Having a baby is hard enough these days. The costs of diapers and daycare can add up, not to mention a mother's astronomical physical pain and two solid years of never sleeping 8 hours.
In California those given hardships are compounded by living in a state with one of the highest costs of living on the planet. Rent and real estate here are just about expensive as can be in America.
Personal finance site WalletHub weighed infant-care budgets, hospital costs, and “baby-friendliness” to come up with a list of “2014’s Best and Worst States to Have a Baby.”
California wasn't the worst. We didn't even make the bottom 10. We ranked in the lower middle—33rd overall. But the Golden State rated as one of the two most-expensive places in the nation for hospital deliveries, a paramount aspect of early parenthood.
And WalletHub also ranked us among the two worst states when it comes to the cost of cesarean deliveries, which account for about one in five births in California.
But California absolutely excelled at one metric: “California has the best parental leave policies,” a WalletHub rep said.
The site also looked at average annual infant care costs, the infant death rate, child centers per capita, birth weight, OB-GYNs per capita, pediatricians per capita and more than a dozen other metrics to come up with its rankings.
According to WalletHub, the best states for having a baby are Vermont (ranked number 1), Maine (2), Oregon (3), Connecticut (4) and New Hampshire (5).
The alleged worst: Alabama (51st on a list that includes Washington, D.C.), Louisiana (50), Mississippi (49), South Carolina (48), and Pennsylvania (47).
The site says “birthing costs” in the United States—nearly $10,000 for deliveries, on average—are among the highest in the world, making the prices for California prenatal hospital care some of the worst of the worst.
But there's one thing we're champions at here in the Golden State—the act of baby making. Blame the good weather, the accessible beaches, or just the pretty people.
So if you can't afford some of the highest hospital costs in the world for actually having a baby, you can always hold off and keep practicing.