2022’s Best Cities for New Moms

Two multiethnic women smiling at each other, one is pregnant and the other is holding an infant on her lap. Image for the Best Cities for New Moms.

Being a new mom is hard, but being surrounded by a strong community can help lighten the load. 

Which U.S. cities are best at supporting women through the challenges of motherhood? 

To mark Mother’s Day on May 8, LawnStarter compared 180 of the biggest U.S. cities to rank 2022’s Best Cities for New Moms. 

We looked at more than 40 mom-friendliness factors, such as OB/GYN and pediatrician access, strength of breastfeeding laws, child care costs, and new-mom support groups. 

See where your city stands in our ranking below, followed by some highlights, lowlights, and expert parenting insights.

Contents

  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Ask the Experts
  4. Methodology
  5. Why This Study Matters

City Rankings 

See how each city fared in our ranking:

OVERALL RANKCityOverall ScoreMaternity Care RankChild Care RankMom Protections RankAffordability RankSocial Support RankSocioeconomics RankHome and Outdoor Environments Rank
1Orange, CA55.2811716154941162
2Boston, MA54.8814141671726142
3Portland, OR54.53961576913239105
4Jersey City, NJ52.7461361165126299
5San Francisco, CA51.8840716178154538
6Salem, OR51.6310613374510713795
7Eugene, OR51.3962117754180119104
8Paterson, NJ50.992721171178135160
9Yonkers, NY50.8918421014914272103
10Bellevue, WA50.74211315613568141
11Fremont, CA50.6493371617667361
12Pasadena, CA50.49348161704127174
13Fullerton, CA50.45123516162954073
14Salinas, CA50.3317161614515954109
15Irvine, CA50.2450291616932191
16Sunnyvale, CA50.09174251617970127
17Vancouver, WA50.03127285611628617
18Torrance, CA505551616610122178
19New York, NY49.721008101581277753
20Huntington Beach, CA48.461102416163661582
21Seattle, WA48.2248825613314019108
22Sacramento, CA48.04493916139409087
23Hayward, CA47.986645161741772059
24Elk Grove, CA47.7817863161361491877
25Worcester, MA47.75808341489911683
26San Jose, CA47.381681916177119774
27Spokane, WA47.296095568781128107
28Rochester, NY47.127185101201121757
29Sioux Falls, SD46.99414429624686
30Bridgeport, CT46.8425814141116161131
31Glendale, CA46.7816501617317344148
32Garden Grove, CA46.7410232161571504765
33Oakland, CA46.621314316175684944
34Naperville, IL46.49286186644524
35Newark, NJ46.4243114117235169127
36Santa Clarita, CA45.86153491616110223143
37Pomona, CA45.51195216147114146147
38Lincoln, NE45.2246391414271120
39Springfield, MA45.191209341379515990
40Omaha, NE45.185210919266437
41Escondido, CA45.169290161533157122
42Anaheim, CA45.0912826161601735585
43Overland Park, KS45.01741214433128139
44Santa Ana, CA44.9214332161511396981
45Modesto, CA44.66681191613015697142
46Boise City, ID44.63751144181554512
47San Diego, CA44.5514031161567635154
48Lexington, KY44.3934239131467534
49Long Beach, CA44.2810130161596381155
50Syracuse, NY44.241031241011412517724
51Chula Vista, CA44.1712979161508060126
52Honolulu, HI44.03786062991204333
53Madison, WI441144741281702588
54Los Angeles, CA43.9612191616416083161
55Bakersfield, CA43.83162651612619127163
56Oxnard, CA43.69150741615216365136
57Olathe, KS43.591571414413591720
58Tacoma, WA43.57115145561217188125
59Oceanside, CA43.55152771615514134140
60Providence, RI43.48133135154916614994
60Fort Collins, CO43.486816510914833152
62Arlington, VA43.36254191125147411
63Frisco, TX43.26301021165334693
64Palmdale, CA43.21764616143121133176
65Minneapolis, MN43.288206389916828
66Cary, NC43.15731441442211060
67Alexandria, VA43.1285691122881616
68Moreno Valley, CA43.1114276161383982177
69Scottsdale, AZ42.7387807710479158
70Lancaster, CA42.631255416131164107179
71McKinney, TX42.623610511663301219
72Rancho Cucamonga, CA42.51177128161442036175
73Corona, CA42.32171671614216130168
74Fresno, CA42.3148891612927156153
75Gilbert, AZ41.727510177976014145
76Riverside, CA41.67161681614015678172
77Fontana, CA41.6311813416134131118171
78Orlando, FL41.314221441031592117
79Virginia Beach, VA41.2684669173492813
80Nashville, TN41.1251219158387666
81St. Paul, MN40.25144696395339532
82Chesapeake, VA40.21261259166212922
83Chandler, AZ40.148511177904231167
84Denver, CO40.09135996511893870
85Salt Lake City, UT40.059162116231075940
86Durham, NC40.0215108144384387100
87Lakewood, CO39.9270946511916626134
88Pittsburgh, PA39.74134011661126101111
89Washington, DC39.63114126611801654239
90Columbus, OH39.576359144155812951
91Des Moines, IA39.389838144208711541
92Oklahoma City, OK39.3133110116194791146
93Aurora, CO39.038975651179053129
94Louisville, KY38.951091129166312247
95Ontario, CA38.94179127161468174180
96Springfield, MO38.935584116178110897
97Wichita, KS38.97986144275610946
98Miami, FL38.884411144127512571
99Plano, TX38.827210611670862484
100San Bernardino, CA38.8116313216132103153170
101Murfreesboro, TN38.781602791551008018
102Huntsville, AL38.6390161144113411115
103Kansas City, MO38.511391811624118106101
104Chattanooga, TN38.49451139144231525
105Phoenix, AZ38.41777077925596169
106Tulsa, OK38.3323881162657148123
107Grand Rapids, MI38.311947144351211262
108Austin, TX38.310721161029350133
109Raleigh, NC38.2856109144377356132
110Macon, GA38.171161516541181668
111Little Rock, AR38.129715091114811767
112Baltimore, MD37.87271607410513315043
113Akron, OH37.874753144125017610
114Colorado Springs, CO37.72111157651007763114
115Peoria, AZ37.6717211877944448159
116Amarillo, TX37.4781146116399111314
117Houston, TX37.464131167753131151
118Chicago, IL37.3314158610711310256
119Aurora, IL37.231047886801695180
120Thornton, CO37.091591046511113432157
121Winston-Salem, NC36.9638170144301781301
122Birmingham, AL36.820154144514217245
123Cincinnati, OH36.7532149144142516854
124Fort Wayne, IN36.635316991218114121
125Charlotte, NC36.5712214814442365249
126Milwaukee, WI36.5186674124105158139
127Knoxville, TN36.3682116915013714529
128St. Petersburg, FL36.2214613614488226635
129Cleveland, OH36.2110138144252417964
130Augusta, GA36.2941806543161636
131Mesa, AZ36.15134115779895100166
132Glendale, AZ36.09117121779628131173
133Irving, TX36.025716411672527368
134St. Louis, MO36.0222172116286115479
135Kansas City, KS36.0258107144471315578
136Jackson, MS36.013516711677117358
137Indianapolis, IN35.9510897914010313850
138New Orleans, LA35.84371531163613815172
139Clarksville, TN35.81801379134149463
140Fort Worth, TX35.7383129116654685113
141Richmond, VA35.6131165919310614726
142Tempe, AZ35.591691007710614584165
143Tampa, FL35.532914114410174121106
144Fort Lauderdale, FL35.4526961441124140144
145Jacksonville, FL35.3739171144811110469
146Dallas, TX35.28691031168637120112
147Reno, NV35.211313991831517096
148Greensboro, NC35.1859176144319512425
149Mobile, AL35.026517814421071623
150Albuquerque, NM34.96130122911665136164
151Columbus, GA34.83132174654816616436
152Joliet, IL34.4716687866213458137
153Hollywood, FL34.47416414411315393162
154Henderson, NV34.45145142917516241130
155Newport News, VA34.4413716291717811431
156Norfolk, VA34.2354168917412813455
157Shreveport, LA33.952417911610116165115
158El Paso, TX33.81561301165254142128
159Tucson, AZ33.74138123778575157138
160Pembroke Pines, FL33.65999114411517567124
161Las Vegas, NV33.561479891782998156
162Arlington, TX33.491241551166810123119
163San Antonio, TX33.36136921166089139121
164Cape Coral, FL33.3215514014410812411030
165Anchorage, AK33.2515434144168693798
166Garland, TX32.93175152116765010348
167Port St. Lucie, FL32.861581201441101517992
168Philadelphia, PA32.77951471169111514475
169Brownsville, TX32.77170711164681160118
170Rockford, IL32.376715886578174135
171Memphis, TN32.19123156915110717052
172Hialeah, FL31.941765714412315611257
173Toledo, OH31.8112173144712117823
174North Las Vegas, NV31.77173143918210799102
175Tallahassee, FL31.611051631448417614376
176Mesquite, TX31.61511661167912810589
177Pasadena, TX31.47149731165978167116
178Grand Prairie, TX31.461651591166717189149
179Fayetteville, NC29.61641751443217171110
180Detroit, MI24.21671771445632180150
Infographic showing the best cities for new moms, a ranking based on maternity and child care access, mom-friendly policies, safety, affordability, and more

Highlights and Lowlights

Elite Access From Coast to Coast

Our Best Cities for New Moms dot both coasts, offering plenty of services and support for new moms.

The Golden State shines with two cities in our top 10. Orange, California, brings home the gold at No. 1 overall and in Maternity Care. Further up the state, San Francisco (No. 5) fared well in the Child Care and Socioeconomics rankings. 

Head east to Boston (No. 2) for high-quality Child Care (No. 1) and high scores across the charts. Paterson, New Jersey (No. 8), claims a spot near the top thanks to excellent Maternity Care (No. 2).

Unfortunately, access to quality resources can come with a hefty price tag. Most of our top-ranking cities fared poorly in Affordability — only one landed among the best 50 cities in that category. 

It Takes a Village

Being a new mom can feel isolating, especially if you’re the first one in your circle to start the journey of motherhood. Washington cities Bellevue (No. 10) and Vancouver (No. 17) performed well in our ranking, thanks to their abundance of new moms and parent support groups. 

First-time moms and pregnant women don’t just need community support — they also need high-quality medical guidance and resources. California cities Pasadena (No. 12) and Torrance (No. 18) pull ahead in Maternity Care, while New York (No. 19) fared well in the Child Care ranking. 

Don’t Break the Bank

Pregnancy and child care can cost a fortune, especially in the U.S., where hospital bills for childbirth are more expensive than anywhere else in the world. Without insurance, you could be out of pocket by as much as $24,400, depending on where you live among the cities we ranked.

When labor and delivery can be as expensive as a new car — and housing costs are higher than ever — where can a regular mom settle down to take care of her family? 

Nebraska cities Lincoln (No. 38) and Omaha (No. 40) are two of the most affordable cities for new moms. Lincoln also ranked well in Child Care (No. 3). However, if you’re looking for community support or healthier surroundings, put down roots in Omaha.

Laws Supporting Moms

Some cities soared to the top of our ranking, thanks to strong legal protections around paid leave, job security, and wage replacement during pregnancy and childbirth. 

New Jersey cities tie for first place in Mom Protections, with Jersey City (No. 4) bumping to the top overall for high Social Support, and Paterson (No. 8) just a few steps behind. Mom Protections also brought Oregon cities Portland (No. 3), Salem (No. 6), and Eugene (No. 7) up in the ranking.

Room to Roam Safely

Many new moms want their children to be in touch with nature, but not all cities are safely built for curious kids. Rochester, New York (No. 28), Naperville, Illinois (No. 34), and Overland Park, Kansas (No. 43), earned some of the best scores in Home and Outdoor Environments.

Cities in Tennessee, like Murfreesboro (No. 101) and Chattanooga (No. 104), and Alabama cities Huntsville (No. 102) and Mobile (No. 149) might have big backyards to roam, but parents have to make a big compromise to live there. Despite the high environmental quality and big yards in these cities, they fall behind in many other categories, lacking important resources that cater to mothers and their children. 

Not So Family-Friendly

For the second year in a row, Detroit (No. 180) sinks to the bottom of our ranking as the worst city for new moms. Motor City was slowed down by poor scores across the board, except Affordability (No. 56) and Social Support (No. 32).

Following just behind is Fayetteville, North Carolina (No. 179), and a few Texas suburbs, Grand Prarie (No. 178), Pasadena (No. 177), and Mesquite (No. 176). While these cities are moderately affordable, they lack resources to meet the needs of new moms. 

Ask The Experts

You might know what to expect when you’re expecting, but what about post-childbirth? We reached out to a panel of experts for actionable, real-world guidance for first-time moms. See what wisdom they had to share below.

  1. What are the three biggest challenges facing new moms today, and what are the solutions?
  2. What is your best piece of advice for women considering motherhood for the first time today?
  3. The pandemic exacerbated depression and anxiety symptoms in new moms. What are your top three suggestions for getting the support they need?
  4. What is the best gift for a new mom this Mother’s Day and why?
Ilse DeKoeyer, PhD
Associate Professor (Lecturer), Department of Psychology
Annette Regan, Phd, MPH
Assistant Professor, MPH Faculty Lead
Alison Gemmill, PhD
Assistant Professor
Ilse DeKoeyer, PhD
Associate Professor (Lecturer), Department of Psychology
University of Utah

What are the three biggest challenges facing new moms today, and what are the solutions?

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are by far the biggest challenge for new and pregnant moms today. Even before the pandemic, at least about 1 in 7 new moms (15%) suffered from postpartum depression (PPD). In women of color and/or living in poverty, the number is much higher (up to 50% of new moms in this group experiences PPD). In Utah, between 2017 and 2019, about 43% of new moms experienced anxiety or depression (before and/or after giving birth) — and this was before the pandemic.

A new study from Canada, in a low-risk sample of mothers who were mostly White, married, and well educated, 41% indicated that they experienced depression, and 72% said they experienced anxiety during pregnancy or within a year after giving birth. This was a self-selected sample, so moms may have opted into the study out of an interest in this topic, but it is safe to say that the pandemic has caused a rise in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Secondly, there is a constant onslaught of information for new parents to process. Of course, there has been lots of information about the risks of the pandemic and what to do about it in the past year, and this information has often been changing or confusing.

But even before the pandemic, there has been an explosion of information about how to best take care of yourself during pregnancy and how to best raise a child. Some of this is information that is solidly based in research, but there is also a lot of mom and dad blogs (of varying quality) and an avalanche of advertising to new parents. New parents are made to believe that they need a ton of fancy products to make their baby smarter, better developed, and bonded. But the vast majority of these products has no research evidence behind them, and babies do not need specific toys for optimal development.

Thirdly, we have a birth culture that often leaves moms feeling disempowered, emotionally unsupported, and alone. We tend to see birth as portrayed on TV: surrounded by panic, excruciating pain, and potential danger. While pregnancy and birth do place a huge burden on a woman’s body, complications are still more exception than rule. We do need to have highly specialized doctors, in case there are risk factors or emergencies.

But research shows that interventions in normal, low-risk births (e.g., inductions) tend to lead to more interventions, which tend to go along with stress. About 9% of mothers develop postpartum PTSD. This is often related to emergency situations but also is more likely when the mother is not told what is going on, why procedures are done, and what (if any) choices she has.

After giving birth, parents are expected to go home from the hospital and figure out how to care for a newborn and for the mom’s well-being without support or adequate parental leave. Other countries, such as The Netherlands and Australia, have nurses who come to your home to help the family adapt after the huge event of giving birth. All of these challenges are even more likely in women of color, women who are younger or less educated, or women living in poverty.

What we can do on a societal level is to improve policies for parental leave, provide more support for parents around the time of birth (such as home visiting programs), and support high-quality childcare. Social support from friends, family, and fellow parents also greatly reduces risk.

On an individual level, it helps to be informed and to know that you have choices (e.g., about how to give birth, if it is not high-risk). Be sure to go to your doctor for check-ups, and be sure to have them check in with you about your emotional well-being. Moderate exercise and mindfulness practices (like yoga or meditation) have been proven to reduce depression and anxiety. Pre-birth relaxation and visualization exercises also help reduce stress. Lastly, reach out for mental health support when you need it. There are lots of expert professionals out there who love to help.

What is your best piece of advice for women considering motherhood for the first time today?

  • Follow your own intuition, and trust yourself. The vast majority of babies are born healthy, and every child has their own strengths, even as a tiny baby.
  • Be informed, but trust the process once you decide you are ready for a baby. Use information wisely, but do not let all the news overwhelm you.
  • Accept help whenever you can — it does take a village to raise a child. You are worthy of support, and you cannot take care of a baby very well if you do not take care of yourself, too.
  • Know that you matter!

The pandemic has exacerbated depression and anxiety symptoms in new moms. What are your top three suggestions for getting the support they need?

First, know that you are not alone and there is help. New moms are often led to believe that they need to be the ones who take care of everything. But you need care, as well.

It is a huge transition to become a mom, physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally. You discover new ways of relating, redefine your identity, along with all the practical changes of having a new baby in your home.

Who in your social network can support you? Do you have a partner who can support you (emotionally, practically, or even just financially)? If you have no family nearby, is there a new-mom group in your area or online? Ask for help when you need it, and accept help when it is offered.

Second, know that professionals are waking up to the reality that many moms are suffering mentally. Pediatricians, OB-GYNs, and family physicians are increasingly checking in about emotional well-being in new moms and helping them get connected to services.

There is a growing group of mental health professionals who are specifically trained in Maternal Mental Health (also called Perinatal Mental Health). Check with your local Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, Postpartum Support International (PSI), Help Me Grow, or United Way 2-1-1 to find these resources.

Third, don’t give up. Keep advocating for yourself when you don’t feel heard or helped. This is very hard to do when you feel anxious or depressed because there is typically a tendency to withdraw and think you are not as important as your baby and to focus on other barriers.

But, again, there is help, and these conditions are treatable. When you leave them untreated, they can get worse over time. It is better for everyone if you allow yourself the care that you need. If you cannot muster the energy to do this, ask your doctor or anyone who loves you to get you connected. A well-resourced mom is a much better resource for her baby.

What is the best gift for a new mom this Mother’s Day and why?

Let her know she is loved. Most new moms will appreciate it if she feels you care about her.

Offer her some time away from baby, a sensory experience (like a soft blanket or some time in nature), or just to spend quality time with you. All moms are different, so you could offer several options and have her choose something that would comfort her.

Listen to her. The most important thing is that she feels loved and cared for and that she realizes that her well-being will help her baby, too.

Annette Regan, Phd, MPH
Assistant Professor, MPH Faculty Lead
University of San Francisco-Orange County Campus

What are the three biggest challenges facing new moms today, and what are the solutions?

Welcoming a new baby is always a challenge, and during the pandemic, especially so. I think the three biggest challenges today are finding consistent social support, finding reliable child care, and supporting positive mental health.

To be clear, I don’t think these are new challenges. These have always been challenges for new moms. But the pandemic has really amplified these challenges. I think finding a child care situation that meets the families’ needs can really help address all three of these challenges.

What is your best piece of advice for women considering motherhood for the first time today?

Enjoy it. The pandemic may have presented challenges, but it hasn’t taken away the joyful experiences.

For those considering motherhood, I hope the pandemic is not the factor that keeps them from becoming a parent. In an ongoing study we’re conducting, we found that 58% of currently pregnant individuals said they delayed pregnancy because of the pandemic.

While I think it is definitely worth planning ahead a little more to handle the additional challenges, I hope that people thinking about becoming a new mom don’t let the pandemic discourage them.

The pandemic has exacerbated depression and anxiety symptoms in new moms. What are your top three suggestions for getting the support they need?

I think the medical system has responded as best possible to emerging health issues, and this has included providing support for maternal mental health.

My first recommendation is to check in with yourself. It’s normal to have some feelings of anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and I think it’s easy for new moms to dismiss when feelings of sadness and anxiety are not normal. Don’t be afraid to check in with your health professional about your mental health — even if you think it may be normal.

My second recommendation is to accept help wherever you can. Health professionals and support groups have responded creatively during the pandemic, creating virtual support groups, social media networks, and other “distanced” ways of supporting new moms.

My last recommendation, and this was some of the best advice I received as a new mom last year, is to be kind to yourself.

Alison Gemmill, PhD
Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

What are the three biggest challenges facing new moms today, and what are the solutions?

One of the biggest challenges facing new moms is the lack of paid parental leave in the U.S. This can lead to insufficient time for moms to recover after childbirth; increased stress for families who are trying to ensure job stability while simultaneously finding suitable infant care; and premature cessation of breastfeeding. Thankfully, the political willpower to expand paid family-leave benefits seems to be growing.

The second challenge is identifying strategies to balance work and family obligations. Women often take on most housework and domestic duties, and the pandemic has clearly exacerbated these patterns. For two-parent households, women should work with their partners to voice challenges and come up with equitable solutions, which might include outsourcing some domestic labor.

The third challenge concerns the health of moms after they give birth. Infancy can be a rewarding but challenging period, especially when sleep becomes compromised. Moms tend to put themselves last when it comes to their health and well-being. Any small changes new moms can make to prioritize their needs can go a long way. And if moms feel guilty for engaging in self care, they should remind themselves that doing so makes them a better parent.

What is your best piece of advice for women considering motherhood for the first time today?

One of the best pieces of advice I received is that there’s never a perfect time to become a parent. I think most people think that to start a family they need to have all their ducks in a row, so to speak. What really matters at the end of the day, though, is that you are able to provide a child with a loving home.

The pandemic has exacerbated depression and anxiety symptoms in new moms. What are your top three suggestions for getting the support they need?

My first suggestion is for new moms to seek help from their health care provider. Postpartum depression is a common experience and is treatable. If you are experiencing postpartum depression and have difficulty contacting a provider, ask a partner or friend to contact them for you. If you are worried about contacting a health care provider because of financial or health insurance concerns, postpartum depression hotlines can provide support.

My second suggestion is to connect with other mothers who are experiencing similar challenges. While the pandemic has limited in-person interactions, online support groups, including those found on social media sites like Facebook, can be a great way to voice your worries and feelings; they also provide reassurance that you’re not alone.

My third suggestion, which aligns with what I mentioned above, is to practice self care. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get enough sleep and exercise when taking care of an infant, but a little goes a long way. Napping while the baby sleeps, taking walks outside, and doing an activity that you enjoyed prior to becoming a parent are all ways to improve your health and mood.

Methodology

We ranked 180 of the most populated U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 180) for new moms based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below.

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. ValueBest
Maternity Care
OB/GYNs per 10,000 Females Aged 15+322.397,516.27Max. Value
Nurse Midwives per 10,000 New Moms225.012,689.98Max. Value
Hospitals per 100,000 Residents205.41Max. Value
Quality of Public Hospitals35087Max. Value
Lactation/Nursing Spaces per 10,000 New Moms1024.64Max. Value
Doulas per 10,000 New Moms20878.31Max. Value
Hospitals with Maternity Services per 100,000 Residents201.43Max. Value
Quality of Hospitals with Gynecology Services (Score Out of 100)312.394.7Max. Value
Child Care
Family Practitioners per 100,000 Residents24.71132.13Max. Value
Pediatricians per 10,000 Households with Children Under Age 1830.6910.17Max. Value
Childcare Workers per 10,000 Households with Children Under Age 18314.6122.45Max. Value
Infant Mortality Rate22.72%11.08%Min. Value
Life Expectancy171.8185.31Max. Value
Low Birthweight Rate26.10%12.71%Min. Value
Share of Uninsured Children10.00%12.04%Min. Value
Number of Baby Supply Stores1033Max. Value
Number of Hospitals with Neonatology Services204Max. Value
Mom Protections
Maximum Length of Paid Family Leave Allowed (in Weeks)3012Max. Value
Percentage of Wage Replacement20%100%Max. Value
Availability of Job Protection in Paid Family Leave Policy (1 = Yes, 0 = No)301Max. Value
Maximum Additional Paid Medical Leave Allowed for Pregnancy and Childbirth (in Weeks)3012Max. Value
Availability of State Law Allowing Sick Leave for Child Care (1 = Yes, 0 = No)301Max. Value
Strength of Breastfeeding Laws115Max. Value
Affordability
Cost of Living Index273205Min. Value
Housing Affordability231.9490.61Max. Value
Average Delivery Cost With Insurance in State2$6,725.94$14,157.12Min. Value
Average Delivery Cost Without Insurance in State3$11,399.57$24,430.36Min. Value
Copay as a Share of Household Income10.00%22.00%Min. Value
Hourly Babysitting Rate2$11.50$20.50Min. Value
Annual Cost of Infant Day Care3$5,864.00$24,081.00Min. Value
Social Support
New Moms per 1,000 Moms in Past Year23074Max. Value
Mom and Parent Support Groups per 100,000 Residents204.76Max. Value
Socioeconomics
Unemployment Rate for Women with Children Under Age 6290.00%1930.00%Min. Value
Average Annual Household Income3$46,474.00$192,790.00Max. Value
Share of Children Under Age 5 Living in Poverty12.80%51.60%Min. Value
Share of New Moms Living in Poverty21.70%55.00%Min. Value
Food Insecurity Rate15.38%17.50%Min. Value
Home and Outdoor Environments
Median Air Quality Index128101Min. Value
Presence of Water Quality Violations (1 = Present, 0 = Not Present)101Max. Value
Walk Score11397Min. Value
Pedestrian Fatalities per 100,000 Residents1010.96Max. Value
Average Yard Square Footage12,744 sq. ft.23,239 sq. ft.Max. Value
Crime Index1085Min. Value
Share of Homes with Severe Housing Problems19.57%32.43%Min. Value

Sources: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AreaVibes, Care.com, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Child Care Aware of America, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, DoulaMatch.net, Feeding America, LawnStarter Internal Data, Livability, Mamava, Meetup, National Center for Children in Poverty, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NeighborhoodScout, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. News & World Report, Walk Score, and Yelp

Why This Study Matters

Motherhood is both a rewarding and challenging role, but the past few years have been extra stressful for new moms. 

During the pandemic, new moms reported heightened postpartum depression, and around 10 million left the workforce at the start of 2021. 

Rising gas prices, inflation, the housing crisis, the child tax credit expiring, and jobs going from remote to in-person work have increased the overall financial strain on parents across the nation. Not to mention the fact that day care is getting more expensive

But there is hope. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, pregnant women can no longer be denied coverage or charged higher premiums. And more help may be on the way: A federal spending plan aims to make child care more affordable, expand access to universal pre-kindergarten, and extend paid leave.

With all moms top of mind this Mother’s Day, LawnStarter conducted this study to help bring awareness to the struggles of first-time mothers today.

PS: If you’re a new mom, the last thing you have time for is mowing your yard. And if your mom is older and living alone or younger and juggling work and kids, visit your mother and mow her grass for Mother’s Day. If you’re too busy, LawnStarter can send a local pro to help.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Sav Maive

Sav Maive is a writer and director based in San Antonio. Sav is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is a loving cat and plant mom.