“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” –John 16:21, NIV
The joys and pains of pregnancy foreshadow the adventures of Christian family life. As prudent parents, you’ll plan your course and pray about your choices, but it’s good to know that the Lord directs your steps (Proverb 16:9). His hand guides expected and unexpected details. Just ask Joseph! His best-laid plans to give Mary a safe place to give birth were continually – like a GPS after a wrong turn – “recalculating.”
Christ wasn’t born in a home, a castle, or even a room at the Inn, but in a stable and placed in a feed trough – that would symbolize faithful humility and spiritual food. Angelic lights and a traveling star, not any human’s “perfect” plan, showed Joseph, Mary, lowborn shepherds, and highborn wise men the way. You can trust the One who knits your child in the womb (Psalm 139:13) to do the same for you.
How much does it cost to give birth?
Faith-based parenthood starts with prayerful planning, stewardship, and counsel. (Proverbs 15:22) You’ll need to investigate local labor and delivery costs and whether a home birth, hospital birth, or other options are best. Prenatal costs can range from $1,700 to $3,000, and facilities can charge from $1,189 to $11,986. The median cost is $4,215, which varies depending on:
- Your state
- Location (home, hospital, or birthing center)
- Type of hospital (public, private-nonprofit, urban or rural)
- Hospital’s practices, policies, and volume of high-risk deliveries
- C-section or vaginal birth
- Anticipated medical expenses and complication risks
In addition to room and board costs for hospital stays, labor and delivery bills itemize:
- Services of obstetrician/gynecologist, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, and others
- Epidural, if used
- Medications and medical supplies
Call nearby hospitals and birthing centers for details. Most provide tours, information, pricing, and referrals to financial counselors or other professionals. You can also ask other parents about their experiences.