Early Hospital Births were Cheap

If you found or had located hospital bills for the birth of children from decades ago. Examining them can be amazing.

In a look years ago the hospital bills for births were much lower. An example, in the 1950s with birth and multiple days stay the cost after insurance was about $10.75 and that included oxygen and an incubator. An example from 1947 for a 4-day stay was $54.00 which was the birth, anesthesia and 4 days in the hospital.

Going earlier a 1936 bill could run about $36.00.

Years earlier, for every 1000 live births in 1900, 6-9 women died of pregnancy-related complications and approximately 100 infants died before the age of 1 year. In the early 1900s around the turn of the 20th century, some physicians started to advocate for routine prenatal care as a method to reduce maternal and infant mortalities.

The shift to hospital births started in the 20th century. “What happened at the beginning of the 20th century was anesthesia for delivering children, and they wanted to have pain-free childbirth.”

Just to get a comparison, in 2021, the range for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery is between $5,000 and $11,000. If you require a Cesarean section, the range increases to between $7,500 and $14,500.

Photo: A hospital surgery room in 1939.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Ancestors’ Illnesses

Illnesses of Years Ago

Strange Cures of Year Ago

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