Couple Billed $39.35 to Hold Newborn Son
Utah hospital charged for "skin to skin" contact after C-section
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2016 7:51 AM CDT
Updated Oct 9, 2016 6:58 AM CDT
Lidia Grassley holds son Samuel. The Grassleys were charged $39.35 to hold their son after his birth in September at a Utah hospital.   (

(Newser) – A Utah couple got a surprise—and a laugh—when they got the bill for the birth of their son, Samuel. Tucked below the charge for "Delivery C Section" was a $39.35 fee for "skin to skin," their fee for getting to hold the baby after delivery, explains Vox. "Really." In a post on Reddit that has gone viral, user "halfthrottle" writes: "During the C-section the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes (to). We just noticed it in the bill today and had a laugh." The new dad was unmasked as Ryan Grassley, who told PIX11 that he found the bill to be "funny and a bit ridiculous" and decided to share on Tuesday, where it had picked up 2.8 million views in 24 hours.

In the comments, a delivery-room nurse explained that "'skin to skin' in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present … and make sure the baby is safe." Grassley pointed out that he and his wife were happy with the care they received at the Provo hospital in September. "I was able to hold the baby on my wife's chest … and the nurse was there to remind me not to let go so the baby didn't fall. She actually took my camera from me and started snapping pictures for me." At least Grassley has a sense of humor: He started a crowd-funding campaign to pay off the $39.35 with any additional donations "put towards a vasectomy because I never want to go though (sic) these sleepless new baby nights again." (It's often hard to make sense of hospital bills.)