Facility Labor and Birth Charges by Site and Mode of Birth,
United States, 2008-2010
The cost of having a baby varies depending on the place of birth (hospital or birth center), the way you give birth (vaginal or cesarean birth), and whether there are complications.
There are many costs associated with having a baby, but for most women, the fee charged by the birth facility is the most expensive. The average hospital charge for an uncomplicated vaginal birth is about five times the average birth center charge for a vaginal birth. Hospital charges skyrocket when there are complications and when the birth is by cesarean section.
It is difficult to find out ahead of time how much a specific hospital charges for a vaginal birth or cesarean section because they often charge different amounts to different insurance companies, and don’t generally disclose these prices publicly. Women with no insurance usually pay more than insurance companies, who negotiate a lower price. In addition, charges vary across counties and states, with no clear pattern. There is an active movement to increase price transparency in health care to enable consumers and health care payers to make more informed choices.
A chart showing the average facility labor and birth charges by site (hospital or birth center) and mode of birth (vaginal or cesarean) is available from Childbirth Connection’s Transforming Maternity Care Partnership.
Most recent page update: 11/16/2012
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Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.