Bob Greene's friend found the hospital bill from his birth in 1947. It was $70, or $726 in 2012 dollars. According to a 2011 report from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the cost for a hospital stay, including physician fees, for a conventional birth with no complications was a little over $11,000 in 2008. So what exactly has happened for costs to rise so astronomically? A lot of things, said UTMB’s Dr. Gary Hankins. The technology available to keep mothers and babies safe is light years removed from what was available in 1947, he said, and “regrettably, the technology is expensive.” He said that in almost every way, new mothers and their babies are better off now than they were 65 years ago.