Women in Poverty Charged $5 per Scream During Childbirth

woman in laborIn the midst of your hospital birthing experience, what would you do if you found out you were getting charged additional fees every time you screamed?

More and more Zimbabwean women are choosing to take the additional risk in giving birth to their babies at home due to their local hospital’s fees! In a country where the average annual income is $150 per person, a hospital delivery already costs an outrageous $50 – and women are charged an extra $5 “every time they scream while giving birth.”

The financial and emotional strain gets worse for those who can’t pay. According to this article, “women who can’t afford the high fees are sometimes detained at the hospital and charged interest until their families can pay up.”

 About eight mothers are dying every day during childbirth, according to the United Nations reports.

Now, more and more Zimbabwean women are opting for home births as a financial solution; and about eight mothers are dying every day during childbirth, according to the United Nations reports.

After many complaints were filed, Transparency International met with the Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister; and according to NGO, since then, there haven’t been any additional complaints about the screaming charges.

Still, “in a country where underemployment is 95 percent and poverty is rife,” families basically owe a third of their annual income for the hospital delivery, before any other additional fees are added.

MORE:  Preparing for Delivery }

Can you begin to imagine, or even fathom, what that must be like?

In the United States, hospital delivery fees can become pretty steep, especially for those who are experiencing any financial stumbling blocks, those who have a high-risk pregnancy, and those whose pregnancies result in a Caesarean section.

MORE:  Important Questions Concerning Caesarian Sections }

But to get charged on top of those fees for purely screaming out, due to your amount of pain and general emotions, is absurd.

Kinda makes me feel like flying over there to scream very loudly in one of their hospital wings. Don’t you agree?

What do you think? Comment below!



What do you think?

Women in Poverty Charged $5 per Scream During Childbirth

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Ambur says:

    I had an insane fast painful birth and screamed out with every contraction untill baby was out. (It was a great birth though. Just more painful than I could have imagined possible) My charge would have been enormous. I had sudden fast hard labor that was less than 4 hours start to finish. There was no build up. I delivered at home with no drugs. I screamed untill I was hoarse and then kept on. I’d have been very angry if someone wanted to charge me fees for that.

  2. Schazaura says:

    Yup, I would’ve been charged like $1,000 extra if that was the case… Maybe not that much, but that is ridiculous?? What kind of a person comes up with that kind of charge? Is that even ethical? I mean, doesn’t that violate a person’s human rights? I know this is in a different country, but still. Doesn’t someone think this is wrong and needs to be changed?

  3. Shelly says:

    I would have gotten charged a lot. The ONLY time I did not scream, was after I had my epidural, up until I wad 10 cm and ready to start pushing. Childbirth hurts! If a woman is able to do it without screaming, she is EXTREMELY strong!

  4. TaKeisha says:

    Seriously??? That is ridiculous!!!

  5. Cocuh5 says:

    That’s sad that happens, the country is already struggling so giving new families more fees is just crazy

  6. Ann says:

    That’s crazy they actually came up with a charge like that…Just a bunch of greedy people that want money and think that women are over reacting with the pain.

  7. Nat says:

    1\3 of their annual income for a hospital delivery? we pay almost a 1\4 of our income to have insurance and that is before the co pay…a hospital delivery costs 1\2 and could easily become100% of our annual income with a c section or complications. And my husband has a “good” government job with “good” benefits! All the costs of medical care have gone crazy.
    As far as home births sounds like they need a good midwife program not more hospital regulations.

  8. joyce says:

    just another way they thought of to get money. I wonder how these people sleep at night.

  9. amanda says:

    Last year my friend screamed loud enough the whole floor came asking what was going on and why the doctor wasn’t doing her job and helping her. I don’t want to think of the bill she would have gotten. I think that had to have been a rule made by men wanting to be cruel to women already in a painful situation to get more money.

  10. Vanessa says:

    That’s outrageous!!! How are we suppose to take care of our other children let alone our families with all those extra hospital charges

  11. Doreen says:

    Thank God I live on an island where I do not have to pay for medical care. Where you can deliver you baby and scream if you want to and not have to worry about charges.

  12. $50 for child delivery? Do they have some type of fund we can contribute to? Surely I can go without to save a life of at least one of these beautiful women.

  13. sayhola says:

    My bill would have been so HIGH! I had no painkillers whatsoever, and being induced made everything happen so fast and I was panicking, and everything went well, but sheesh! I didn’t cope very well with the “rush” of it all! GEEZ!

    So, a family whose income is $50,000/yr would be charged $1500 per scream, if my math is right. $5 is about 3% of their income! SUPER high charge. Ridiculous. Those poor mommies. 🙁

  14. Katherine says:

    Wow, how insensitive.

  15. Mommy4 says:

    We are lucky n very spoiled in America. We have soooo many choices here. I hope they find justices soon for the suffering mommies..

  16. I agree! Poor women…childbirth is not easy, and I can’t even imagine trying to stay quiet through it.

  17. nichole says:

    its evil that they are charging for the mother, who is giveing birth (not a comfortable thing) for crying out loud, for screaming during the process, especially in a country where im sure the 50 dollars, despite it being a third of manys income, doesnt include a lot of pain killers for mom. if a woman needs to scream while having her child, she should be able to do so, and not be charged for it. the people who are choosing to charge this price, are in my mind, responsible for the woman and infants who die because the birth was at home and they needed medical attention, instead of instead of in the hosp where they would have gotten that help and survived just fine.

  18. Amanda says:

    thats just horrible!

  19. Dario says:

    That’s crazy, your going through a painful and emotion time where screaming expected and its like they’re telling you can’t or you got to pay up


EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date

By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend