Ryan Jaslow , CBS News
Having a baby can lead to a lifetime of expenses, ranging from
diapers to down payments on that first car. But before that even begins,
families have to pay the medical bill from the baby's birth.
new study finds having one child will cost about $21,000. That price tag
skyrockets to $105,000 when having twins -- and more than $400,000 for
triplets or more.
"On average, combined all-cause healthcare expenses for mothers with
twins or higher-order multiple births were about five and 20 times more
expensive, respectively, than singleton delivery," Dr. Dongmu Zhang, a
researcher at Global Health Outcomes at Merck & Co., said in a statement.
wanted to determine the medical expenses associated with multiple
deliveries when compared to a single birth, noting that multiple
pregnancies were on the rise in the United States and worldwide. Those
rates parallel a rise in assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), which are linked to a higher likelihood for having multiple births.
About three percent of all U.S. births in 2010 were multiple deliveries, according to federal estimates.
For the study, researchers looked at a health care database that
included nearly 438,000 deliveries that took place between Jan. 2005 and
Sept. 2010. Ninety-seven percent were single births, which mirrored
Medical expenses included treatment costs for mom
during the 27 weeks before the due date and one month after birth, along
with medical expenses for the infant until he or she turned 1.
authors said expenses were likely due to increased use of a C-section
and longer hospital stay for women who deliver multiple births, along
with increased admission rates and longer stays in the neonatal
intensive care unit (NICU) for multiple births.
They noted that
with single births, 60 percent of medical expenses are tied to mom's
care whereas with twins or multiple births, 70 percent to 85 percent of
costs are for infant care respectively.
Multiple births were also
linked with a higher risk for death in mom and the babies, but Zhang
noted those overall rates were small.
The researchers recommend more strategies aimed at minimizing the
amount of embryos transferred for IVF procedures, since the risk for
multiple pregnancy is due almost entirely to the transfer phase.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine
recommends that women seeking IVF who have a favorable prognosis
receive one to two embryo transfers if they are under 35. They suggest
two transfers if they are 35 to 37, three if they are between the ages
of 38 to 40, and five transfers if they are 41 to 42.
The new study was published Nov. 11 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.