My wife Amy and I really never considered geography when it came to bringing our children into this world. Well, maybe a little. I was born at Rockford Memorial (now Mercyhealth), Amy was born at SwedishAmerican, so there were 30 seconds or so of debate about which hospital we'd go with for our first child. Who won the debate? OSF St. Anthony.

Not because we insisted on a neutral site to stave off the argument. We knew that any of Rockford's 3 outstanding hospitals would be just fine. Our insurance carrier kind of made the determination for us, and it worked out spectacularly well. OSF St. Anthony (and Dr. Moore), if you're reading this, you did a fantastic job, and we've never considered returning our son Spencer to you for a full refund.

Our daughter Molly was born at Rockford Memorial, and due to a massive amount of complications, we couldn't have been happier to be in such close proximity to their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as they saved Molly's life. We are forever grateful.

Before we get to the state ranking for the best/worst states to have a baby, just know that regardless of Illinois' ranking, we've got three absolutely first-rate hospitals right here in the Forest City.

Personal finance site WalletHub is out with their rankings of the best and worst states in which to have a baby, and here's what they looked at to come up with their numbers:

According to the International Federation of Health Plans, Americans pay the highest birthing costs in the world, with the price tag of normal delivery averaging $10,808. A C-section goes up by another $5,298. Without maternity health coverage, including Medicaid, you can expect those prices to double or even triple.

Birthing costs, however, can vary significantly from state to state, considering the wide disparities in cost of living. They can also differ from one pregnancy to another, given that some women experience delivery complications that could bump up the expense. But there’s quality of health care service to consider as well, and no two maternity environments are created equal. WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 20 key measures of cost, health care accessibility, as well as baby- and family-friendliness. Our data set ranges from hospital conventional-delivery charges to annual average infant-care costs to pediatricians per capita.

First the 5 best states:

1) Vermont

2) Minnesota

3) New Hampshire

4) Connecticut

5) North Dakota

And, the 5 worst states:

47) Alabama

48) West Virginia

49) Nevada

50) Louisiana

51) Mississippi

As for Illinois, we come in at #29. Wisconsin is #19, Iowa is #9, Michigan is #33, Missouri is #30, and Indiana is #24.

Having a Baby in Illinois (1=Best; 25=Avg.)
28th – Hospital Cesarean-Delivery Charges
27th – Hospital Conventional-Delivery Charges
35th – Avg. Annual Cost of Early Child Care
27th – Infant Mortality Rate
29th – Rate of Low Birth-Weight
40th – Midwives & OB-GYNs per Capita
22nd – Pediatricians & Family Doctors per Capita
43rd – Child-Care Centers per Capita
10th – Parental-Leave Policy Score

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