Want to have a baby someday? Not a millionaire? Then we have some bad news for you. According to The New York Times, the cost of deliveries in the U.S. has tripled since 1996, and increases in the amount of ultrasounds and other prenatal tests have caused the total cost of maternity care to balloon far beyond that of other developed countries.
Part of the problem surrounding these rising pregnancy costs is that the social factors surrounding motherhood in the U.S. have changed. Mothers are now older on average than ever before, and there is now a much higher amount of induced labors and Cesarean sections in the U.S. Additionally, obstetricians face the highest risks of malpractice lawsuits than any other physicians, which causes many doctors to encourage, or even require, additional tests and precautions to help ensure a healthy mother and baby.
While Obamacare will, thankfully, require all insurance companies to cover maternity care starting next year, the Affordable Cart Act does not specify which services must be covered. That means American women may still be required to pay high fees out of pocket.
The conundrum here, in our opinion? One of the reasons that many women are delaying starting families is that having (and raising) children is extremely expensive, as this article confirms. Many of us feel that we need to have decent health insurance, see at least a couple of rounds of promotions and raises — and, of course, pay down bills such as student loans and credit card debt — before even considering going off the pill. The tradeoff: Pregnancy and delivery at an older age may very well end up being even pricier than having kids at a younger age. So, what's a modern working woman of average income to do? Readers, help us out here: Are today's rising costs of having a family stressing you out, and what do you think the answer is (other than winning the lottery)? (The New York Times)
Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times