Hospital Charges Father $39.35 For Holding His Newborn

Left: [Shutterstock - Goran Bogicevic] Right: [Shutterstock - Minerva Studio]

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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A new father was rather surprised when he received a hospital bill that included a charge of $39.35 for “skin to skin” contact.

I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.

“The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest,” the man wrote on Reddit, according to FOX 13. “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.”

Ryan Grassley, of Spanish Fork City, Utah, started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $39 to help pay off this seemingly absurd fee. He reached $70 in less than 24 hours.

“I posted the bill to Reddit because I thought it was funny. It has been interesting to see the shock from people around the world at the cost of medical expenses in the USA,” Grassley explained on his crowdfunding page description.

Janet Frank, a representative for Utah Valley Hospital, where the birth took place, issued a statement to PIX11:

“In general, Utah Valley Hospital is an advocate for skin-to-skin contact between a mother and newborn directly after birth. Skin-to-skin is a best practice with proven benefits for both mom and baby. We do everything possible to allow skin-to-skin after both vaginal and c-section births. In the case of a c-section, where the bedside caregiver is occupied caring for the mother during surgery, an additional nurse is brought into the OR to allow the infant to remain in the OR suite with the mother. This is to ensure both patients remain safe. There is an additional charge associated with bringing an extra caregiver into the OR. The charge is not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest levels of patient safety.”

Grassley clarified that he would not keep the funds raised over the $39.35 threshold.

“Any money donated over the $39.35 will be put towards a vasectomy because I never want to go though these sleepless new baby nights again,” he concluded.

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