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Hospital Charges New Mother $40 to Hold Her Own Baby

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(Via Imgur)

I thought the fact that dressing up as clowns to scare people was the big trend of 2016 was going to be the craziest thing I’ve seen all year, but I was wrong, because a woman just shared the hospital bill from her baby’s delivery, and they charged her $39.95 to hold the baby.

“I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born,” a user going by halfthrottle posted to Reddit yesterday, alongside an itemized receipt that definitely shows a $39.35 line item for “Skin to skin after C-sec.”

According to the father, after the C-section, the nurse asked if they wanted to do skin-to-skin contact with the baby after the delivery, and they said yes. So they put the baby on it’s mother’s chest, and the nurse took a picture with their camera.

It wasn’t until later, when they were checking out and got the bill, that they noticed they’d been billed for holding the baby. Fortunately Halfthrottle and his wife were not in a position where that was a nasty shock. They were already paying $1600 for the delivery, and for them the $40 charge sounds like it was more of a, “LOL, WTF is that!?” moment than an, “Oh no! This is terrible!” moment.

A nurse suggested that the charge was because a nurse has to be present for the skin-to-skin contact, so it’s paying for that extra staff. That makes a certain amount of sense, except that honestly nothing about the cost of giving birth in the U.S. seems to make a lick of sense at all. Everyone has to be born. How can it possibly cost this much?

As is always the case with these stories, I feel compelled to once again mention that I had my baby in Germany, and the whole damn thing was completely free. Sonograms, check-ups, those mesh underpants, etc. I never saw a bill for anything. I just showed up at the hospital in labor, they stuck me in a terribly swanky delivery room full of yoga balls and a giant bathtub that I will always regret not using, and 35 hours or so later I had a baby lying on my chest for free.

Still, Halfthrottle and partner were happy with their service and left the hospital with a healthy baby and no ill-will towards anyone, and that’s great, even if they did have to pay $40 to hold their own baby.