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The average sticker price for U.S. childbirth: $32,093

The U.S. is the most expensive country in the world to give birth. But most hospitals won’t tell patients how much delivery and care costs until after the baby is born.

Why it matters: The average sticker price for childbirth in the U.S. is $32,093, and even insurance doesn’t take care of all of it. Hospitals can charge whatever they want for services, often leaving patients with a confusing list of items on the bill. For Dr. Renee Hsia, an emergency department physician and lead author of a study on California women giving birth, childbirth prices reflect the larger health care system — where high prices are “more the rule than the exception.”