2021’s Best Cities for New Moms

Mom and baby
Julia Zavalishina / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

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 top-ranked places next.

1. Salem, OR

Salem, Oregon
James Curzio / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 54.2

Maternity care rank: 80

Child care rank: 41

Mom protections rank: 4

Affordability rank: 39

Support environment rank: 34

Socioeconomic environment rank: 115

Home and outdoor environments rank: 13

2. Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon waterfront
Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 52.21

Maternity care rank: 55

Child care rank: 32

Mom protections rank: 4

Affordability rank: 70

Support environment rank: 128

Socioeconomic environment rank: 39

Home and outdoor environments rank: 42

3. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, New Jersey
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 51.93

Maternity care rank: 6

Child care rank: 10

Mom protections rank: 1

Affordability rank: 152

Support environment rank: 11

Socioeconomic environment rank: 69

Home and outdoor environments rank: 136

4. Eugene, OR

Eugene, Oregon
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 51.88

Maternity care rank: 121

Child care rank: 9

Mom protections rank: 4

Affordability rank: 52

Support environment rank: 172

Socioeconomic environment rank: 113

Home and outdoor environments rank: 39

5. Yonkers, NY

Yonkers, New York
Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 49.95

Maternity care rank: 17

Child care rank: 12

Mom protections rank: 7

Affordability rank: 127

Support environment rank: 142

Socioeconomic environment rank: 98

Home and outdoor environments rank: 8

6. Paterson, NJ

Paterson, New Jersey
Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 49.21

Maternity care rank: 3

Child care rank: 27

Mom protections rank: 1

Affordability rank: 161

Support environment rank: 148

Socioeconomic environment rank: 138

Home and outdoor environments rank: 80

7. Sunnyvale, CA

Sunnyvale, California
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 49.16

Maternity care rank: 44

Child care rank: 19

Mom protections rank: 14

Affordability rank: 174

Support environment rank: 1

Socioeconomic environment rank: 2

Home and outdoor environments rank: 121

8. New York, NY

New York City coastline
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.84

Maternity care rank: 103

Child care rank: 2

Mom protections rank: 7

Affordability rank: 130

Support environment rank: 132

Socioeconomic environment rank: 95

Home and outdoor environments rank: 58

9. Boston, MA

Boston skyline summer day.
Danica Chang / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.7

Maternity care rank: 23

Child care rank: 13

Mom protections rank: 12

Affordability rank: 132

Support environment rank: 163

Socioeconomic environment rank: 75

Home and outdoor environments rank: 26

10. Bellevue, WA

Bellevue, Washington
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.56

Maternity care rank: 22

Child care rank: 113

Mom protections rank: 53

Affordability rank: 134

Support environment rank: 5

Socioeconomic environment rank: 9

Home and outdoor environments rank: 37

11. Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa, California
Anzhelika Polyak / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 47.31

Maternity care rank: 20

Child care rank: 7

Mom protections rank: 14

Affordability rank: 166

Support environment rank: 122

Socioeconomic environment rank: 29

Home and outdoor environments rank: 52

12. Vancouver, WA

Homes in Vancouver, Washington
Rigucci / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 46.2

Maternity care rank: 31

Child care rank: 47

Mom protections rank: 53

Affordability rank: 120

Support environment rank: 62

Socioeconomic environment rank: 65

Home and outdoor environments rank: 36

13. Orange, CA

Orange, California
Felipe Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 46.06

Maternity care rank: 19

Child care rank: 45

Mom protections rank: 14

Affordability rank: 155

Support environment rank: 6

Socioeconomic environment rank: 14

Home and outdoor environments rank: 162

14. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 45.38

Maternity care rank: 166

Child care rank: 78

Mom protections rank: 7

Affordability rank: 87

Support environment rank: 17

Socioeconomic environment rank: 164

Home and outdoor environments rank: 31

15. Irvine, CA

Irvine, California
LagunaticPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 45.34

Maternity care rank: 15

Child care rank: 55

Mom protections rank: 14

Affordability rank: 169

Support environment rank: 8

Socioeconomic environment rank: 18

Home and outdoor environments rank: 140

16. Arlington, VA

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 45.27

Maternity care rank: 1

Child care rank: 18

Mom protections rank: 89

Affordability rank: 105

Support environment rank: 4

Socioeconomic environment rank: 4

Home and outdoor environments rank: 7

17. Worcester, MA

Worcester, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 44.99

Maternity care rank: 117

Child care rank: 111

Mom protections rank: 12

Affordability rank: 126

Support environment rank: 22

Socioeconomic environment rank: 112

Home and outdoor environments rank: 46

18. Salinas, CA

Steinbeck house in Salinas
jejim / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 44.8

Maternity care rank: 14

Child care rank: 8

Mom protections rank: 14

Affordability rank: 149

Support environment rank: 152

Socioeconomic environment rank: 76

Home and outdoor environments rank: 143

19. Spokane, WA

Spokane, Washington
Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 44.71

Maternity care rank: 90

Child care rank: 109

Mom protections rank: 53

Affordability rank: 102

Support environment rank: 82

Socioeconomic environment rank: 127

Home and outdoor environments rank: 27

20. Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Overall score: 44.47

Maternity care rank: 13

Child care rank: 1

Mom protections rank: 138

Affordability rank: 1

Support environment rank: 29

Socioeconomic environment rank: 43

Home and outdoor environments rank: 6

Methodology

A man studies financial data at his computer
NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

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:

  • OB/GYNs per 100,000 Residents
  • Nurse Midwives per 100,000 Residents
  • Hospitals per Capita
  • Quality of Public Hospitals
  • Lactation/Nursing Spaces per 100,000 Residents
  • Doulas per 100,000 Residents
  • Hospitals with Maternity Services per 100,000 Residents
  • Quality of Hospitals with Maternity Services
  • Family Practitioners per 100,000 Residents
  • Pediatricians per 100,000 Residents
  • Child Care Workers per 100,000 Residents
  • Infant Mortality Rate
  • Life Expectancy
  • Low Birthweight Rate
  • Share of Uninsured Children
  • Access to Baby Supply Stores
  • Access to Neonatology Services
  • Length of Paid Family Leave Allowed
  • Share of Wage Replacement
  • Availability of Job Protection in Paid Family Leave Policy
  • Amount of Additional Paid Medical Leave Allowed for Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Availability of State Law Allowing Sick Leave for Child Care
  • Strength of Breastfeeding Laws
  • Cost of Living
  • Housing Affordability
  • Delivery Cost
  • Copay as a Share of Household Income
  • Hourly Cost of Babysitter
  • Annual Cost of Child Care
  • New Moms per 1,000 Moms in Past Year
  • Prevalence of Mom/Parent Support Groups
  • Unemployment Rate for Moms with Children Under Age
  • Median Annual Household Income
  • Poverty Rate
  • Share of Children Under Age 5 Living in Poverty
  • Food Insecurity
  • Median Air Quality Index
  • Walk Score
  • Pedestrian Fatalities per Capita
  • Yard Size
  • Crime Index
  • Rank in LawnStarter’s “Best Cities for Water Quality” Report
  • Share of Homes with Severe Housing Problems

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.