One mom and TikTok user has just paid off her medical bill for giving birth to her daughter almost 2 years ago. To get some context for her situation, she posted a video on the platform asking other moms to share what age their kid was when they were finally able to pay off their childbirth bills as well.
Turns out, it’s a hot topic. Moms from all over the world immediately started responding to the question. One mom said giving birth to her premature son would’ve cost her nearly 3 million dollars but due to a few circumstances, she dodged the check. Another revealed her country fully covered it before they left the hospital.
The whole thread has become somewhat of a socioeconomic study on different healthcare systems across the globe, and it really can broaden your perspective on how governments — and people — deal with one of the most fundamental human experiences.
This TikTok user posted a video on the platform asking moms to share what age their kid was when paid off their childbirth bills
The mom in the original TikTok had a bit of a complicated delivery: she had preeclampsia and needed an emergency C-section. Luckily, she received great care and was only there for three days. However, given her circumstances, she thinks she shouldn’t have paid for it. “I think it’s awful that we were even met with a bill,” the mom told Bored Panda. “I was covered by very good insurance yet I still owed about $2,800 on a bill of just over $28,000.”
After initiating the discussion online, she heard stories of people being hit with $1 million bills for neonatal intensive care unit stays. “Also heartbreaking, [parents who suffered] miscarriage, stillbirth and death at the time of birth were still given huge bills to pay.”
“The responses to the video started a lot of conversations. Mainly that of who should or shouldn’t have a child,” she explained, adding that not all of the comments were supportive. Some were even along the lines of ‘You shouldn’t have a child if you can’t afford them’ too. “The commenters with the worst and most ignorant things to say were men. The Canadians have been really sweet though.”
Replies started flooding in immediately
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The average cost to have a baby without complications in the US is $10,808 — which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in the care provided before and after pregnancy.
But when you consider that 2,621,010 American mothers had a vaginal birth and 1,232,339 had a C-section in 2017 alone, that’s a lot of money going into the healthcare system just from maternity costs.
Dr. Neel Shah, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said the likelihood of a C-section in the US has increased by 500% since the early 1970s.
A lot of mothers in the TikTok discussion were jealous of those in Nordic countries. There, healthcare systems have a long heritage: Nordic healthcare systems are taxation-based and locally administrated with every citizen having equal access to services. More or less, mothers in Nordic countries have their babies free of charge.