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Cost of childbirth can cause sticker shock

baby toe treatmentMost parents’ savings plans focus on college funds. However, a new report finds a more immediate bill to save for: childbirth.

The Health Care Cost Institute found that the national average for the cost of childbirth was almost $14,000 in 2016 and 2017.

This cost includes out-of-pocket payments to the birth facility and provider. The total amount new parents spend varies across the country, with the average cost in New York more than double the average in Arkansas.

Researchers explained several factors that account for the variation, including the type of delivery. Because deliveries by cesarean section are often more intensive, they are associated with longer, more expensive admissions.

Data from the study show Oregon has the highest average cost for C-section deliveries in the country and is tied with New York for the average amount spent on births

The recommends policymakers acknowledge that the cost of having a baby is not the same nationwide, and policies should address the needs of pregnant women at a regional or state level.

Have you had a baby recently? Were you surprised by the hospital bill? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.