Mother's Day Love: The Best Cities for New Moms
Mother's Day Love: The Best Cities for New Moms

It’s tough being a new mom, especially during a pandemic. That’s why it helps to live in a place where first-time mothers feel supported — by other moms, the business and medical communities, and their city. 

So what are the Best Cities for New Moms? Ahead of Mother’s Day, LawnStarter ranked 174 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 43 signs of new mom-friendliness. Factors that they looked at included access to OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and lactation spaces; the quality of hospitals with maternity services; the amount of extra paid leave allowed for pregnancy and childbirth; and delivery costs.

See which cities earn moms’ approval (or headshake) below.

2021's Best Cities for New Moms

  1. Salem, OR
  2. Portland, OR
  3. Jersey City, NJ
  4. Eugene, OR
  5. Yonkers, NY
  6. Paterson, NJ
  7. Sunnyvale, CA
  8. New York, NY
  9. Boston, MA
  10. Bellevue, WA
2021's Worst Cities for New Moms
  • Detroit, MI
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • North Las Vegas, NV
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Norfolk, VA

Highlights and Lowlights

East Meets West: The 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 the 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.”

Read the full ranking and analysis here.

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