A new study by WalletHub listed Maine as the second best state in the country to have a new baby in part because of the low average hospital delivery charges and access to pediatric care. Rankings were based equally on three categories –budget considerations, health care conditions and overall “babyfriendliness,” a news release about the findings said.
Under the budget category, researchers looked at the cost of conventional and cesarean delivery charges, the average cost of infant care and cost of living. The state’s infant and maternal mortality rates, low birth weights and number of midwives/ OBGYNs per capita were considered in the health care conditions category. And finally, when looking at “babyfriendliness,” researches considered air pollution, access to mom groups and the number of child centers per capita.
Sources of data included information from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the website babycenter.com among others. Maine was second only to Vermont and Alabama came in last in part because of its high infant mortality rate and low number of practicing midwives.
Maine has done fairly well on other family and baby-related studies including one recently that showed 27 percent of Maine moms still breastfeeding after a year. It was also ranked fourth best in the country for working moms.
Personally, our normal, non-medicated delivery costs at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital were around $6,000, below the national average of $9,700, but definitely a hefty bill even with insurance paying a portion. As for access to some of the other categories — I found midwives in the Bangor area more than accessible and have regularly attended several mom groups for everything from breastfeeding support to music class.
What do you think of the findings? Do you think Maine is a good place to have a baby? Why or why not?