Why Would A Hospital Charge You For Holding Your Newborn Baby?

Image courtesy of halfthrottle

Though there are many kinds of surprises you might find on your bill after a trip to the hospital, some seem too strange to be true. For example, a new father in Utah who was amused to find a charge for the moment his wife held their newborn baby against her chest. What in the world?

The new dad posted his bill on Reddit with the $39.35 charge for “Skin to Skin after C-Sec,” telling PIX-11 he thought it was “funny and a bit ridiculous,” but that overall they had a good experience at the hospital.

“The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest,” he wrote on Reddit. “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.”

Although the charge disgusted many commenters, as one redditor who claims to be a labor and delivery nurse pointed out, it’s not about charging for access to your kid: in fact, holding the baby in the operating room “requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby,” and that staffer’s services cost money.

A spokeswoman for Utah Valley Hospital echoed that reasoning in a statement to the news station, noting that the hospital generally advocates for skin-to-skin contact directly after birth, and does “everything possible” to allow it after any kind of birthing process.

“In the case of a c-section, where the bedside caregiver is occupied caring for the mother during surgery, an additional nurse is brought into the OR to allow the infant to remain in the OR suite with the mother,” she explains. “This is to ensure both patients remain safe. There is an additional charge associated with bringing an extra caregiver into the OR. The charge is not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest levels of patient safety.”

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