Update: Parents name hospital that charged $39 to hold newborn

Utah father Ryan Grassley posted a photo of a hospital bill on Reddit showing a $39.95 charge that he characterized as a fee "to hold my baby after he was born."

The itemized bill for the delivery of a baby by caesarean section on Sept. 4 contains a $39.95 charge for an item listed as "skin to skin after C-sec." Mr. Grassley initially redacted any information identifying the hospital, but has since told The New York Times their child was born at UtahValleyHospital in Provo.

Mr. Grassley clarified he and his wife were amused, rather than outraged, over the charge. But the Reddit post published Monday touched a nerve nationally because it seemed to underscore a growing frustration with unexpected hospital fees and arcane medical billing. The post garnered more than 11,800 votes as of Wednesday.

"The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife's neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures of us," the user wrote. "Everyone involved in [delivery] process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing [the charge] on the bill."

UtahValleyHospital issued a statement in response to the post, explaining the skin-to-skin contact in the operating room following a C-section requires the presence of an additional nurse for supervision.

"Only in the case of a C-section birth is an additional nurse brought into the operating room. This is to ensure both mom and baby remain safe, as the mother has been medicated for the procedure," a hospital spokesperson said in the statement.

"I [have since] sent an email to the hospital and the subject line said, 'I think I may have ruined your day,'" Mr. Grassley said, noting he has no plans to contest the fee. 

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