Hospital Charges Mom $40 To Hold Her Newborn Baby

The internet is going bananas over a hospital bill—and rightly so.

The bill, posted by new father Ryan Grassley under the username halfthrottle on Reddit has commenters shocked and confused by a $40 charge. The line item reads “Skin to Skin After C-Section $39.35.”

I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.

The new father explained the bill on Reddit. “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 to. We just noticed it in the bill today.”

The photo has since been viewed over 5 million times, with nearly 12 thousand comments. And, while some commenters urged the father to alert the media and bashed U.S. healthcare, Grassley and his wife are laughing it off.

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

Then, a labor and delivery nurse answered all our questions. Well, at least in theory.

“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,” she wrote. “‘Skin to skin’ in the [operating room] is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come in to the [operating room] and make sure the baby is safe.”

Given the benefits of skin to skin contact after delivery, it seems like something the hospitals could just throw in, doesn’t it?

But, the nurse added: “The Mom is still being closed up after the delivery. She is anesthetized from the chest down, and may feel faint, or nauseated. Someone needs to be there to make sure that the baby doesn’t slide off of her chest onto the floor, and to pick up the baby if she starts feeling unwell.”

Well OK, now that she puts it that way… I’m pretty sure we’d all pay whatever it takes to keep our babies safe and have those first precious snuggles.