How Much Does Labor & Delivery Really Cost?

If you're pregnant, chances are you've given some thought to what it will cost to raise your child, from baby gear to college tuition. But you may not have thought about how much your labor, delivery, and prenatal care will set you back.

A recent study by Truven Health Analytics reveals that labor and delivery charges average $16,165 for a vaginal birth and $24,572 for a cesarean birth, with out-of-pocket fees averaging $1,038 for a vaginal delivery and $1,246 for a cesarean.

Of course, these numbers are an average, with real costs depending on your insurance policy, the hospital where you deliver, and the state that you live in. Get prepared by doing your research ahead of time; be sure that the hospital where you plan to deliver accepts your insurance. It's also smart to print a copy of your insurance benefits summary (and keep it) so you'll know what's covered and what expenses you'll be expected to pay.