A new dad has caused a stir by revealing that his wife was ‘charged’ by a hospital for skin to skin contact with their newborn baby.

Reddit user halfthrottle, from the United States, posted a photo of an itemised bill which appears to show a ‘skin to skin’ fee for holding the baby after he was delivered by C-section.

The photograph, which has gathered nearly 6 million views, was captioned: “I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.”

skin to skin

The dad explained: “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 too.

“We just noticed it in the bill today and had a laugh. All these internet points I’ve been showered with make me feel better about the $40. This could be my proudest moment as a father.”

“This isn’t the only bill we will receive but we knew what we were signing up for and have some money saved up. It’s amazing to watch doctors and nurses work at that level. It takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work to get to that level.”

Why would the hospital charge for skin to skin?

Another reddit user, who claims to be a labour and delivery nurse, offered one possible explanation for the bill.

FiftySixer said: “I didn’t know that hospitals charged for it, but doing ‘skin to skin’ in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby.

“We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay. Skin to skin in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labour and Delivery RN to come in to the OR and make sure the baby is safe.”

FiftySixer continued, “Because the Mom is still being closed up after the delivery. She is anesthetized from the chest down, and may feel faint or nauseated. Someone needs to be there to make sure that the baby doesn’t slide off of her chest onto the floor, and to pick up the baby if she starts feeling unwell.”