The Average Cost of Giving Birth in the US
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.
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 2023
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
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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
Average Delivery Cost
Average C-Section Cost
Average Vaginal Delivery Cost
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
Health Care, Birth, Annual and One-Time Purchases
Average Out-of-Pocket Delivery Cost With Employer-Sponsored Insurance
Average Postpartum Spending
Total Ongoing Annual Costs (Diapers, Formula and Other Supplies)
Total One-Time Purchases (Crib, Gear, Feeding, Bathing and Other Items)
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
Cost Per Successful Outcome
Fertility Medications Only
IUI With Medications (Clomid*)
IUI with Medications (FSH*)
IVF With Donor Egg
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 consulted an expert in the health insurance industry to provide more insight into why giving birth is so expensive and what consumers can do to manage these costs.
- Why does delivering a baby cost so much?
- What can consumers do to manage the costs of having a baby, including fertility treatments if needed?
Founder & CEO, predictabill.com
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 Babycenter.com 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
- Baby Center. "First-Year Baby Costs Calculator." Accessed August 19, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. "Infant Mortality Rates by State." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Statistics Surveillance Report. "Births: Provisional Data for 2021." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Health Care Cost Institute. "Most Postpartum Spending Occurs Beyond 60 Days After Delivery." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Healthcare.gov. "Health coverage if you're pregnant, plan to get pregnant, or recently gave birth." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Healthcare.gov. "Essential health benefits." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. "Coverage and Use of Fertility Services in the U.S.." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. "Medicaid Coverage of Pregnancy-Related Services: Findings from a 2021 State Survey." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- National Women’s Law Center. "Turning to Fairness: Insurance discrimination against women today and the Affordable Care Act." Accessed April 25, 2023.
- ReproductiveFacts.org. "What is Infertility?." Accessed April 25, 2023.