The national average cost of giving birth in the US is $13,000-14,000. Adding $3,000 to $4000 for child and mother care, takes the total cost to $16,000 to 17,000. However, the cost may vary depending on location, hospital charges, doctor fees, complications in the birth process, lab tests for the baby and you, room charges, anesthesiologist (if required), and medications administered.
Breakdown of Costs Associated with Giving Birth in the US
Prenatal care: Prenatal care costs can range from $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on the number of visits and the specific tests and care required.
Normal vaginal delivery: The average cost for a vaginal delivery without complications is around $10,000 to $15,000. This includes the cost of hospital stays, medical care, and professional fees for the medical providers.
C-section delivery: A Cesarean section delivery typically costs more, averaging around $15,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the circumstances and if any complications arise.
Postnatal care: Postnatal care costs can vary, but they typically range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the level of care needed and the number of follow-up appointments.
One-time Baby Supplies: You’ll also need baby supplies for your newborn. It may cost you $3000 to $5000. You can reduce these expenses if you save your first baby’s stuff for your second baby.
Different Ways to Pay for Baby Birth and Save Some Money
One of the most common ways to pay for childbirth costs is through health insurance. If you have a policy, review the coverage details, including deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums. Ensure your preferred healthcare providers and facilities are in-network, usually resulting in lower costs. The Affordable Care Act mandates that all employer-sponsored healthcare plans cover maternal care and childbirth.
You can qualify for Medicaid if you have a low income. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for eligible individuals and families. Pregnant women are often eligible for coverage, which can significantly reduce or even eliminate childbirth costs.
Some hospitals and healthcare providers offer payment plans allowing you to finance the cost of childbirth over a period of time. This can make it easier to manage expenses, especially if you don’t have insurance or have a high-deductible plan.
Don’t hesitate to discuss costs with your healthcare providers. You can sometimes negotiate lower prices, particularly if you’re paying out-of-pocket. It’s also helpful to request an itemized bill to review charges and identify any errors or unnecessary costs.
Choose a birthing center or home birth
If you have a low-risk pregnancy, consider using a birthing center or having a home birth with the help of a midwife. These options can be more affordable than a traditional hospital birth but still provide a safe and supportive environment. The average home birth cost, including prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care, is $4000 to $5000. Many insurance plans don’t cover home birth; people using this option must pay out of pocket.
Prenatal and postnatal care
Attend prenatal classes, and follow your healthcare provider’s advice to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. You can reduce the likelihood of complications by taking good care of yourself and the baby, leading to minimum birth-related complications.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)
If you can access an FSA or HSA through your employer, you can use pre-tax dollars to cover eligible medical expenses, including childbirth costs. This can result in significant tax savings.
Financial assistance programs
Some hospitals and nonprofit organizations offer financial assistance programs to help cover the cost of childbirth for those in need. Research local programs and apply for help if you’re eligible.
What are the Out-of-Pocket Expenses while giving Birth if you have Insurance?
People with insurance will have to pay around $2,800 as out-of-pocket expenses. Costs for vaginal births ($2,600) are generally lower than for cesarean births ($3,200). Out-of-pocket expenses may include deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance and will vary based on your insurance plan. To minimize costs, ensure you give birth at an in-network hospital or facility, as out-of-network care may lead to higher expenses. The costs mentioned here are estimates and may vary depending on your insurance plan.
How Much to Save Before Having a Baby?
It depends. Most experts recommend having an emergency fund cushion of $20,000 – $25,000.
If you have insurance, you’ll still need money to pay for deductibles, co-pays, or any expense not covered by the hospital.
Moreover, you must also have ample funds for diapers, formula, baby clothes, and other day-to-day needs.
How much does it Cost to Adopt a Child?
The cost depends on how you adopt the child. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, adoption through the foster care system is free. The state often reimburses or waives the home study and legal fees.
On the contrary, adoption through a private agency may cost you up to $60,000. However, you can adopt a child through independent agencies for as low as $20,000.
How much does it Cost to Raise a Child?
The USDA has estimated that it costs around $233,610 to raise a child (from 0-17) in families with before-tax income between $59,200 and $107,400.
People with lower household incomes may spend up to $170,000, and those with higher incomes may spend up to $380,000.