregnancy have to be included in health insurance plans. However there are exceptions.

You are allowed to stay in your parent’s health insurance plan up until the age of 26. This does not cover costs for delivery and newborn care but does cover maternity care.

Also in grandfathered health care plans or plans created before March 23rd 2010 will not guarantee pregnancy and maternity care.

If you want to find how much of the cost will be covered by your insurance you can usually ask and get a number. This does usually not include any costs for copay’s or deductibles.

Also it is affected by how much of your out-of-pocket limit you already paid. And keep in mind that depending on your plan you may not be able to give birth at any hospital without a huge bill coming your way.

If you give birth in a hospital within your providers network you are on the save side.

Saving money

Whether the pregnancy was completely planned or you just found out you are pregnant without expecting it – you should start saving money now.

If you can put some money on the side every payday that will help you out big time at the end.

Not only the cost of giving birth but also all the things you need to buy for your baby.
Once you find out you are pregnant or even when you are planning on having a child.

Start putting money in a separate savings account.

That is what I did

And it left us without worry about money right after my baby was born.

Especially being on maternity leave with only 55% of my paycheck and my husband taking two weeks of paternity leave himself with 55% of his normal paycheck it was a big help.

It does not have to be much, $50 each payday can go a long way and will add up.

Money is the last thing you want to worry about the first few weeks after giving birth. You want to enjoy your baby and not think about how you are gonna pay that hospital bill.

The cost of childbirth in the USA is definitely not a fun topic.

It can also help if you start making a budget.

That way you can see where most of your money goes and where you can potentially cut back on spending.

This will also help you in the long run if you stick to it.

money childbirth cost

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Experiences

First i want to tell you about my personal experience with the cost of childbirth in the USA. In California to be more specific.

We have Insurance with a HMO plan, meaning you have assigned doctors you can go to and we have a copay that had to be paid every time i went for prenatal care.

Which is a lot.

So just the copay alone added up. I worked up to 36 weeks pregnant and then took maternity leave.

Maternity leave is paid for up to 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after giving birth. (Longer if you had a C-section)

I gave birth in a hospital within our insurance network. The delivery was natural and without complications.

I stayed no longer than necessary which was about two days.

We got released with a Bill for roughly $1300 that we had to pay as our deductible.

I knew before how much it would cost me so we were prepared.

And I was able to get a breast pump trough insurance at no cost for me.

Trough a survey I had the pleasure to ask different women about their experience with the cost of childbirth in the US.

Here’s what they said:

How old were you when giving birth? 19 & 27
What state did you give birth in? Pennsylvania & Illinois
Roughly how much did you pay out of pocket? less than $100
Did you give birth natural or via C-section? Natural
Did you receive medication such as a epidural? YES
Did medication or type of birth change the amount you had to pay? Everything was covered by Medicaid
What Insurance Plan do you have? Medicaid

– by anonymous –

How old were you when giving birth?
33
What state did you give birth in? Michigan
Roughly how much did you pay out of pocket?

$1000 – $3000
Did you give birth natural or via C-section?

Natural
Did you receive medication such as a epidural?

YES
Did medication or type of birth change the amount you had to pay?

YES
What Insurance Plan do you have?

PPO

– by anonymous –

How old were you when giving birth?
30
What state did you give birth in? Georgia
Roughly how much did you pay out of pocket?

$100 – $500
Did you give birth natural or via C-section?

Natural
Did you receive medication such as a epidural?

YES
Did medication or type of birth change the amount you had to pay?

NO
What Insurance Plan do you have?

PPO

– by anonymous –

How old were you when giving birth?
30
What state did you give birth in? Nevada
Roughly how much did you pay out of pocket?

$1000 – $3000
Did you give birth natural or via C-section?

C-section
Did you receive medication such as a epidural?

YES
Did medication or type of birth change the amount you had to pay?

NO
What Insurance Plan do you have?

HMO

– by anonymous –

How old were you when giving birth? 36
What state did you give birth in? North Carolina
Roughly how much did you pay out of pocket? more than $5000
Did you give birth natural or via C-section? Natural
Did you receive medication such as a epidural? YES
Did medication or type of birth change the amount you had to pay? YES
What Insurance Plan do you have?
PPO

– by anonymous –

Quotes

” My experience was amazing. I got a lot of free supplies from my insurance (breast pump, bottles..). “

“Had great midwifes(both times), great hospital staff”

“Experience was great but too expensive. “

All information provided about experiences of the cost for childbirth in the USA was collected via Survey on our Facebook Page. All respondents featured chose to stay anonymous.

Thank you so much for being a part of this article and all your support!

baby feet childbirth

If you want your experience featured here let me know and I’ll gladly add it!

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Out of pocket cost for childbirth USA
How much does it cost to give birth

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4 thoughts on “Cost of childbirth in the USA”

  1. It’s funny, my mother kept the receipts from when she had me in 1991 and in total without insurance it cost around $600. They still charged for silly things back then. 28 years later and WOW have prices increased…and that’s with insurance coverage. So blessed to have married and moved to Australia where everything was covered and I didn’t have to worry about a thing besides paying for the ultrasounds beforehand. Even a late night trip to the ER 12 days alter because of mastitis didn’t cost me a dime. Hopefully the US will work on the health coverage for citizens. I know it’s a work in progress and it started when I left, and it’s only the first few years with many tweaks to go, but hopefully it will get more affordable for citizens to go to the doctor whenever they need without needing insurance. Having it just be a part of taxes like in AU is quite good in my opinion.

    1. Right? I don’t get why literally everything is so expensive here. The US really needs to work on more affordable healthcare.

  2. Wow I didn’t realize you get paid maternity leave in California! Now if they could just fix their medical freedom issue 😅 This was a great post and so accurate… I saved all my bills from my first pregnancy so I could reference them later but they were charging me 3.50 for EACH generic pill of tylenol. 🤦‍♀️

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 Yes you get some but nothing compared to what other countries have. Wow that is crazy when you think about how cheap you can get a whole pack of them!

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