An average American birth costs as much as delivering a royal baby

We'll never be royals, but we pay for babies like we are.
An average American birth costs as much as delivering a royal baby
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

You might not think you have anything in common with Prince William and Kate Middleton, but you do — and it’s probably not for the reason you hoped. According to a 2015 survey by the International Federation of Health Plans, the cost of delivering a baby in the United States is on par with what it takes to birth a royal baby.

 

The cost of delivering a baby in the United States

Accoring to the survey, the Lindo Wing of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital charged about $8,900 for a 24-hour stay in a luxury suite (without a Cesarean birth). The equivalent cost of delivering a baby in the U.S. was $10,808.

 

Of course, that estimate doesn’t include the extra costs Middleton incurs for her post-delivery Jenny Packham dresses and glam squad. But whatever the cost, it’s likely still cheaper than the roughly $30,000 new American parents pay for natural births — and $51,000 for Cesareans.

 

The good news: The out-of-pocket number families have to pay to bring their babies into the world is largely covered by health insurance, though that number depends on the state. Giving birth in Alaska sets parents back the most — over $10,000, according to a 2017 study by Money and Fair Health — while Alabama is the cheapest at just over $5,000.

 

However, that $5,000 is still more expensive than maternity care in the U.K.

U.K. Maternity care cost

Giving birth in the Lindo Wing is a luxury that only those who opt for private maternity care. The country’s National Health Service pays for all prenatal, birth and postnatal care for new moms who are “ordinarily” residents of the U.K. Certain European nationals and immigrants are also exempt from paying. Others who fall outside those groups may be asked to pay for care, “but you cannot be refused care if you cannot pay at the time you receive care,” according to the advocacy group Maternity Action.

cost of delivering a baby royal

Private care in hospitals like the Lindo Wing are on par with the U.S. for basic services, but charges rack up quickly with adds-ons like extra nights ($1,650) and other prenatal and postnatal services. “The bill you get at the end is very long and slightly scary,” British mom Sarah Harcourt told the Evening Standard in 2013 of her experience in the Lindo Wing. “You pay for breathing really. But I was quite anxious about giving birth and felt I wanted the kind of concentrated attention the Lindo offers.”

And there are plenty of amenities, ranging from the standard WiFi and modern decor to meals prepared by chefs on site.

But luckily Middleton — known for being thrift by wearing outfits multiple times — will get a 10 percent discount for giving birth to her third child there.

 
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