A man who posted a photo of a hospital bill after his wife delivered their baby said they were charged to hold their newborn.
Reddit user halfthrottle said he and his wife "got a chuckle" when they saw the $39.35 charge, which was billed as "skin to skin after c sec."
"During the C-section, the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes to. We just noticed it in the bill today," he wrote. "The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife's neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience."
Many Reddit users voiced outrage about the charge, but one user who claimed to be a nurse said there was a valid explanation for the fee.
"I didn't know that hospitals charged for it, but doing 'skin to skin' in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby," user FiftySixer wrote. "We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was OK. 'Skin to skin' in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second labor and delivery RN to come into the OR and make sure the baby is safe."
According to the La Leche League of Canada, skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth "helps regulate the baby's temperature, breathing, heart rate and sugar levels. It also calms the baby so he (or she) doesn't get stressed out or cry a lot."
"This is part of the operating procedure, where after the baby is removed, it is placed on the mother's chest and monitored while she is being stitched back up. It should be free, and it's ridiculous it's not," another Reddit user wrote.