The Average Cost of Giving Birth in the US

ByDeb Gordon

Updated: December 28, 2023

ByDeb Gordon

Updated: December 28, 2023

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The average cost of giving birth in the United States is $1,905 with employer-sponsored health insurance and $13,393 without health insurance. But these numbers don't encapsulate the full financial cost of having a baby — child-bearing people also pay for postpartum follow-ups and the supplies needed for their baby in the first year, bringing the actual price to $16,391 for those with insurance and much higher for those without it. The cost of childbirth varies widely depending on where you live, but one thing is clear: having a baby in the U.S. — with or without high-quality health insurance coverage — is expensive.

MoneyGeek utilized out-of-pocket birthing cost data from the Health Care Cost Institute and collected data from BabyCenter to explore the average cost of having a baby in the U.S. and in each state. We also gathered fertility treatment cost data from the Kaiser Family Foundation to understand how these treatments factor into the cost of childbirth. Here's what we found.

Key Findings:
  • On average, it costs $1,905 to give birth for those with employer-sponsored insurance and an additional $3,645 for postpartum follow-ups.

  • Baby supplies like formula, diapers, cribs and other essentials cost parents $10,601 in the first year, on average.

  • The cost of having a baby can range from $5,894 to $72,642 for families using fertility treatment services.

  • Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Tennessee have the highest out-of-pocket costs for giving birth in the U.S.

Cost of Giving Birth With and Without Insurance in 2024

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 3.7 million births in the U.S. in 2021, up 1% from 2020 — the first increase since 2014. Most babies are delivered vaginally, but about one-third (32%) are delivered by Cesarean section (also known as a C-section). Delivery costs typically include hospital charges and other professional services provided by other specialists and support staff during a hospital stay in nearly every birth. Because of this, we’ve included these costs in our average delivery costs below.

Even with an affordable health insurance policy, the average cost of delivery is $1,905, though it costs more for C-sections and less for vaginal deliveries. The cost of giving birth without insurance is $13,393 — seven times more costly than having a baby while covered under a policy. Around 11.2% of child-bearing people give birth without insurance.

Average Out-of-Pocket Cost of Giving Birth in the US

Average Out-of-Pocket Cost of Giving Birth by State

Where you live is a key factor in how much it costs to have a baby. In Nebraska, for example, the average delivery with professional services costs nearly $2,700; that’s 36% higher than the national average of just under $2,000. And that’s with health insurance. On the low end, delivery costs less than $1,000 in Michigan, about half the national average.

In addition to costs, coverage for certain benefits during pregnancy — such as home visits, genetic screenings, dental care and diabetes monitoring supplies — also varies by state, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Perhaps not surprisingly, birth outcomes vary as well. For example, infant mortality rates by state range from more than 8 deaths per 1,000 live births in Mississippi to 0 in Vermont.

Average Out-of-Pocket Costs to Give Birth With Insurance by State

Total First-Year Average Costs to Have a Baby With Insurance

Childbirth costs may be overwhelming, but the expenses of having a baby don’t end (or begin) at delivery. MoneyGeek found that, with insurance, the average cost of health care, birth and essential purchases for newborns comes to $16,391.

Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires certain services to be covered under private health insurance — including pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care, which are considered Essential Health Benefits — there can also be additional health-related out-of-pocket costs that aren’t deemed medically necessary and thus aren’t covered, like ultrasounds. Under the ACA, prenatal visits, childbirth and well-baby visits must be covered under Medicaid and qualified health plans offered through the health insurance marketplace.

However, the ACA doesn’t help with most of the supplies new parents need, such as diapers, wipes and formula (though, if the baby needs specialty formula for medical reasons, some plans will cover it). Some health plans offer free or discounted products such as car seats or breast pumps, but these extra benefits are optional and not included with all plans.

Average Costs of Having a Baby in the US with Insurance

Cost of Fertility Services

The cost of fertility services can make having a baby even more expensive. Approximately 10 to 15% of heterosexual couples experience infertility, defined as the inability to get pregnant after trying for one year. Factors like sperm quality or motility, hormonal factors, ovulation issues or structural problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes may cause infertility. Same-sex couples or single individuals who want to have children may also use fertility services to achieve a pregnancy.

There are three main types of treatments for infertility, each with different typical price tags:

  • Medications that stimulate ovulation.
  • Surgical procedures to repair blocked or scarred fallopian tubes, remove cysts or fibroids from the uterus or extract sperm.
  • Assisted conception, including intrauterine insemination (IUI), which inserts sperm into the uterus, or in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which an egg is fertilized outside the body and inserted into the womb.

The cost per successful outcome, or the cost to achieve a successful pregnancy, ranges from just under $6,000 for medications alone to more than $70,000 for IVF with a donor egg.

Average Costs of Fertility Treatments
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Before the ACA was implemented in 2014, it was legal to charge women higher health insurance premiums than men, which the National Women’s Law Center estimated cost women $1 billion per year. Additionally, most health insurance plans did not cover maternity care.

Once the ACA was enacted, new consumer protections prohibited health insurers from setting different rates based on gender. The ACA also mandated that pregnancy, childbirth and newborn services be covered as essential health benefits.

Additionally, certain services must be covered without out-of-pocket costs for consumers because they’re considered preventive. These services include prenatal visits and screening, folic acid supplements and counseling and intervention for tobacco cessation.



MoneyGeek gathered data from the Health Care Cost Institute to find the average cost of delivery and services for those with employer-sponsored insurance, as well as the raw cost of services. This data assumes there are no complications with pregnancy or childbirth. Data for Alabama, North Dakota and Wyoming were not available.

We also used cost estimates for ongoing and one-time purchases from to find additional average costs associated with having a baby, such as formula, diapers and other supplies. These costs were gathered in August 2022.

MoneyGeek utilized data from the Health Care Cost Institute to assess average postpartum spending and the Kaiser Family Foundation to analyze the cost of fertility treatment services. The data utilized was published in 2020 and is the most recently available data of its kind.

About Deb Gordon

Deb Gordon headshot

Deb Gordon is the co-founder and CEO of Umbra Health Advocacy, and author of The Health Care Consumer’s Manifesto (Praeger 2020), a book about shopping for health care based on consumer research she conducted as a senior fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government between 2017 and 2019. Her research and writing have been published in JAMA Network Open, the Harvard Business Review blog, USA Today, RealClear Politics, TheHill, and Managed Care Magazine.

Deb previously held executive roles in health insurance and health care technology services. Deb is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow and an Eisenhower Fellow, for which she traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to explore the role of consumers in high-performing health systems. She was a 2011 Boston Business Journal 40-under-40 honoree, and a volunteer in MIT’s Delta V start-up accelerator, the Fierce Healthcare Innovation Awards and in various mentorship programs.