How Much Does it Cost to Have a Baby?
Last Updated: January 11, 2023
Becoming a parent is a massive responsibility and an expensive endeavor. But how much does it cost to have a baby?
Just a hint, the total price of bringing a child into the world includes the health care provided before and during the pregnancy, as well as the delivery and hospital fees. Additionally, you want to make sure you have funds in case of an emergency.
Of course, many factors affect the cost of having a baby. To avoid putting yourself under unnecessary pressure and financial stress, you must consider them all. So read on and be prepared.
Factors that Affect the Costs of Pregnancy and Giving Birth
Here are some of the major factors that affect the total cost of having a baby in the US.
More titan 30.4 million Americans had no health insurance in 2020. If you’re one of them, you may want to seek some sort of healthcare coverage since the cost of giving birth without insurance in the USA is pretty high.
The government has provided federal-funded medical plans such as Medicaid. Income eligibility criteria for cover under Medicaid is set at 200% of the federal poverty level. If your income is still modest but higher than the set 200% for Medicaid, your child may qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
There are also individual and employer-sponsored insurance options. Both private and federal-funded medical plans bring down the out-of-pocket cost of childbirth by negotiating discounts with healthcare providers.
So, how much does it cost to give birth with insurance?
According to a 2018 study (the most recent data available), the average for all types of deliveries with insurance is around $4,500.
Naturally, you would next ask:
How much does it cost to give birth without insurance?
The uninsured cost of having a baby is anywhere from $9,000 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth to $30,000 for a C-section.
Type of birth
The cost of having a baby will also depend on the type of birth you have. Here is a list of the different types of births and the average cost of each in the US:
- Home birth: Between $3,000 and $6,000
- C-Section: Between $7,000 and $30,000
- Vaginal birth (hospital delivery cost): Between $5,000 and $11,000
- Water birth: Between $2,000 to $6,000
The average cost of having a baby will also depend on which hospital you use, your insurance, and your zip code. And if you’ve opted for a home birth, you’ll also have to factor in the midwife cost, which varies.
If you’ve chosen to give birth in a hospital, you’ll be charged for the medical treatment you receive. The total cost of hospital birth includes epidurals, anesthesia, and possible complications during birth.
With that being said, the average cost of an epidural is $2,132. Possible complications in the delivery room can cost you up to $11,000. You’ll also be charged for staying at the hospital after birth.
Do hospitals charge to hold your baby?
It may not be the case for other hospitals, but a recent report stated that a Utah hospital charged parents $39 for holding their newborn baby immediately after the birth. It’s noteworthy that the child was born via cesarean section. And while many were quick to criticize the hospital for charging the couple for skin-to-skin contact, medical professionals commented on the news, rationalizing the controversial practice.
Holding the baby immediately after birth is believed to support mothers to initiate breastfeeding and bond. Hospitals encourage immediate skin-to-skin after vaginal deliveries. But in the cases of C-sections, mothers are under anesthesia, lying on the operating table. This requires an additional nurse on hand to ensure the safety of the immobilized and often drugged-up patient and their baby.
So, basically, parents pay a fee for that extra labor and for the bonding act of holding their baby. Still, hospitals don’t usually charge such a fee (or don’t label it this way in the hospital bill for having a baby). In most cases, you will only have to factor in the cost of labor and delivery as well as charges for epidurals and extra time spent in the hospital.
Expenses during pregnancy
There are also medical expenses that you need to consider during pregnancy. You’ll need to do regular checkups to ensure the baby is healthy. The mother will have two ultrasounds during pregnancy. The average cost of ultrasounds can range between $375 to $800 each.
Pregnant women will also need to undergo maternal blood testing, which costs around $49. Some expecting mothers will also require prenatal vitamins, which can be between $60 and $90.
How Much Does it Cost to Give Birth In the US?
The average cost of birth in the US is $10,808.
But did you know that pregnancy and baby delivery costs can vary depending on the state you reside in? Each state has a different cost of living. Therefore, some states will have lower costs compared to others for expecting parents.
In this section, we’ll discuss the most expensive and cheapest states to have a baby and how much it can cost you if you don’t have insurance.
Most expensive and cheapest states to have a baby
The most expensive state to have a baby in the US is New York. And Queens is the most costly place in New York to give birth, with a median cost of $21,842.
On the other hand, the cheapest place to give birth in the US is Alabama. In this US state, the average cost of having a baby with insurance is $4,884. Vaginal delivery without insurance in Alabama will cost you $9,013.
A middle ground would be Alaska, with a cost of $10,681 for natural childbirth with insurance. Without medical coverage, the average figure goes up to $19,775.
How much does a C-section cost without insurance?
The cost of having a baby without insurance will depend on the state you reside in and the type of birth you have.
In Alabama, it will cost you $13,589.75 for a C-section without insurance. Whereas in Alaska, the median cost is $28,617.34 without insurance for a C-section, which is extremely expensive.
In Indiana, a C-section without insurance costs around $16,951.98, while in New York, it’s $22,059.22.
Bill Breakdown: How much does it cost to give birth?
To give you an idea of how much it can cost you to give birth in the US, we’ve done a labor and delivery bill breakdown:
- Average cost of vaginal birth: $5,000
- Average cost of epidural: $2,132
- Average cost of hospital stay: $2,607 per day
Therefore the total cost of vaginal birth will be an average of $9,739.
And here is a bill breakdown if you’re going to have a C-section:
- Average cost of C-Section: $17,004
- Average cost of regional anesthesia: $500
- Average cost of hospital stay: $2,607 per day
The total average cost will be $20,111.
Cheapest Ways to Give Birth in the USA
The US is the world’s most expensive place to give birth. It’s also the only developed country where medical costs can cause bankruptcy among its citizens.
But that shouldn’t stop you from having your bundle of joy. Instead, you can try to save money. The best way to do so is by opting for quality medical insurance. You can also open up a savings account and put money away every month during your pregnancy. Additionally, consider some of the cheaper ways to give birth. These are:
Don’t opt for a C-section
Depending on your health and the baby’s health, you can skip the C-Section, which is more expensive than natural birth. However, C-sections may be necessary if there are complications when giving birth. Consult your doctor for the best options if you want to avoid having a C-section.
Consider a water birth
After all your checkups and your doctor’s assurance that you and your baby are 100% healthy, you can opt for a water birth. You can have it at home or hospital, and it can cost an average of $2,300.
Skip the epidural
This may be an easy decision to make when you’re not on the birthing table, but you may change your mind when you’re in labor. Epidurals can raise the cost of birth by over $2,000. However, many mothers choose the epidural if the pain of giving birth is too much to bear.
Consider giving birth at home
It’s 68% cheaper to give birth at home than to have your baby in a hospital. The average home birth cost is around $3,000, and this price may include your midwife. Note, however, that you won’t be able to have an epidural when giving birth at home.
Wrap-Up: How Much Does it Cost to Have a Baby?
The average cost of childbirth in the US is $10,808. But the total bill can vary greatly, depending on several factors, including the type of birth, your zip code, and insurance coverage.
And remember, you’d need money not just for pregnancy and birth but also for childcare. According to estimates, the cost of raising a child until the age of 17 is $233,610 on average.
Overall, being a parent can be financially overwhelming. Still, having a baby is priceless!
The average epidural cost is $2,132, but this will depend on your state and the hospital you give birth in.
The average cost of anesthesia can range between $500 and $3,500. You may need local anesthesia if you’re having a C-section.
The average cost of pregnancy in the US with insurance will be $4,500. This will also depend on the insurance company you’re with and the state where you live.
The average cost to give birth at home can range between $3,000 and $6,000.
C-section costs in the US range between $7,000 and $30,000.
Depending on the location and the birthing center of choice, expecting parents can pay between $3,000 and $4,000 for the delivery.
The average cost of having a baby with insurance in California is $7,755, and $13,974.77 without insurance. C-sections would set you back around $11,390 if you have insurance and $19,184.14 if you don’t.
In Texas, vaginal birth with insurance costs $7,699, on average, and $14,641 without coverage. The cost of a C-section with insurance is around $11,267 and $19,551 without.