Hospital Charges Mom $40 to Hold Her Newborn Baby

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 6, 2016   |   5:52PM   |   Salt Lake City, UT

A Utah family is getting some unexpected attention after they posted online an odd hospital bill involving their son’s birth.

KUTV reports the Utah Valley Hospital charged Ryan Grassley and his wife nearly $40 to hold their newborn son in skin-to-skin contact after he was born. Grassley thought the charge was strange and posted a photo of the bill on Reddit. The post quickly went viral, with more than 3 million people viewing it, according to the local news report.

The charge specifically involved skin-to-skin contact, a practice where a newborn is placed against its mother’s bare skin to help them bond. Grassley said his son was born on Sept. 4 via cesarean section, and one of the nurses asked if they wanted to hold the baby skin-to-skin.

“The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest,” Grassley said on Reddit under his username halfthrottle. “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.”

He said he posted the bill online because he thought the fee was funny, not because he wanted to criticize the hospital. He said his family received great care at Utah Valley.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from

Though the charge is odd, the hospital has a reason it. In a statement, the hospital explained to KUTV that the charge is for an extra nurse who remains with the mother and infant during the skin-to-skin experience.

“This is to ensure both patients remain safe,” according to the hospital. “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.”

Hot Air’s Larry O’Connor had a different take on the matter. He speculated that Grassley’s post became so popular because it is a “symbol of the outrageous excess in America’s medical system … you know, all the outrageous excess President Obama promised to eliminate with the Affordable Care Act.”

The rising health care costs from ObamaCare are increasingly concerning to many Americans. Even former president Bill Clinton called the health care law the “craziest thing in the world,” at the same time as his wife promotes it in her run for president.