2021’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.

Motherhood is tough, and some new moms could use all the help they can get where they live. 

Thankfully, many cities make the job easier for new moms. 

So, which cities are best suited for bringing that bundle of joy into the world and helping new mothers adjust to the challenges of caring for their little one?

To rank the Best Cities for New Moms, LawnStarter compared 174 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 43 signs of first-time mom-friendliness, sorted into seven categories. Among the key factors we looked at:

  • Maternity care: Access to OB/GYNs and lactation spaces and quality of hospitals with maternity services
  • Child care: Access to pediatricians and baby supply stores
  • Mom protections: Strength of breastfeeding laws and amount of additional paid leave allowed for pregnancy and childbirth
  • Affordability: Delivery and child care costs

Check out our ranking below, followed by some highlights, lowlights, and insights from a panel of parenting experts. (Don’t forget to thank the moms in your life this Mother’s Day, May 9.)

Table of 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 RankSupport Environment RankSocioeconomic Environment RankHome and Outdoor Environments Rank
1Salem, OR54.2080414393411513
2Portland, OR52.2155324701283942
3Jersey City, NJ51.9361011521169136
4Eugene, OR51.88121945217211339
5Yonkers, NY49.9517127127142988
6Paterson, NJ49.21327116114813880
7Sunnyvale, CA49.1644191417412121
8New York, NY47.84103271301329558
9Boston, MA47.702313121321637526
10Bellevue, WA47.5622113531345937
11Santa Rosa, CA47.31207141661222952
12Vancouver, WA46.20314753120626536
13Orange, CA46.06194514155614162
14Buffalo, NY45.38166787871716431
15Irvine, CA45.34155514169818140
16Arlington, VA45.2711889105447
17Worcester, MA44.99117111121262211246
18Salinas, CA44.801481414915276143
19Spokane, WA44.7190109531028212727
20Sioux Falls, SD44.47131138129436
21Escondido, CA44.28462514150234890
22Seattle, WA44.256785531311592432
23San Francisco, CA44.175816141731675107
24Madison, WI44.15210573461513123
25Syracuse, NY43.891544478913916562
26Torrance, CA43.841249141658523171
27Rancho Cucamonga, CA43.7715210414143262273
28Elk Grove, CA43.6515511514140891364
29Rochester, NY43.531588071019416949
30San Jose, CA43.28883314172846116
31Newark, NJ43.232684115761171150
32Cary, NC42.9916102138121571
33Oakland, CA42.94324314171566277
34Overland Park, KS42.7756313856107153
35Fontana, CA42.7171201413616568164
36Oxnard, CA42.711392814151715975
37Oceanside, CA42.689629141549832106
38Garden Grove, CA42.6145481415811146134
39San Diego, CA42.5269231415612338155
40Fullerton, CA42.4854501416211333169
41Pasadena, CA42.413872141682137156
42Corona, CA42.39125591414415825133
43Naperville, IL42.332774855410919
44Glendale, CA42.231857141708656144
45Chula Vista, CA42.2192301414813742109
46Ontario, CA41.96105112141454166100
47Santa Clarita, CA41.7114787141608017123
48Frisco, TX41.4947631133610835
49Omaha, NE41.463711892635814
50Huntington Beach, CA41.38141351416411612154
51Moreno Valley, CA41.3313081141394678125
52Lincoln, NE41.20109489161025715
53Modesto, CA41.151343714135100106159
54Gilbert, AZ41.0153917692641045
55Sacramento, CA40.9894100141415190147
56Minneapolis, MN40.98402260104746714
57Olathe, KS40.93145513832129833
58Riverside, CA40.86133701413815470152
59Tacoma, WA40.73127128531211108569
60Lakewood, CO40.72446601249528120
61Alexandria, VA40.4682189125131618
62Santa Ana, CA40.2313862141531060148
63Providence, RI40.2376114589414515055
64Bakersfield, CA40.121641161412927109163
65Washington, DC40.071049859128815565
66Aurora, CO39.99213860122384056
67Long Beach, CA39.9181581415910474151
68Lexington, KY39.8435428931577719
69Chandler, AZ39.69309976905527127
70Anaheim, CA39.58123511416313650149
71Pomona, CA39.4233731414797133174
72Honolulu, HI39.32346060116603692
73St. Paul, MN39.11398960103248721
74Nashville, TN38.8077148953758311
75McKinney, TX38.64788311358311110
76Scottsdale, AZ38.506686761061401982
77Thornton, CO38.2710867601191620128
78Murfreesboro, TN38.211221589431617212
79Boise, ID38.182831138131714722
80San Bernardino, CA38.181371231413745148113
81Durham, NC38.1295613841769451
82Fort Collins, CO38.0913154601171643435
83Plano, TX38.034192113631012141
84Denver, CO37.992476601239044117
85Peoria, AZ37.841189076966835103
86Raleigh, NC37.782579138381305430
87Fresno, CA37.711531081413332151170
88Glendale, AZ37.641196769950114111
89Des Moines, IA37.341121713818998920
90Salt Lake City, UT37.15703611319476472
91Los Angeles, CA36.961443914167162101167
92Mesa, AZ36.67751017698499360
93Kansas City, MO36.6610261383111297110
94Springfield, MO36.3789241382110512029
95Virginia Beach, VA36.30106828977582624
96Atlanta, GA35.835114760486913191
97Oklahoma City, OK35.786412411364310095
98Aurora, IL35.755911085641464559
99Palmdale, CA35.381709314146146121172
100Lancaster, CA35.341739714142155104173
101Colorado Springs, CO35.2513612660108775887
102Grand Rapids, MI35.1311569138331181242
103Milwaukee, WI35.03120103734213815350
104Augusta, GA34.9699172607715643
105Tempe, AZ34.76113717610716892118
106Louisville, KY34.59165958959611116
107Orlando, FL34.554326138889110129
108Chesapeake, VA34.491421258971573040
109Amarillo, TX34.19113133113243388104
110Austin, TX34.0784611137914352102
111Columbus, OH34.077477138272011944
112Wichita, KS34.068713013851309954
113Phoenix, AZ34.04129647610073108166
114Fort Wayne, IN34.0310115389255212338
115Tulsa, OK34.0312494113105314728
116Irving, TX33.904214811366727376
117Little Rock, AR33.82621418911125130114
118Kansas City, KS33.8236401387419143139
119Fort Worth, TX33.7679107113552582135
120Garland, TX33.748513811372128457
121Grand Prairie, TX33.6472142113611206163
122Arlington, TX33.5157142113624410261
123Macon, GA33.506117360839159101
124Killeen, TX33.479312911349213694
125San Antonio, TX33.4512868113578812679
126Charlotte, NC33.13160106138451216367
127Greensboro, NC33.07651551382310311847
128Tucson, AZ32.9513553769759152158
129Joliet, IL32.88143117854716049132
130Pittsburgh, PA32.8360661136514910399
130Knoxville, TN32.8311152893516614085
132Dallas, TX32.8391751137566116108
133Pasadena, TX32.695214011360315789
134Houston, TX32.6083651136836134138
135Huntsville, AL32.5282156138213412525
136Chicago, IL32.50151208581124122119
137Birmingham, AL32.1051341381454167126
138Winston-Salem, NC31.94491591382017313948
139Baltimore, MD31.7298165737613315486
140Chattanooga, TN31.5986154893013414670
141Columbus, GA31.056817460912515871
142St. Petersburg, FL30.89116139138841567988
143Mesquite, TX30.64951511137313180141
144Newport News, VA30.587115089787011798
145Reno, NV30.48161121891151417166
146Tampa, FL30.461016313886153129105
147Pembroke Pines, FL30.291261361381101275384
148El Paso, TX30.231681451133483135137
149Indianapolis, IN30.00140135895991137142
150Jacksonville, FL29.88501691388242107157
151Albuquerque, NM29.811571448915117128168
152St. Louis, MO29.79156881383792155130
153Miramar, FL29.651491371389516951115
154Laredo, TX29.39171122113502716178
155Henderson, NV29.28163161891121504181
156Cape Coral, FL29.26174127138931448617
157Cincinnati, OH29.1973146138221816896
158Akron, OH29.1797131138176517074
159Hollywood, FL29.0911013213810916910583
160Miami, FL28.441593413811878141146
161Dayton, OH28.2648166138294017253
162Jackson, MS28.051461491134106166122
163Fayetteville, NC27.91169162138281416397
164Richmond, VA27.80119164899111514534
165Norfolk, VA27.69100171898093132124
166Cleveland, OH27.6929152138446717393
167North Las Vegas, NV27.4417216089114379668
168Memphis, TN27.42150168894079162153
169Tallahassee, FL27.0416211813883174144131
170Las Vegas, NV27.03167158891138791145
171Fort Lauderdale, FL26.7314811913811163142161
172New Orleans, LA26.576315711367114160165
173Philadelphia, PA25.6713216711385119149112
174Detroit, MI23.521071701386948174160
infographic depicting the best cities for new moms

Highlights and Lowlights

East Meets West

Our top 10 Best Cities for New Moms is a battle between the coasts. Half are concentrated in the West, including three Oregon cities, with Salem at No. 1; Sunnyvale, California, at No. 7; and Bellevue, Washington, at No. 10. The other half hail from the East: Jersey City (3) and Paterson (6), New Jersey; Yonkers (5) and New York (8); and Boston (9).

All of these cities draw their strength from policies that protect moms’ jobs and maternal rights, though the Eastern winners performed slightly better than their Western counterparts. Jersey City and Paterson tie for the top spot in this category, while performance is mixed for all 10 cities in the other categories. 

What does this mean? Move to one of these coastal cities, and you may not have to choose between motherhood and your career. 

Meet in the Middle

You won’t find any Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, or Texas cities, for example, in the top or bottom of our ranking of the Best Cities for New Moms — they’re mostly spread around the middle. 

One perk of being in the middle is that these mid-tier cities tend to be better for Mom’s pocketbook. Cities in Minnesota and Colorado are exceptions, though, as either cost of living or the price of child care (or both) is high(er). 

What does this mean for new moms? Bringing up baby in the Heartland likely will cost you less, but you often can expect the practical side of motherhood to be mediocre at best.

Detroit: Last But Not Least

Detroit finishes last (174) in our ranking, but that doesn’t mean the city — and other mothers — aren’t helping other new moms.

First, the bad news: The Motor City performed poorly in the child care (170) and home and outdoor environments (160), sits at the bottom of the socioeconomic category, and tied for last place with several cities for mom protections.

And the good news: Detroit’s Diaper Bank provides free nappies to new moms. What’s it like to raise a kid here? One local mom says it all: “The stay-at-home moms who live near us offered to help this summer because I’m a working mom. So they’re taking care of my children. I don’t think it gets better than that.”

Ask The Experts

You might know what to expect when you’re expecting, but what about post-childbirth — especially during a pandemic? 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. A recent study found that pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications. What special precautions, if any, should expectant mothers take to avoid those complications?
  4. The pandemic has exacerbated depression and anxiety symptoms in new moms. What are your top three suggestions for getting the support they need?
  5. 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!

A recent study found that pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications. What special precautions, if any, should expectant mothers take to avoid those complications?

This is important information but yet another reason for the increased anxiety among pregnant mothers. We all need to be sensible about protecting ourselves from COVID-19, and this is especially true when you are pregnant or have a new baby.

Keep in mind that headlines like to emphasize alarming news because that attracts attention. It is good to do all that we reasonably can to reduce risk. But sometimes the news sounds deeply concerning when the relative risk is still quite small (for instance, when risk increases from 1 to 5 in 10,000, that means a five-fold increase but still a low risk in general).

It is good to inform yourself and to talk to your doctor about these risks. But then all you can do is take reasonable precautions (such as distancing, mask wearing, and getting vaccinated) and trust that you are doing enough.

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.

A recent study found that pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications. What special precautions, if any, should expectant mothers take to avoid those complications?

This is true. Several studies have now shown that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection, including admission to the intensive care unit and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists pregnancy as a medical condition placing people at higher risk of severe infection.

Pregnant women and those considering pregnancy can avoid exposure to COVID-19 by following guidelines from local public health officials and getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, it would definitely be worth getting your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. If you become pregnant before you’re able to get vaccinated, it’s important to note that there is now data from over 30,000 vaccinated pregnant people to show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women and their babies.

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.

A recent study found that pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications. What special precautions, if any, should expectant mothers take to avoid those complications?

As more studies come out, the evidence becomes clearer that pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness compared to those who aren’t pregnant. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best line of defense against these complications, but there is a lack of clinical trial data for the pregnant population.

That said, a recent study evaluating the safety of the vaccine in around 35,000 pregnant individuals did not identify safety concerns. These findings are preliminary, and additional follow-up is needed, but they are also reassuring. Pregnant people should therefore discuss vaccination considerations with their doctors or other members of their clinical care team, as vaccinations can be provided to pregnant people if requested.

If vaccination is not an option, pregnant people should continue taking standard precautions to guard against COVID-19 infection. These include limiting in-person interactions with people who might have been exposed or infected, wearing a mask indoors, practicing social distancing, and avoiding poorly ventilated spaces.

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 174 of the most populated U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 174) based on their overall scores. A city’s overall score (out of 100 possible points) is the average of all of the city’s individual scores across the weighted metrics listed below.

MetricsWeightingMin. ValueMax. Value
Maternity Care
OB/GYNs per 100,000 Residents32.3927.69
Nurse Midwives per 100,000 Residents20.7318.01
Hospitals per Capita20.1244.05
Quality of Public Hospitals38195
Lactation/Nursing Spaces per 100,000 Residents1026.67
Doulas per 100,000 Residents20109.12
Hospitals with Maternity Services per 100,000 Residents208.92
Quality of Hospitals with Maternity Services315.376.1
Child Care
Family Practitioners per 100,000 Residents23.16124.06
Pediatricians per 100,000 Residents31.2341.13
Child Care Workers per 100,000 Residents363.48443.42
Infant Mortality Rate22.92%11.19%
Life Expectancy172.85 years85.92 years
Low Birthweight Rate20.06%0.13%
Share of Uninsured Children10.45%13.97%
Access to Baby Supply Stores106.87
Access to Neonatology Services204
Mom Protections
Length of Paid Family Leave Allowed30 weeks12 weeks
Share of Wage Replacement20%100%
Availability of Job Protection in Paid Family Leave Policy (Yes/No)30 (No)1 (Yes)
Amount of Additional Paid Medical Leave Allowed for Pregnancy and Childbirth30 weeks11 weeks
Availability of State Law Allowing Sick Leave for Child Care (Yes/No)30 (No)1 (Yes)
Strength of Breastfeeding Laws115
Affordability
Cost of Living279206
Housing Affordability232.5989.13
Delivery Cost3$7,825$29,748.75
Copay as a Share of Household Income100.22
Hourly Cost of Babysitter2$11.25$19.25
Annual Cost of Child Care3$5,864$21,256
Support Environment
New Moms per 1,000 Moms in Past Year23386
Prevalence of Mom/Parent Support Groups2015.71
Socioeconomic Environment
Unemployment Rate for Moms with Children Under Age 620.90%19.30%
Median Annual Household Income3$30,894 $140,631
Poverty Rate13.60%35%
Share of Children Under Age 5 Living in Poverty23.20%54%
Food Insecurity10.060.18
Home and Outdoor Environments
Median Air Quality Index12877
Walk Score11798
Pedestrian Fatalities per Capita107.67
Yard Size12,744 sq. ft.23,239 sq. ft.
Crime Index1088
Rank in LawnStarter's "Best Cities for Water Quality" Report11199
Share of Homes with Severe Housing Problems10.10%0.33%

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, 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 year has been extra stressful for moms, especially those new to parenting. 

Not only are pregnant women and their babies at an increased risk of COVID-19 complications, but new moms also have reported heightened postpartum depression during the pandemic.

On top of those health issues, about 10 million moms with school-aged kids had left the workforce, either willingly or involuntarily, at the start of 2021.

But help may be on the way: A proposed federal spending plan aims to make child care more affordable, expand access to universal pre-kindergarten, and extend paid leave to more working Americans, including moms.

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 help, sending a pro to mow your mom’s lawn.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Staff Writer