An itemized medical bill for labor and delivery has recently gone viral after the new dad spotted a peculiar charge. Among the standard services, such as delivery and lactation consultations, the hospital charged the parents for holding their baby. The service was described as “skin-to-skin contact after C-section” with a price tag of $39.35 — and the dad couldn’t believe what he was reading.
Hoping others would agree with the absurdity of the charge, he posted it on Reddit, with this explanation:
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 in the bill today. The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest. 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.
While the father didn’t seem that upset over the mysterious charge, the Internet certainly was. The photo of the bill got close to three million views in under 24 hours. But did the family really get billed for bonding with their newborn? Thanks to the insight of one Reddit commenter, it seems there might have been a bit more to the charge:
As a labor and delivery nurse, I can kind of explain this. 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. 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.
At least that explanation makes more sense than a hospital simply charging parents to embrace their own child!