My Labor and Delivery Bill Breakdown: How Much Pregnancy Costs

This article is a full labor and delivery bill breakdown.

The total cost of my pregnancy would have tallied up to at least $41,887 without insurance. My out of pocket costs came to $3,646 with my high-deductible health insurance plan.

Even though my pregnancy was about as uncomplicated as I could have hoped for, my total cost was much higher than most Google results I could find. Read on for an itemized list of what the hell costs so much and why you could have a delayed bill show up much later than you expect.

labor and delivery bill breakdown

My Plain Vanilla Pregnancy

While my pregnancy felt like a special, out-of-body experience for me at times, medically, it was pretty uneventful. I was in good health by most measures for the duration and delivered a healthy baby at full term after spontaneously going into labor. There was little extraordinary care that I needed.

Generally, I followed the doctor’s guidance and took advantage of standard prenatal care. Anything that was recommended by my OB-GYN throughout, I did. We didn’t, however, do any advanced DNA testing or find out our baby’s gender. We were convinced we were having a boy. 🍼

The only unique factor of my pregnancy is that I have Rh negative blood, which may have slightly bumped up our costs. When a mother has Rh negative blood, one shot (of RhoGAM) is administered to her during pregnancy. After baby arrives, a second shot may be needed depending on their blood type. (We never needed that second shot because my baby also has Rh negative blood.)

Game Day

Just a few days before my due date, after a day of work, I started having painful contractions right before bed. After packing up enough Jello to feed a preschool for a week (because clear snacks!), my husband and I arrived at the emergency room around 10:30pm. 

The progression of my labor was anything but linear. After spending the first 45 minutes in triage convinced that we might be sent back home, shit abruptly got real. We were transported back to labor and delivery and I decided, hysterically, that it was going to be time for an epidural. 

I gave birth to my daughter at 3:30am after what was a fairly straightforward labor. She was delivered vaginally with a minimal amount of tearing. Most importantly, she was strong and healthy and had a full head of absolutely flaming red hair. (Neither me or my husband are redheads.)

We didn’t overstay our welcome in labor and delivery, and sadly, we never ate that gallon of Jello. 

The Reckoning: My Labor & Delivery Bill Breakdown

Bills started showing up about one month after we were home with our sweet baby girl.

Without insurance, the total sticker price for my pregnancy would have been $41,887. Out of pocket, I ended up paying $3,646. This amount includes all prenatal, labor, postpartum, and newborn care that took place at the hospital. It includes the two nights we stayed after she was born (which is standard), but it excludes any pediatrician costs we incurred after we left.

My insurance company paid $16,090 on my behalf. The remaining $22,152 was recorded as “insurance adjustments.” 

Insurance adjustments are amounts that your doctor or hospital agreed not to charge the insurance company. Your insurer negotiates with providers for these discounts which greatly reduces the amount they actually pay to the hospital on your behalf.

When Description Amount
PRENATAL Blood & Glucose Tests $279.00
PRENATAL Rho D Immune Globulin Inj $291.00
PRENATAL Ultrasound $587.00
PRENATAL Tdap Vaccine $153.00
PRENATAL STD Tests $692.00
LABOR HC CARVE OUT – OBSERVATION CARDIAC $126.00
LABOR HC CARVE OUT – OBSERVATION RADIOLOGY $126.00
LABOR HC OBSERVATION PER HOUR MODERATE $252.00
LABOR HC US PREG 1 OR MORE FETUSES LTD $817.00
LABOR HC TEST NON STRESS FET $852.00
LABOR LIDOCAINE-EPINEPHRINE $9.53
LABOR BUTORPHANOL PER 1 MG $14.26
LABOR LACTATED RINGER’S SOLUTION $32.50
LABOR HC SYPHILIS TEST QUAL $38.00
LABOR HC HEMOGLOBIN $42.00
LABOR OXYTOCIN PER 10 UNITS $50.35
LABOR EPIDURAL GOD BLESS $97.50
LABOR HC INJ THER SUBQ/IM $248.00
LABOR HC BLOOD TYPING RH(D) $305.00
LABOR HC ANTIBODY SCRN RBC EA SERUM $448.00
LABOR HC COOMBS DIRCT EA ANTISERUM $501.00
LABOR Pr Obstetrical Care,vag Deliv Only $720.00
LABOR HC BLOOD TYPING ABO $1,008.00
LABOR HC BLOOD TYPING ABO – Baby’s Care $1,008.00
LABOR HC OB PRIVATE ROOM $3,022.00
LABOR Full Rout Obste Care,Vaginal Deliv $7,002.00
LABOR HC L&D VAGINAL DELIVERY ONLY $7,870.00
POSTPARTUM PRENATAL VITAMIN TAB $3.00
POSTPARTUM DOCUSATE $4.00
POSTPARTUM GLYCERIN-WITCH HAZEL $6.63
POSTPARTUM ACETAMINOPHEN/IBUPROFEN $12.00
POSTPARTUM BENZOCAINE $12.60
POSTPARTUM ERYTHROMYCIN OINTMENT (BABY’S EYES) $26.57
POSTPARTUM BILIRUBIN MEASUREMENT $45.00
POSTPARTUM PHYTONADIONE (VITAMIN K1) 1 MG/0.5 ML SYRG $73.13
POSTPARTUM HC ADMIN HEPATITIS B VACC $111.00
POSTPARTUM Initial Newborn Care $266.00
POSTPARTUM HC NURSERY LEVEL 1 $3,762.00
POSTPARTUM BILIRUBIN MEASUREMENT $90.00
POSTPARTUM Subsequent Hospital Care Normal Newborn $119.00
POSTPARTUM HC ECHO DPLR COLOR FLOW MAP $1,000.00
POSTPARTUM HC ECHO DPLR COMPLT $1,303.00
POSTPARTUM HC ECHO CONGENITAL CARD COMPLT $1,932.00
POSTPARTUM HC NURSERY LEVEL 1 $3,762.00
POSTPARTUM BILIRUBIN MEASUREMENT $45.00
POSTPARTUM Discharge Day – Baby’s Care $203.00
POSTPARTUM FERROUS SULFATE $2.00
POSTPARTUM HC OB PRIVATE ROOM $3,022.00

Charges I found highly sus were the duplicate $7,000 lines for Vaginal Delivery. Even worse, a bill for the second charge didn’t show up until January of 2022, about six months after birth. Naturally, I investigated further.

I contacted the hospital’s billing department before paying, and they provided this hot take:

“For all hospital services, including procedures and testings, there are two types of charges:

  1. A professional charge for the work of the doctors and the nurse practitioners (physician’s portion)
  2. A facility charge for the work of technicians and all of the services rendered and supplies used at the facility (hospital’s portion)

The first $7,000 billed was the physician’s portion. The second $7,000 balance you were recently billed for was the hospital’s portion.”

Why might you care? You could receive several large bills for labor and delivery, and one may come months after you think you’re already paid up. 

I’ll end this one with a bold idea for anyone building that baby registry. Instead of asking for 37 receiving blankets or that wipe warmer, request a labor and delivery fund. You’re getting ready to pay for the most worthwhile expense of your life, but if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, this is a realistic look at what your labor and delivery bill breakdown could look like.👆

If you’re financially preparing for baby, check out The Ultimate Financial Checklist for Pregnancy. You’re already ahead of the game!

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial advisor.

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