A woman had a baby. Then her hospital charged her $39.35 to hold it.

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This is a bill for a recent labor and delivery service in the United States. And it includes a $39.35 charge for holding the baby after delivery. Really.


The image of the bill, now shared widely on Reddit, shows a charge for “skin to skin after c sec.” The Reddit user who posted it explained more in a few comments. He wasn’t exactly mad about the charge — he said the hospital did a great job delivering his son. Instead, it more of spoke to the absurdity of American health care.

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 too. We just noticed it in the bill today.

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.

A labor and delivery nurse added a bit of context as to why this charge might show up on a bill — that it requires an additional nurse come in and watch the baby while it’s being held by the mother.

As a labor and delivery nurse, I can kind of explain this. I didn’t know that hospitals charged for it, but 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.

Mostly, the bill speaks to how mysterious medical bills can be, even for exceptionally common procedures like delivering a baby.


  1. Mary Van Wagenen

    October 11, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I dont think thats rt at all

  2. Giovanna M Leone

    October 11, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Ok…did anyone actually read the bill? She had a csection and the s2s was during the surgery. This is something new during surgery. I wasn’t able to s2s during csection with my first and you are basically restricted on upper body mobility also. So someone needs to be there to monitor this interaction for mom and babies safety. So this makes sense to me.

    • Aneta Samsel

      October 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      I agree I wasn’t mad when I received this bill because I was thankful to have a helping hand for my baby boys

    • Giovanna M Leone

      October 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      I’m having csection on baby 2 on 11/1. I will ask if we can do this too. I am high risk so I’m not sure. Hopefully yes. I will gladly pay to be more included in my csection.

  3. Amanda Marie

    October 11, 2016 at 12:43 am

    How expensive is this sheesh Jea Nnette

  4. Janeen Millar

    October 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    All I can say is “thank God we live in Canada”. As a labour and delivery nurse here, the greatest pleasure is showing mom her baby!

  5. Donovan Hixson

    October 12, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Wendy Pillows Hixson

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