According to research published Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the cost of having a baby in the U.S. is $20,000, leaving many families struggling and disproportionately burdens poorer women and communities of color.

Lifestyle During Pregnancy

In the U.S., the cost of pregnant women's health care is $20,000.

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According to an analysis by KFF, health care costs for pregnant women and new mothers in large employer plans average $19,000 over 3 years.

Over $16,000 of these costs were covered by insurance.

Costs varied significantly by the type of delivery, Kaiser noted, both due to higher costs associated with cesarean delivery compared to vaginal delivery and the increased likelihood of higher costs associated with surgery and underlying health conditions that can lead to cesarean section

Vaginal delivery costs less than $15,000, but the average cesarean section pregnancy costs more than $30,000.

There was a 22% jump in out-of-pocket costs between pregnancies ending in cesareans and vaginals, which Kaiser said was likely due to patients hitting their plans' deductible.

The Kaiser study takes a three year look at the health expenses associated with pregnant women. Uninsured women risk missing out on essential care because of the differing costs and financial support for pregnancy and children. The burdens of these costs and the risk to pregnant people and their children are disproportionately shouldered by society's poor and minorities, who already face disproportionate rates of disease and death. People of color and poorer communities are predicted to be disproportionately affected by the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion rights.

What We Don’t Know

The United States is the most expensive place to have a baby. Kaiser's research only covers care provided through a health plan, which means anything out of pocket is missed in its calculations. It's likely that this will miss many vitamins and over-the-counter drugs that many women take during and after their pregnancies. The introduction of the No Surprises Act should mean an end to out-of-network charges for maternity care. Loss of earnings during parental leave or costs of care for the child after birth are not included in the study.

Inpatient and outpatient care for pregnant women is more expensive than care for women of the same age who don't give birth. The amount of money spent on prescription drugs has gone down. The amount of money spent on prescription drugs for pregnant women was less. Birth control pills and other prescription drugs that are not safe to use during pregnancy are most likely to be the reason for the drop. Kaiser said it was possible that a lot of this was spent on vitamins and over-the-counter drugs for pregnant women.

Big Number

A total of $285,000. The cost to raise a child in a family of two middle income adults with two children is adjusted for inflation by CNBC. Many costs associated with children have outpaced inflation.

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