Mothers face stressors beyond just raising their family.
It’s good to celebrate motherhood, but it’s also important to remember that moms can use our support. Parenting can be stressful and challenging, even in the best of circumstances. American mothers lack much of the support offered elsewhere in the world, which can make parenting even more difficult and negatively impact the mother’s well-being. For example:
Programs, policies and services are available to support mothers and reduce gaps in maternal and child well-being.
As we have shown, mothers need our help – and they need this support to be honest, regardless of their race, spoken language or socioeconomic status. A number of state and federal programs, policies, and services directly address mothers’ challenges and aim to improve health equity and reduce inequalities to better support all mothers. For example:
- Important state and federal efforts are underway to improve the health of black mothers and children. For example, the Office of Health Equity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) has a number of initiatives to prevent pregnancy-related deaths and improve maternal health outcomes for black women and mothers.
- A number of community-based efforts to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce inequalities are promising models that policymakers, health care providers and other sectors can use to improve maternal health.
- The CDC’s How Right Now campaign can connect mothers and children with trusted resources, including a series of crisis response hotlines. Local crisis centers can be found through the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
- The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline for mothers and their families, 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746), offers free and confidential 24/7 access to professional counselors in English and Spanish, with interpretation services in 60 languages.
- The Federal Office of Child Care within the Children and Families Administration supports working families, including low-income families, by improving access to affordable, quality early care and after-school programs.
- The Children and Families Administration also provides resources on parenting programs through the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program supports pregnant individuals and parents with young children living in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes.
 We recognize that people other than those who identify as women can have children. For brevity and to reflect the terminology used in the cited data sources, we refer to mothers and women in this source.
The MAST Center is comprised of national experts in marriage and relationship research and practice led by Child Trends in collaboration with the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University. The MAST Center is supported by grant #90PR0012 from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families in the US Department of Health and Human Services. The MAST Center is solely responsible for the contents of this briefing, which does not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
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