A Utah couple's hospital bill is getting a lot of attention because of a bizarre charge.
The new father was asked if he wanted to hold his child right after his wife gave birth.
He said yes, but later found out that it cost him $40.
A local OBGYN says that fee doesn't exist here in the Sioux Empire, but the concept of having a parent hold the baby right after birth, definitely does.
"Skin to skin is kind of a concept that we have been trying to promote for many years here at Sanford,” says OBGYN Physician Kristi Hermanson.
That concept is when a baby is born, hand it over right away to the mom so she can hold the child for its first hour of life.
"Studies show that that really helps the baby transition, if they're having mild breathing, being on mom is comforting for them and they can calm their breathing,” explains Dr. Hermanson.
She says it also increases success rates for women who want to breast feed.
But sometimes it's the dads who need to step in, especially if the mom has a c-section.
"With c-sections, it's not as easy to do skin to skin because we can't put that baby directly on mom, but once we deliver the baby and assess the baby, we try to get that baby onto mom as soon as possible," says Dr. Hermanson. "Now sometimes the mom is lying flat onto the table, and if they don't feel comfortable doing skin to skin, we'll also let dad do skin to skin."
Dr. Hermanson says there is no charge for this, unlike a receipt that a Utah man posted on Reddit displays.
"Your bill is the same if you do skin to skin on mom or not.”
The Utah hospital released a statement saying the charge was not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest level of safety.
"For us, skin to skin doesn't require extra nursing, but that hospital may have done it differently,” says Dr. Hermanson.
The big take away from the incident Dr. Hermanson says, is showcasing how beneficial contact between mom and child can be.
"They just met their baby and get to hold that baby and comfort that baby and help make that transition in that first hour, parents love it.”
The OGBYN Physician says most premature babies are not able to be placed onto the mom right away, but they try to wheel the baby to the mom so they can hold hands, or make contact in some kind of way.
The Utah man who posted his receipt online also created a mock GoFundMe asking for help to pay the skin to skin fee.
In the description, he explains that he was not trying to make the hospital look bad; he just thought the charge was funny.
But stated the care he and his wife received was excellent.