Skin to skin contact doesn’t come cheap!
Ryan Gossley and his wife Lidia “couldn’t help but chuckle” after receiving a bill from Utah Valley Hospital following the birth of their son, Samuel.
“There was a $40 charge for basically holding the baby and honestly we both laughed about it,” Ryan tells PEOPLE. “We thought it was funny, we didn’t mind paying!”
Grassley says he had already paid the itemized bill [DASH] with a $39.35 charge for “skin to skin after C-sec” [DASH] when he posted a picture to Reddit, where it’s since received 4.5 million views.
“We never expected this, we thought a few people might find it funny,” explains Ryan. “But I feel bad, because it was not meant to be negative.
“Everybody involved with the birth of my baby did an amazing job.”
Ryan then set up a “joke” GoFundMe page to raise the $39.35 (and so far, he’s actually received $60 in donations).
“A part of me thinks I should delete that too,” he says. “The bill was necessary because they had an extra nurse who helped out. She kept reminding me not to let go of the baby and not to move his head. She even took photos for us.”
Utah Valley Hospital defends the bill, saying “there is never a charge for a patient to hold their baby” in a statement released to PEOPLE.
“Utah Valley Hospital is an advocate for skin-to-skin contact between a mother and newborn directly after birth,” the hospital states. “Skin-to-skin is a best practice with proven benefits for both mom and baby. We do everything possible to allow skin-to-skin after both vaginal and c-section births. In the case of a c-section, where the bedside caregiver is occupied caring for the mother during surgery, an additional nurse is brought into the OR to allow the infant to remain in the OR suite with the mother. This is to ensure both patients remain safe. There is an additional charge associated with bringing an extra caregiver into the OR. The charge is not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest levels of patient safety.”