A Reddit poster has shared a bill which shows that he and his wife were charged to hold their newborn baby.
The image of the breakdown of costs, which has since gone viral, shows charges for a C-section, a lactaction consultant, and skin to skin contact, at the cost of $39.95 (or around £31 in UK currency).
The user, who writes under the handle halfthrottle, captioned the image: ‘I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.’
He added further down the thread that he was not unhappy with the charges, saying that the hospital were brilliant throughout the delivery, but he will still surprised to see the addition on the list.
‘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,’ he explained.
‘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.’
Others were quick to share similar experiences: ‘I asked for an itemized bill after my son was born. They immediately offered to reduce the price 40%. Proudest moment of my life was the birth of my son. The second was when I countered at 60% and she accepted,’ one wrote.
‘It would be funny to refuse the service. No, thank you, we will wait until we get home to hold him!’ another quipped.
Whilst halfthrottle’s post was simply a note of a surprising addition rather than a complaint, it sparked a huge discussion about the cost of healthcare, and in particular childbirth, in America, where there is no system like the UK’s NHS in place.
One user, however, did have a potential explanation for the charge.
‘As a labor and delivery nurse, I can kind of explain this,’ they said. ‘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.’
What do you think of the skin to skin charge – fair enough, or totally out of order? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.