I’ve finally found a chart that looks at the cost of an average birth in the U.S., depending on whether it was vaginal or C-section, complicated or uncomplicated. Finally! (I’ve previously blogged about this subject here and here.) The chart lists average costs in 2003, 2004, and 2005. These costs do not include any anesthesia (anesthesiologists are typically billed separately from the hospital), newborn care, or “maternity provider charge” (I’m assuming that’s the woman’s prenatal care, but it could be costs billed directly by the doctor who attends the birth, similar to the separate billing by anesthesiologists — if anyone knows for sure, feel free to leave a comment.) For the most recent year, an uncomplicated vaginal birth was nearly $7,000; a complicated one was almost $9,000; an uncomplicated C-section was over $12,000; and a complicated C-section was about $16,000.
Oh, and a birth-center birth was about $1,600.