The State of Motherhood in 2022
The United States received a D+ on maternal and infant health outcomes. These are some thoughts on why and how we move forward for mothers and birthing people, one clunky step at a time.
The state of motherhood in the United States isn’t good
We could speak in terms of almost any aspect of a mothers life when we say the above. Collectively, the mother-struggle is at an all time high.
Yet today, we’re talking about maternal physical and mental health. The United States received a D+ this year. The preterm birth rate increased to 10.5%, an increase of 4% from 2021 – the highest rate reported since 2007. 14.5% of women received inadequate prenatal care. Racial inequalities are also continuing to increase.
Our hearts are for you. And so, we have unpacked some of what’s going on for mothers in our community. Working within the space of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, we have seen subtle shifts. But, it’s always nice to have real, live numbers to back what we see. Here’s what we know…
In 2022 –
- 59% of working mothers are dissatisfied with their childcare
- 70% of moms schedule all medical appointments for everyone in the family
- 55% of SAHMs report they “always” or “frequently” feel burnt out – significantly higher than working moms (2)
When we encountered these statistics on Motherly, our thoughts immediately went to this – moms are stressed. And as your Doulas, it’s our job to counter this: to offer tools and tips and practices to keep you well. Because, when mothers and birthing humans are stressed, the body keeps the score.
The Body Keeps the Score
Our body keeps the score.
If the well-being of our homes, communities, and the world at large sits squarely on the backs of mothers and birthing persons, something has to change. We knew this before the D+ grade was released, though. You might have, too. The stress that we are absorbing is beyond what we can handle both individually and collectively. Fortunately, there are some ways that we can combat at least some of what mothers experience. According to Motherly (2),
- 40% of moms said more support would help
- 30% of moms said access to more resources to better balance work & motherhood, and
- 24% of Gen X moms said a shift in the cultural mindset that a woman could do it all
These thoughts definitely resonated with our Doula team.
Where do we go from here
In 2023, know that Cherry Blossom Doulas are committed to furthering the change. Normalizing the need for support and resources in real, raw parenthood is at the core of what we do here at Cherry Blossom.
We don’t just normalize need, though. We honor it with our hands and feet.
Our Mesa office will continue to offer birth, newborn care and postpartum classes as well as free postpartum and breastfeeding/chestfeeding support groups. And, we will enhance your experience with us by offering even more classes and groups in the New Year. We’ll also welcome and invite our clientele across the Valley to our monthly prenatal meetups for another year. With 20+ families at many of these in-person and virtual educational events this past year, we saw firsthand how you absorbed every drop of information and applied so much of what you learned to your own birth, postpartum and life. (We plan to continue to record these to make them as accessible as possible for those of you not located near our hub.)
In addition, we continue to look into options so that we can Love Gift and Scholarship client services. We look forward to sharing more of this soon.
And as for our state and country as a whole? Good things did happen. In 2022, the Governor of Arizona signed legislation to extend health care benefits to 12 months for postpartum women enrolled in Medicaid. This year we also saw the launch of two big resources for helping American mothers and families, the Maternal Mental Health Hotline and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (1).
So, while the best is certainly yet to come, we feel wholeheartedly that it is coming.
We really, really do.
Your Cherry Blossom Doulas
Do you have ideas or suggestions on how to better support mothers and parents in the New Year that we haven’t touched upon yet? Please feel free to comment below or email us.
(1) Mind the Gap Newsletter, December 2022
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.