WASHINGTON: Mothers in the United States who give birth to twins or triplets face soaring medical costs compared to those who have single children, said a study on Monday.

The medical expenses can be five times as high for twins and up to 20 times as high for triplets and other multiple births, said the report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The tally included all medical expenses for the mothers from 27 weeks before birth until 30 days afterward, combined with the medical costs of infant care for the first year.

The total healthcare cost was around $21,000 per delivery with singletons, $105,000 with twins, and over $400,000 with triplets or more, said the study.

Researchers said their approach was the first to account for the comprehensive cost associated with multiple pregnancies by estimating all-cause medical expenses over the time period from early pregnancy to the children’s first birthdays.

For women who had single births, the majority of the overall costs were for maternal care (60 percent).–AFP