The cost of giving birth


No, I’m not going to go into gory details of physical changes and all that – actually, it’s much worse!  We got our bill from the hospital…and the obstetrician…and the pediatrician…and the anesthesiologist. 

One word: ouch!

What happened to the good old days of the doc coming to your house, delivering a baby, and the church ladies bringing over casseroles afterwards?  True, I can’t complain about the better odds of living through the process, but holy cow!  Should it really cost that much to deliver a kid?

I have to admit, I was curious before we even started considering which hospital to go with, so I called the insurance company to see what the birth would cost.  They quickly assured me that our out-of-pocket costs would be minimal – which of course, I was glad to hear.  And they were right – we have one co-pay for two nights in the hospital and that’s it.  I wasn’t brave enough to point-blank ask them what their costs would be.  

I can’t help but think that some of these numbers are pulled out of thin air.  It’s just not possible that the guy who did all the work in my opinion – the obstetrician – did less than the guy who stuck a needle in my back – the anesthesiologist.  And don’t even get me started on the price tag the hospital put on the “semi-private room:” after all, it’s really just a hotel room with a nurse on call, right?  And a crappy hotel room, at that – at least at a hotel I wouldn’t have to share a small room with another tired mom and screaming baby, partitioned off only by a curtain that did absolutely nothing for privacy. 

I do have to admit that my kid screamed more than hers. 

So by now you’re all waiting breathlessly to hear the actual numbers, right?  Here’s the approximant totals:

  • 4k: Two nights in the hospital
  • 3.5K: The obstetrician’s services
  • 4K: Labor and delivery, miscellaneous stuff during my stay
  • 4.5K: the anesthesiologist
  • $300: the pediatrician (for standing there and doing nothing)

Total, we estimated the entire thing “cost” around 16K.  It didn’t really, because thankfully the insurance company put their foot down and only paid out an estimated two-thirds of the billed prices.  Thanks to the big bad, evil insurance company, the anesthesiologist only received about 3K for his expertise and 20 minutes of work (extreme sarcasm there in case you didn’t pick up on it.)


All things aside, if we didn’t have insurance, I would seriously have considered a home birth.  Those prices are just insane!



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