Did You Know? Hospitals Can Charge You For Holding Your Newborn
For years I’ve wondered why some women were adamant about not having hospital births for their children; now, I know why.
Refinery 29 reported the story of a new father who shared a photo on Reddit of his family’s hospital bill after his wife gave birth to their son. Highlighted on the bill was a charge for “skin to skin after c-sec.”
“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 too. We just noticed it on the bill today,” halfthrottle captioned his post.
According to Fit Pregnancy, skin-to-skin touch between a mother and child is imperative after giving birth because it helps the infant adapt to its post-birth environment and generate the mother’s milk production. “When your baby was in the womb, she didn’t need to regulate her own temperature. Since your skin is the same temperature as the womb, Baby will find it easier to adapt; [Dr. Shah, who is the assistant professor of pediatrics and neonatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine] told Fit Pregnancy ‘When mom and baby are together, hormones that regulate lactation balance out, helping [her] produce more milk.’”
After halfthrottle revealed the additional charges the hospital added to the bill, many Reddit users were outraged and began lamenting about the capitalist health care system we have in the U.S. Despite their opinions and theories, one Reddit user who’s a nurse stepped forward to explain why the hospital charged the couple a petty $39.95 for halfthrottle’s wife to hold their son.
“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. Skin to skin’ in the [operating room] is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come into the [operating room] and make sure the baby is safe,” the nurse shared in the Reddit thread.
“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,” she continued.
Given that information, Refinery 29 journalist Sara Coughlin claims the real issue here is the fact that hospitals “lack transparency” with their patients and should provide concise, comprehensive information on parents should expect when giving birth at their facility.
Do you agree?