The Mighty Logo

New Dad Shares $39.35 Bill for Holding Baby After C-Section, Starts GoFundMe Campaign

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Health care in America is expensive. So expensive, it can cost upwards of $13,000 to have a cesarean section. But, as it turns it, physically giving birth isn’t the only overpriced part of having a child. Holding your baby after a C-section is going to cost you too, new dad Ryan Grassley shared when he posted a copy of his wife’s medical bill on Reddit,

On September 4, Grassley and his wife went to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, Utah, for the birth of their child. “[After the C-section] the nurse asked if we wanted to do skin to skin ASAP after baby was born,” Grassley told The Mighty. “So we of course said yes, but when the bill came were pretty surprised that was a line item of the bill.” The charge… $39.35 to hold their newborn child.

Copy of the Grassley's bill.
Credit: Ryan Grassley

Grassley posted the bill to Reddit and imgur where the post received more than 2.6 million views in less than 24 hours. Many people commented with their experience with outrageous medical bills or general confusion over how the American medical system works.

“It has been interesting to see how shocked people are about the medical expenses in the USA,” he said. “Most people seem to be more shocked about the $13,000 for a C-section than the $40 for holding the baby.”

One commenter, a labor and delivery nurse, added to the Reddit thread, explaining why the couple might have been charged: “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,” she wrote. “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.”

In response to the seemingly absurd charge, Grassley is crowdfunding on GoFundMe to raise the $40 he and his wife spent holding their child.

“If I reach my goal of $39.35 I will use it to pay off this ‘ridiculous’ fee,” he wrote. “Any money donated over the $39.35 will be put towards a Vesectomy [sic] because I never want to go though these sleepless new baby nights again.”

Originally published: October 4, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home