Surprising Jump In Price From Singleton Births

Having a baby isn’t cheap, but you may be surprised to see how vastly different the cost of having babies is when you compare singleton births to multiples.

Mother and baby in the hospital

No matter what insurance you have, if you got a glimpse of the bill after your hospital birth, you likely did a double take. Having a baby can be expensive, but did you know that the average costs associated with a twin birth is five times that of a singleton birth?

Drastic difference in cost

Recent research was conducted on the costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth, and the results were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The average cost of a singleton pregnancy, delivery and hospital stay was around $21,000, while a twin birth would cost around $105,000. Triplets? Try $400,000 or more.

It can be easy to imagine how those costs add up. Twin deliveries are often C-sections, which bumps up the price. Sometimes they are born a little too early and require special care. Longer hospital stays are a part of both situations, which can really move those prices skyward.

Consider triplet pregnancies. They generally don’t last as long, so the babies are generally premature which can really increase needs for specialized equipment and longer hospital stays.

Researchers also cited increased maternal morbidities as a reason for the difference in costs. This doesn’t mean maternal deaths — "morbidities" is a term that refers to incidence of disease. Maternal and infant death were also part of the calculations, although those numbers were very small.

The study included the 27 weeks before birth and 30 days after for the mother, and medical expenses for babies until their first birthday. In the case of multiples, there are often many sonograms, extra doctor visits and specialists involved in the care of the mother and her babies, and after birth, the NICU stays and physician consults can really add up.

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