Even with excellent health insurance, having a baby in an American hospital can cost thousands. It seems every little thing that goes into giving birth has a price tag. But it's not until looking at the hospital bill do you realize just how bizarre some of the charges are.
A dad who goes by the username halfthrottle on Reddit posted the following image of the itemized statement from the medical center. Notice anything weird about the highlighted portion?
Yes, there was a $39.35 charge for the mom to have skin-to-skin contact with her son after her operation.
"During the C-section the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes to," the new father explained.
Redditors were up in arms about the fee, however slight in comparison to the actual delivery cost. And readers from other countries with universal health coverage were especially shocked.
But another commenter, a labor and delivery nurse, explained why there's a charge at all for parents to hold their babies after C-sections.
Doing "skin to skin" in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby. We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay. "Skin to skin" in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come in to the OR and make sure the baby is safe.
And the parents, themselves, weren't even mad about it.
The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife's neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill.