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How Much Does It Cost to Have a Baby? All Expenses Covered From Pregnancy to Childbirth

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How much does it cost to have a baby

Table of Contents

Pregnancy means being prepared for the impending expenses for the 9 months, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. The biggest bills arrive shortly after your little human does. Generally, the answer to “how much does it cost to have a baby” lies in your health insurance claims, your family income, and the location of your residence.

We have covered the nook and cranny of the cost of having a baby whether they are twins or not plus the expense you must expect for raising that child for two years. Read on to know how deep you have to dig in your pockets to birth and nurture a human!

How Much Does It Cost To Have a Baby in a Hospital?

According to a study by Kaiser Family Foundation, the healthcare costs of having a baby right from pregnancy to delivery are around $18,865 on average. This includes $2,854 paid out of your pockets. The amount varies on what kind of delivery you have (vaginal or cesarean), whether you had a hospital or home birth, what kind of insurance claims you have, etc.

1. Hospital Charges for a Single Child

Vaginal deliveries are costlier than cesareans. Unfortunately, as your pregnancy gets complicated, the cost of having a baby increases. Remember that the decision for a C-section or vaginal birth is taken keeping your and your baby’s health in mind.

A review by Thompson Healthcare says the average cost of having a baby through a C-section is almost 50% higher than vaginal births. It is estimated that the cost of having a single child is

  • Vaginal Delivery: $12,113 (insurance) + $2,655 (out of pocket) = $14,768
  • Cesarean Delivery: $23,066 (insurance) + $3,214 (out of pocket) = $26,280

2. Hospital Charges for Twin Births

A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the cost of having multiple births through C-section, longer hospital stays, frequent visits to the doctor, and health conditions like anemia, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, will dig your pockets deep. Twin births are also more likely to require neonatal intensive care.

Cost of Having a Baby With Health Insurance

The average cost of a healthy pregnancy and delivery costs $6,940 with health insurance. This number will vary between states and the type of delivery you are opting for. If you go for an alternative birthing option that is less clinical it will cost you even less such as using a midwife for maternity care, going to a birthing center, or opting for a home birth. For hospital births, here’s a breakdown of the costs you must expect to incur:

Hospital charges for childbirthCost
Mother’s care$2,700
Obstetric care$2,100
Baby’s care$900
Laboratory tests$500
Vaccine (other preventive drugs)$40
Total cost incurred$7,540

1. Coinsurance and Deductibles

The amount of the total cost incurred that you might have to pay out of your pocket depends on whether your health insurance claims. With insurance, you might have to pay your deductible towards your inpatient care. For radiology, physician services, or medication, you might have to have coinsurance or copays. The total cost of pregnancy care and delivery can range anywhere from $460 to $8,224 depending on the type of insurance plan you have.

Cost of Having a Baby Without Health Insurance

With no insurance claims, you will be responsible for paying the entire amount incurred right from prenatal care services to neonatal health services). However, many states have policies to make it easier for women with no health insurance claims in the state-sponsored health insurance program.

For example in the state of California, a pregnant single mum with no other children can get medical aid even if her annual earning of up $27,435. If you are pregnant and uninsured you can sign for marketplace insurance:

  • If you qualify for a special enrollment period because of certain life events
  • Through a 2 month special enrollment period after you gave birth
  • During the open enrollment period between November and January

If you opt for special enrollment after you give birth, the cost of the delivery won’t be covered in the insurance. Instead of purchasing a policy through a marketplace, you can buy it directly from the insurer. Before enrolling remember to check their policies. You may also negotiate the price with the hospital if you have no insurance claims.

Other Costs for a Newborn

When your little one arrives, you need a whole lot of supplies like a car seat, cribs, mattresses, bibs, diapers, clothes, etc. the good news is these are long mostly one-time expenses and you can reuse them when you have their siblings arrive. Top-of-the-line baby gear will cost you anywhere more than $3000 but you could get second-hand items that still meet safety standards (ask family or friends for hand-me-downs).

However, avoid used car seats because they have expiration dates and may have been in accidents (you may never know). Also, their safety standards keep upgrading so it’s better to get the latest one. Here is a sample budget (the one you could expect) for the arrival of your baby:

1. Transportation

A car seat that meets all the safety standards will cost you around $500 maximum whereas a decent stroller costs a minimum of $100. If you want to have a designer one it will cost you around $1,000 (according to Consumer Reports). Strollers come in two types with different prices:

  • Side-by-side model: $350 to $450
  • Single-file tandem model: $250 to $300

2. Furniture

Your new baby will spend a lot of time in their crib. So you need crib mattresses, bassinets, a changing table, a high chair, and a cradle. To keep your baby busy, you can buy an activity center as well as a portable swing. Here’s the cost of each of these:

  • Crib: $100 to $3,000
  • Bassinet: under $200
  • Cradle: under $200
  • Changing table: $50 to $150
  • High chair: $50 to $400
  • Activity center: $70 to $80
  • Portable swing: $60 to $140

3. Nursing

Breastfeeding can save you the costs of baby formula. Typically baby formula costs anything more or less than $2. All healthcare services for bottle-fed infants come in between $331 and $475 during the first year of their lives. You could get a baby bottle for $10 to $20 or even higher.

4. A Baby’s First 2 years

From the 2015 data published by Consumer Expenditures Survey, it’s seen that a family will spend around $12,980 every year on a single child. This expense will increase as the child ages. Overall annual expenses for raising a child for 2 years are around $300 less while it’s $900 more for teenagers (15 to 17 years). According to government data, here is the breakdown of the first two years’ expenses for a middle-income family:

  • Childcare: $2,870
  • Healthcare: $1,180
  • Clothing and diapers: $750
  • Transportation: $1,790
  • Food: $1,580
  • Housing: $3,680
  • Other: $830 (for books, personal care items, entertainment, etc.)

5. A Twins’ First 2 years

The cost of having twins doubles for the first year but the good thing is they can share their clothing, toys, and even the room. Their expense list can be divided in the following way:

  • Childcare: $6,180
  • Healthcare: $1,800
  • Clothing and diapers: $1,580
  • Transportation: $3,460
  • Food: $2,900
  • Housing: $8,140
  • Others: $1,820 (for books, entertainment, personal care items, etc.)

The Bottom Line: How Much Does It Cost to Have a Baby?

The cost of having a baby varies drastically if you have health insurance claims. It also depends if you have a normal vaginal birth or a complicated C-section. Apart from these factors, the state in which you are giving birth also plays a vital role in the total costs incurred. It is better to have insurance claims while planning to have a baby because the expenses can be quite deep.

Consider both your out-of-pocket charges and premium costs for maternity care, prenatal visits for tests and ultrasounds, and the cost of delivery. Covering neonatal care is also of utmost importance. When you have to face a ton of medical care costs, it is only sensible to choose a plan with higher premiums.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Baby FAQs:

1. How much does it cost to have a baby?

According to the analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit American organization, the cost to have a baby is almost $19,000 on average. This includes insurance money and $2,854 that’s paid out of pocket. They came to this conclusion after analyzing their employer’s insurance claims.

2. How much does it cost to raise a baby for a year?

The US Department of Agriculture reports that the average middle-income family spends anywhere between $12,000 to $14,000 for raising a child each year. For newborn children, the cost could go higher with the cribs, child safety devices, diapers, etc.

3. Why is pregnancy so expensive?

Healthcare remains a controversial topic in America and the reason behind pregnancy being expensive is a rise in large deductibles. Deductibles are the amount of money paid before securing insurance.

4. What is the cheapest way to give birth?

Hospital births are way costlier than home births and birthing center birth. However, if you are a high-risk patient, you must go for a hospital birth. The alternative birth settings are cheaper because there are no procedures done so those are only for low-risk patients.

5. Does insurance cover pregnancy?

Yes, newborn, childbirth, and routine prenatal care services are covered under the essential benefits of insurance. All qualified health insurance plans cover them even if you were pregnant before your health coverage started.


On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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