Motherly's 2019 State of Motherhood survey results

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At Motherly, we believe that motherhood matters. As the voice of today's modern mother, with a 20M+ monthly unique audience, we set out in our second annual State of Motherhood Survey to better understand the experience of motherhood as it stands right now—and to help the world discover and understand that story.

What we found is that Millennial mothers feel even more defined by motherhood than they did last year, but in 2019 they are also more likely to feel unsupported by society. A full 85% of moms don't think society understands or supports the women who are supporting the next generation, that's up more than 10% over last year.

The second annual State of Motherhood survey results have been reported by Forbes, Huffington Post, USA TODAY, Real Simple and other outlets, and continue to attract media attention.

Our internal team continues to unpack the survey data to create thought-leading content for our audience.

The survey, conducted online March 28 – April 11, 2019, was answered by 6,457 respondents and offers compelling insights into the attitudes, behaviors, identities and lifestyle of Millennial mothers—the most highly educated, first digitally-native generation of women to become mothers.

Data was run on April 16th by Edge Research to weight all data to align with US Census demographic data ensuring results are a statistically accurate representation of today's Millennial mother.

Read the full survey results here.

Among the key findings:

1. Motherhood and me

This year finds an even larger proportion of Millennial moms saying that since becoming a parent, they are "most strongly defined by their motherhood at 67% up from 59% in the 2018 survey. Continuing with the trend from last year, this is most true for younger moms (76% of moms under 30), those with more than one child (77%) and those who are not in the workforce (82%).

While 76% of moms under 30 feel most defined by motherhood, only 62% of moms over 35 say the same, suggesting that as moms mature, they retain or re-connect with other aspects of their identity. Importantly, one-third of Millennial moms say they are "most strong defined by other non-motherhood aspects of their life and self."

Data reference Q16: Select which best describes how you view your identity.

2. Impact to relationship + sex life

Most moms in the sample are married (91%) or living with a partner (6%). Similar to the 2018 findings, majorities report that having children has brought them closer together with their partners (74%), while one-fifth (21%) admit that parenthood has pulled them apart.

Spending time together with their partners (33%) and sex life (26%) top the list of parent-related relationship tension. This year, moms report that sex is a pressure point in even greater numbers than last year (up from 16% in 2018). Money worries rounds out the top three relationship tensions at 19% while parenting differences remains lowest on the list at 9%.

Interestingly, pressure points of time spent together and sex cut across all relationships in equal measure regardless of number of children and working outside the home:

Data reference Q07: Which best describes the impact on your relationship since becoming a parent; and Q08: What is your greatest parent-related relationship tension? (NOTE: 2018 wording "Which of the below best aligns your primary concern when reflecting on your relationship and parenthood?" could account for difference in responses).

This year Motherly dove a little deeper into the impact of becoming a parent on moms' sex lives. While most moms (53%) report becoming interested in sex again by 6 weeks after giving birth (11% before 6 weeks), fully 38% report it took 6-12 months before they were really interested in sexual intimacy again. Age seems to play a role with 67% of younger moms under 30 reporting being ready for sex by 6 weeks post-partum, compared to 54% of moms aged 30 to 34 and 44% of moms 35 and older. Perhaps more importantly, nearly a third of Millennial moms (31%) report having sex with their partner before they felt ready to do so.

Data reference Q09: At what point did you feel interested/ready to re-engage in sexual intimacy after becoming a mother? Q10. Did you have sex before you felt ready to do so?

3. Work + the millennial mom

Nearly identical to the 2018 survey, 53% of Millennial moms in the sample are working full-time, 15% part-time and 28% are not in the workforce currently. The majority of Millennial moms surveyed (54%) had a mom who worked outside the house on a regular basis. Among those working and in relationships, 39% report contributing half or more of the household income; while 43% contribute between a quarter and one-half and 16% contribute less than a quarter.

Financial need is down a bit from last year, though remains the top reason for Millennials moms to work (75% in 2019 compared to 83% in 2018). However, as we saw last year, the desire to work is evident as well. Both full-time (49%) and part-time working moms (53%) point to a "desire to participate in work outside the household." And more than a third (36%) of working moms are motivated by a commitment to their career. Similar to 2018, desire to participate in the workforce is evident among non- working moms as well with 63% saying they intend to return to the workforce in the future.

Data reference Q22: Are you employed? Q24: If "Yes", which best matches your reason for working? Select all that apply. Q34: How much of your family's annual household income do you contribute? Q40: If you don't currently work, are you planning to re-enter the paid workforce (part time or full time) at some point in the future?

4. Impact of parenting on work

Motherly dove deep into how moms are making work and motherhood work for them – or not.

Overall half (50%) of Millennial women surveyed report making a change to their work status since becoming a mother. Nine-in-ten (90%) part-time working moms say they changed their work status since becoming a parent, as did a quarter (24%) of full-time working moms. Among moms not currently employed, 73% report changing their work status, mostly to becoming stay-at-home moms. Most obviously for part-time working moms is changing to working fewer hours, i.e., moving to part-time from full-time (55%); followed by working from home (11%) or getting a more flexible role (7%). For moms who have continued full-time work, the most common changes are getting a more flexible role (10%), working fewer hours (6%), and working from home (4%) are the main ways they are adapting work to motherhood.

Examining the reasons behind why moms have adjusted their approach to work a mixed bag. For some (22%) it is about adjusting to new responsibilities. For others (20%) work became less important. A small but significant number (10%) also point to employer conditions not being conducive to working and parenting for a variety of reasons including the cost of childcare, inability to strike a work-life balance or the work culture not being supportive.

Data reference Q25: Have you changed your work status (i.e., full time to part time, etc.) in some way since becoming a parent? Q26: If "Yes", please describe how your job situation has changed since becoming a parent; Q27: If "Yes Adjusted Work Status, which best describes the reason for adjusting your approach to work?

5. Attitudes toward work + parenting

While the 2018 survey found most Millennial moms (78%) had mixed feelings about combining a career and motherhood, saying while "it's possible to have both, there are real trade-offs." This year, Motherly asked the question a bit differently, but again we see some mixed emotions. Just about half (51%) say, "I feel discouraged: it's extremely challenging managing trade-offs," while a third (33%) say, "I feel optimistic, I believe it's possible to combine them creatively." Perhaps of greater concern is that so few Millennial moms feel empowered by working. Fewer than 1-in-10 (9%) feel that becoming a mother has helped them in their career and the majority of those (59%) say they have felt that way since their child was a baby, indicating that this empowering is coming from within, rather than the workplace recognizing and validating the contributions of working moms.

Yet, when asked how work impacts their parenting skills, more than half of working moms (55%) say that working has empowered or inspired them to be a better mother. This holds true for working moms of all backgrounds and both full and part-time. Even more positively, 90% say their work choice has helped them set a positive example for their children – again equally true for full-time and part-time working moms.

Data reference: Q29: Which best describes your mentality around combining a career and motherhood? Q30: If you answered empowered, when did that feeling take hold? (If you did not, please select "not applicable."); Q38: If you are employed, does your work empower or inspire you to be a better mother? Q39: Do you believe that your work choice helps you to set a positive example for your children?

6. Support at work

Topping the list of the ways in which employers could better support mothers is longer, paid maternity leave (24%), followed by on-site childcare or childcare subsidies (21%), so in total 45% would like more support from employers in the transition to motherhood and ongoing support of child-rearing . Combined, flexible schedules (12%) and remote work opportunities (15%) make up the second big request from working moms – helping them better fit the need to work into the necessities of being a parent.

Encouragingly most working moms feel their place of employment is supportive of breastfeeding. Among those for whom it applies, 69% reported their employer provides adequate breastfeeding support in the form of time, privacy, etc. But there is still some work to be done in this regard: Just over 1-in-10 (12%) say their employer does not provide adequate support and another 15% say that even though their employer provides the space and breastfeeding is looked down upon in the culture of their workplace. These moms feel judged by both managers and co-workers.

Data reference: Q35: If you are employed, how could your employer best support you as a mother? Q36: If you are employed, does your employer provide adequate breastfeeding support? (i.e. time, privacy); Q37: If yes, but culturally you feel it is looked down upon, at what level do you feel like it is not accepted?

7. Support at home

Most of the moms in the sample are with a partner and majority of those partners (98%) are working as well. As we saw last year, the majority (59%) say their partner's career has not changed, while a significant minority (31%) say their partner has scaled up his or her career. Partner scale-up is most common among couples who have two or more children (38% for two or more children compared to 26% for one child) or where mom is not working (45%, compared to 35% when mom is working part-time or 22% when full-time). So, there is evidence that partners see the need to step up their economic contribution to the household after becoming a parent; but it is important to recognize that the age of respondents (in their 30s) means that their career trajectory would typically pick up at this point.

When asked directly about how supported they feel at home, working moms say partners have some room to improve with 68% saying they feel supported by their partners, but 28% saying "only sometimes." This "sometimes" qualifier manifests itself in the results of other lines of questioning about how much moms are doing for the household.

When asked where they need the most support since becoming a mom, survey respondents most frequently point to their physical and mental health (33%), followed by home (25%) and with their spouse (24%). These numbers come to life when you consider:

  • 4-in-10 (43%) report not going out with friends in the past month (non-working moms are even more likely to say this (52% compared to 40% among working moms)
  • Nearly 5-in-10 (47%) have not gone out on a date with their partner (also more likely to be true of non-working moms at 54% compared to 44%
  • 6-in-10 (61%) report handling most of the household chores and responsibilities themselves, with 32% saying they are shared equally and 5% who say their partner does the household lift
  • 6-in-10 (62%) also say that in the last day, they had less than one hour to themselves without work or family obligations.

Moms report spending the most time caring for children with 91% of full-time working moms, 97% of part-time working moms and 99% of non-working moms who report spending three or more hours a day actively caring for children. When it comes to the amount of time spent cooking and cleaning,

All moms are more likely to spend more time on chores than they are on themselves; and non-working moms are spending the most time. In fact, it

seems that as moms leave or draw down on work, household work takes up more time. How are they dealing? In the survey Millennial moms shared some of their go-to "life hacks." Some tactics cut across all moms, working and non-working like online shopping (66% working, 63% non-working), calendars and to-do lists (59% for both) and waking up earlier and going to bed later than everyone else in the household (44% working, 42% non-working). Other tactics are more likely to be used by working moms, most obviously child care assistance (29% working moms, 8% non-working) and pre-prepped meals (23% working, 16% non-working).

Data Reference: Q31: Is your partner employed? Q32: Has your partner opted to scale back or scale up their work since becoming a parent? Q23: If you are employed, do you feel supported by your spouse/partner? Q45: Where do you feel you need the most support in your life since becoming a mom? Q47: In the last month, how many times did you go out with friends? Q48: In the last month, how many times did you go on a date with your partner? Q52: Yesterday, how much time did you get to yourself without work or family obligations? Q53: In the last 24 hours, how much time did you spend on household chores? (i.e. laundry, cleaning); Q54: In the last 24 hours, how much time did you spend cooking? Q55: In the last 24 hours, how much time did you spend caring for children? Q49: What are your go-to 'life hacks'? Select all that apply.

8. Raising the next generation

Once again Motherly asked about parenting style and the qualities Millennial moms are trying to instill in the next generation. As we found last year, "kindness" is the single character trait the most moms want to cultivate in their children, holding steady as the top choice by 46%.

Notably, a number of other qualities all lost a little bit of traction with the addition of "resilience" to the list.

When it comes to the character of their children, we once again see some of the biggest differences in Millennial moms by race and ethnicity. White Millennial moms continues to place the most emphasis on kindness (51%) while their non-white counter parts value kindness to a lesser degree (27% among African-Americans, 41% among Hispanics).

Moms of color are more likely to place weight on respect and resilience:

When it comes to parenting style, Millennial moms surveyed say they are "Collaborative." "I am collaborative, I try to solve problems with my child" is the number one style across the board at 57% (down from 62% in 2018) and the top choice for every group. It is followed by "Hands On," with nearly a quarter (28%, up 5 points from 2018) describing their parenting style as "I'm very involved in directing my child." There are far fewer who say they are Disciplinarians, "I want my child to follow and obey family rules above all else" (4%) or Free Range, "I want my child to make their own decisions with limited parental interference" (5%).

When it comes to discipline, Millennials moms self-report that their approach is in keeping with their Collaborative parenting style. The survey asked moms what approach they used the last time they needed to discipline their child. The plurality (43%) report calmly redirecting and guiding their child. The next most likely approach was emotional reasoning at 18%.

Once again, moms with more than one child either have a different style of discipline or are simply more honest. They are much more likely to report using disciplinary tactics such as time out (17% compared to 5% of moms with one child); consequences (16% compared to 5% of moms with one child), or just plain yelling (12% compared to 4% of moms with one child).

Data reference: Q17: What is the most important quality you aim to cultivate in your child(ren)? Q19: Overall, what best describes your parenting style: [CHOICES GIVEN]; Q20: The last time you had to discipline your child, what action did you take?

9. Looking for guidance

When it comes to being inspired as parents, Millennial moms continue to follow the Three F's – Family, Fellow Moms and Faith. This year, family lost a little bit of traction, down to 36% from 45% in 2018; while fellow moms shows an uptick to 26% from 19% last year. Faith held fairly steady at 18% this year compared to 20% in 2018. As we saw last year, family is even more important to Latina moms at 41% than it is to white moms (34%); while African-American moms draw more on faith (25%) than other moms do.

When it comes to seeking guidance for a parenting challenge, sources are consistent with 2018. The survey asked, "the last time you faced a parenting challenge, who or what did you first turn to?" and family is on the spot. Just over a third (38%) of Millennial moms in the survey say the go-to source for their latest parenting challenge was family, peaking among Latina moms at 42%. As a source of parenting advice, Google at 16% slightly edges out friends at 14%.

Data reference: Q18: What is your most important source of inspiration as a parent? Q21: The last time you faced a parenting challenge, who or what did you first turn to?

10. Finances + family

By far, housing is the greatest expense for Millennial parents – the single largest expense for 69%. In a distant second, 10% say their biggest monthly expense is childcare at 10%, which climbs to 17% among working moms. The majority (59%) report that less than 10% of their monthly incomes goes to childcare – still 30% say it is between 11-25% and another 11% say childcare accounts for 26% or more of their monthly expenses. Not surprisingly, this expense is most acute among working moms where 45% report childcare accounting for 11-25% of their monthly spend.

Date Reference: Q43: Which monthly bill is most expensive? Q44: What percentage of your monthly household income goes to childcare?

Closing

This year, Millennial moms said even more strongly that (85%, compared to 74% in 2018) that society does not a good job of understanding and supporting mothers. This view is held across groups regardless of race, ethnicity, age, number of children and so on.

More than ever, they want government to step it up with family friendly policies on leave and childcare (59% compared to 49% in 2018) and they want to see employers be more understanding and offer flexible hours and part-time work (22%). As this large generation moves firmly into their parenting years, we can watch to see how their needs as parents the politics and policies of our country.

Data reference Q11: In general, do you feel that society does a good job of understanding and supporting mothers? Q12: In your opinion, what would have the biggest impact on the support of mothers?

METHODOLOGY STATEMENT. Motherly designed and administered this survey through Motherly's email subscriber list, social media and partner channels. This report focuses on the Millennial cohort of 3,920 respondents aged 23-38. The data were weighted to reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the US female millennial cohort based on US Census data. Edge Research weighted and analyzed the data, providing insights to trends and key findings.


[This post was originally published on May 3, 2019. It has been updated.]

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$99.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

During the previous Democratic debates, we have wondered when paid parental leave would get some air time—and during the fifth debate on Wednesday night, it finally did.

This is so important because as Andrew Yang said during the debate: "There are only two countries in the world that don't have paid family leave for new moms: the United States of America and Papua New Guinea. That is the entire list and we need to get off this list as soon as possible."

FEATURED VIDEO

(It seems unbelievable that nearly every single country in the world has beaten the United States to this important milestone, but the Washington Post fact-checked Yang and the statement is correct, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.)

American parents (moms and dads) need access to paid family leave, but new parents aren't the only Americans who need paid leave while doing unpaid care work, as Sen. Kamala Harris pointed out during the debate. The burden of caring not only for children, but also sick or elderly family members often falls to women, and doing this vital but unpaid work can cost women their savings and earning potential.


During the debate and on Twitter during it, Harris again said American workers should get six months of paid family leave. One of her fellow candidates, Sen. Klobuchar, also tackled the topic on the debate stage, noting that she's for half the amount of leave Harris wants. Klobuchar says that while she "would love" to see six months of paid leave, three months seems more realistic to her.

(For more information on where the other candidates stand on paid leave, childcare costs and health care see our previous coverage).

Wednesday night's conversation about paid leave was brief, but many paid leave advocates are happy the important issue got any time at all.

"Tonight was a huge step forward in the fight for paid family and medical leave for the 113 million people without it today," Katie Bethell, the Founder and Executive Director of PL+US says a statement to Motherly.

"At last, the moderators and candidates are addressing the fact that voters overwhelmingly support policies that support families. Paid family and medical leave is a winning, bipartisan issue that charts the path to victory in the general election."

America needs paid family leave now, and the American people need to hear the candidates talk about how they plan to make it happen.

Six of the candidates—Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris and Klobuchar—have already qualified for the next debate happening next month in Los Angeles.

News

We make a lot of things this time of year. Gingerbread houses. Christmas cards. New traditions. Babies.

Yes, December is peak baby making season. It's a month filled with togetherness and all the love felt in December is what makes September the most statistically popular month for American birthdays.

According to data journalist Matt Stiles, mid-September is the most popular time to give birth in America. He did a deep dive into the birth stats from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Social Security Administration collected between 1994 and 2014 and found that the most common American birthdays fall on September 9, 19 and 12. In fact, 9 of the 10 most popular days to give birth fall in September.

FEATURED VIDEO

If we turn the calendar back, we're looking at Christmas time conceptions. Stiles illustrated his findings via a heat map, which presents the data in a visual form. The darker the square, the more common the birthday.

The square for August 30 is pretty dark as it is the 34th most common birthday in America. It's also 40 weeks after November 23, and the unofficial beginning of the United States' seasonal baby boom.


And while the Christmas holidays are common times to conceive, they're not common days to give birth, for obvious reasons. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and the fourth of July are all represented by light squares on Stiles's data map, meaning they're among the least popular days to welcome a little one into the world (Boxing Day is just a smidge darker, still a pretty rare birthday).

OB-GYNs are not likely to schedule C-sections on major holidays, so that might point to the low birth rates on these special days.

As for the September baby boom, it probably has less to do with the magic of the holiday season and more to do with the fact that many Americans take time off work during the holiday season. It's not that mistletoe is some magic aphrodisiac, but just that making babies takes time, and at this time of year we have some to spare.

This Christmas be thankful for the time you have with your loved ones and your partner. That time could give you a gift come September.

[A version of this article was originally posted November 21, 2018]




News

Good Morning America Time can be so unfair, mama! It feels like we were just spending summer days watching little feet leave prints in warm sand, and now we're watching little handprints turn into turkeys. Yes, Thanksgiving is happening NEXT WEEK!

We can't believe it either and we also can't wait to tuck in to some turkey. If you've been busy planning your holiday schedule this week, don't worry—we've been keeping an eye on the news so you don't have to.

Here are the headlines that made us smile this week:

Almost half of this school's teachers just had babies—and their picture is going viral

Something amazing happened at Oak Street Elementary School in Goddard, Texas: Seven of the school's teachers were pregnant at the same time. Talk about a baby boom!

Back in April we brought you this story, but back then all the teachers were holding bumps, not babies! Since then these teachers navigated pregnancy together—and now, they've entered mom life together as well. The seven mamas and their eight babies (one set of twins!) all got together and it was the sweetest moment.

The mamas gave birth over an eight-month period, during which principal Ashley Miller had to coordinate substitute teachers to accommodate seven maternity leaves. Now, the principal is hard at work to manage multiple pumping schedules, as the last mom to deliver recently returned from maternity leave.

The mothers opened up about the experience to Good Morning America about the experience. "We went from giving each other high-fives as we waddled down the hallways to now going to each other for tips and talking about our babies," says Nicole Lauer. "It's nice to have so many women that you can go to for baby advice."

Ashley Graham is pregnant + fearless 

It's easy to look at someone like Ashley Graham and think she's totally at ease in her skin. After all, Ashley is one of the most beautiful people in the world, a mega-successful supermodel and a leader in the body positive movement. But as the pregnant model admits, even she struggled to embrace her body's changes.

The mom-to-be opened up during an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' EllenTube series, Fearless. Ashley, who made headlines after posting a nude photo displaying her pregnancy stretch marks, revealed that sharing the photo was difficult for her.

"The reason I had posted that original photo, I had just announced that I was pregnant and I thought then I was going to feel good, and I didn't. I felt, I just felt terrible," the visibly emotional model shared. "That morning I was like, 'get it together, Ashley.' There's other women out there that are going through the same thing as you. Why don't you have a dialogue with them?"

"This is a new body that I'm walking into, why don't I just put myself out there with this new body?" she added. "I felt so isolated, I felt so alone."

But ultimately, Ashley realized the power in her photos—and a fellow guest on the show admitted that Ashley's body positivity helped her embrace her own shape. And we know so many mamas out there feel the same way.

How one dad supported his daughter through her first period and went viral

When Maverick Austin's daughter called him in the middle of the school day to say she feared she'd pooped her pants, he did what most parents would do. He ran to her school with a change of underpants. But a few hours later, when his daughter called to say it had happened again, the dad knew he had a different issue on his hands: His daughter's first period.

This is one of those coming-of-age moments that can be tough for teen girls to deal with. Luckily, this dad totally stepped up the plate for his daughter.

"I run in the office and she's standing there very calm looking at me and says "Dad.... I officially started my first ..." and I stopped her and said "I already know Avi... it hit me a few minutes after I hung up on you," the dad wrote in a Facebook post. "The stress of raising a daughter."

But the story took a very sweet turn. "Later on she says "don't I get something like when a tooth falls out," he added in this post. "So I snuck off to the store and when she got out of the shower I told her "The Period Fairy" brought you something."

The dad presented his daughter with flowers, chocolate, ice cream and a card. Talk about #dadgoals!

This mama survived two heart attacks while pregnant with twins

Being pregnant with twins can be such a cool experience, but it is also considered a high-risk pregnancy because carrying multiples puts a lot of strain on the body.

Twin mama Krystle Evans knows this all too well. Evans, who welcomed boy/girl twins in October, suffered two heart attacks while expecting her babies, but this strong mama survived and her story is going viral.

It started when Evans was eight months pregnant. She felt pressure in her chest as she struggled to catch her breath—and while the symptoms were alarming, she chalked it up to typical pregnancy stuff. As we know, carrying a baby can make you feel strange sensations, and Evans guessed one of her babies was applying the pressure she felt. "I honestly felt my twins were just in a place where they were sitting on my ribs and causing me to lose my breath," Evans tells an NBC news affiliate.

But the next day, it happened again...only this time, the sensations were even more intense. "I started getting very nauseated. Then my whole left arm went numb," Evans tells Today. "I was in a whole bunch of pain. My husband said, 'You need to call the doctor and let him know what's going on.'"

When she followed her husband's advice, she received some shocking news: Evans had suffered two separate heart attacks. This is pretty wild, especially when you take a snapshot of Evans' health into account: The mom was just 30 and in great health, with no family history of heart disease.

The mom was in the hospital for two weeks, where she was closely monitored. She gave birth to her twins, Shiloh and Sage, just weeks after the episode.

Doctors who have commented on Evans' scenario in the news say what happened to her extremely rare and that moms should not be scared that they will have the same experience.

With that being said, heart disease is the leading cause of maternal deaths, according to ACOG's guidelines, which were released earlier this year.

"Pregnancy is a natural stress test," says James Martin, M.D., chair of the Pregnancy and Heart Disease Task Force, according to ACOG. "The cardiovascular system must undergo major changes to its structure to sustain tremendous increases in blood volume. That's why it is critical to identify the risk factors beforehand, so that a woman's care can be properly managed throughout the pregnancy and a detailed delivery plan can be developed through shared decision making between the patient and provider. Moreover, we must think of heart disease as a possibility in every pregnant or postpartum patient we see to detect and treat at-risk mothers."

The bottom line? Being pregnant—even if you're pregnant with twins—certainly doesn't mean you need to stress over the possibility of suffering a cardiac incident. But, Evans' story is an important reminder: It's so, so important that we advocate for ourselves and our doctors about every concerning symptom.

This mama raised awareness about her late son's condition while feeding NICU babies

As Good Morning America reports, one amazing mother is honoring her son's memory by pumping 500 ounces of milk for other NICU families.

Sierra Strangfeld's son Samuel was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic condition with a high rate of pregnancy and infant loss. Only 50% of the children diagnosed with Trisomy 18 live beyond a week.

"We found out our diagnosis about 25 weeks," Strangfeld tells Motherly. "I opted for the C-section at 30 weeks so we could meet Samuel alive. Had we not done that, he would have passed in utero."

Samuel lived for 3 hours.

"His hands were clenched, his feet were clubbed, he was small," his mom told GMA. "But he was so perfect. He fought so hard to be able to meet us. Our baby boy was put on this Earth for a reason."

Strangfeld had been planning to breastfeed Samuel and decided that she would donate his milk to other families in need. She pumped 500 ounces over 63 days and on his due date she walked into the NICU milk bank to deliver her gift.

"Walking through the hallways of the hospital was just another step in healing," she wrote in a viral Facebook post. "And I know, (because I felt him), that Samuel was there with me."

In an update to the post, Strangfeld explains that while she never expected her story to go viral but is glad that her post spread and that GMA shared her story as she wanted to raise awareness of Trisomy 18.

Strangfeld is a hero, an advocate and one strong mama.

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We're in the last few months of 2019, and it's already been a year for the history books. A record number of women were sworn into Congress this year, and a royal baby with American roots has arrived! Of course for mamas who are welcoming their own babies, 2019 will have more than just historical significance. It will be the year that changes their lives. If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2019, they've got plenty of company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2019 (so far):

Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks just had a baby girl! 🎉

With the final season of Orange is the New Black wrapped up, star Danielle Brooks is now entering a new season of life: She just welcomed a baby girl!

"When one chapter ends, another begins" she wrote in her Instagram Stories when she announced her pregnancy back in July.

This week she posted a photo of her new daughter (along with her birth date) confirming that the new chapter is underway.

This new mom has been busy during her pregnancy, curating a new clothing collection with Universal Standard called Fit Liberty Mom and hosting a new Netflix project called A Little Bit Pregnant, in which the 30-year-old first time mom talks to experts about the wild journey that is pregnancy.

"Doulas, midwives, experts — I'm gonna be talking to them all." Brooks said in the trailer.

Congrats Danielle!

Morgan and Bode Miller just welcomed twins! 🎉

When Morgan and Bode Miller lost their 1-year-old daughter Emmy after a drowning in 2018 our hearts ached for them.

Now, our hearts are bursting for them because the couple just welcomed identical twin boys, something Bode always thought would happen for them.

"Somehow I always knew that I was going to have identical twin boys,'' Bode said during an appearance on Today.

The twin boys join 10-month-old son, Easton and 4-year-old Nash, as well as Bode's older kids, 11-year-old Neesyn and 6-year-old Sam.

Morgan was pregnant with Easton when the family lost Emmy.

"Losing a child while pregnant was the most confusing experience of my life. The conflict of emotions from what was pure joy turned to guilt and terror overnight. How could I love this baby the way I loved Emmy? Was it okay to love this baby the way I loved Emmy? It felt like by loving my son, I was trying to replace her. The fear of birthing my son and what that meant .....a monumental step forward....proof that time continued without her when all I wanted was for time to stop," Morgan wrote on Instagram, captioning a photo of the four kids each holding up two fingers.

She continued: "But let me say this....I couldn't have been more wrong. Easton provided us an even closer bond to his sister. The moment I heard his cry, something sparked back alive in my soul. Hope. Love. I'm not sure. But in that moment, I knew I was Mom and my kids deserved the world from me. Everything was going to be okay. My joy and grief could coexist."

The twins were born on November 8, "a day that couldn't have been scripted and aligned more perfectly to bring these two into the world," Morgan noted on Instagram.

On his Instagram, Bode hinted that it was a quick birth: "30 minutes of labor to bring us one of the greatest gifts and experiences we've ever received. Welcome to the world my speed racer boys," the proud dad wrote.

He later explained further, telling Today: "The birth story was actually one of the more crazy things that I've ever experienced… none of the midwives actually made it on time...They started coming over and by the time they got there, me and my mom were both holding the babies."

He continued: "Luckily my mom was a midwife, but she hadn't delivered babies in 20-plus years, and she never delivered twins," Bode explained. "We're both pretty relaxed and pretty casual, but we were certainly not qualified to be doing an unassisted home delivery of twins."

Thankfully, mama and the babies were just fine.

Morgan says she is "insanely overwhelmed and grateful for all these gifts my baby girl keeps sending," and that "for Bode to get to deliver his identical twin boys with his mom—it was just pure magic."

We are so happy for the Millers. 🎉

Shawn Johnson East + Andrew East are now parents 

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and her husband Andrew East just welcomed a baby girl.

The news that they were expecting came more than a year after the couple announced the loss of another pregnancy in a 20-minute video, titled "pregnancy + heartbreak".

We are so happy for the couple, and so, clearly, is the Instagram community. Baby East (it's a girl!) already has 270,000 Instagram followers.

Shay Mitchell is a mama! 🎉

Shay Mitchell just announced she's a mom! She made her baby announcement via Instgram, posting a photo of her holding her baby daughter's hand along with the caption "Never letting go..."

Mitchell and her boyfriend Matte Bable have not yet shared their daughter's name or talked about the circumstances of her birth. Babel famously objects to epidurals but maybe this experience has changed his mind. Right now, Mitchell isn't making any public statements about her birth story and seems to just be enjoying time with her new baby daughter.

She has previously been very open about her journey to motherhood online. Mitchell has had a difficult pregnancy which followed a miscarriage and we're so happy that she's finally a mama!

Blake Lively + Ryan Reynolds now have 3 girls! 

When Blake Lively announced her pregnancy on the red carpet for Pokémon Detective Pikachu we knew she and Ryan Reynolds would soon be parents to three children. Earlier this month we learned that third child had arrived (the couple kept their baby to themselves and enjoyed some privacy for about two months, ET reports) and this week Reynolds revealed the couple are now parents to three daughters.

Reynolds and Lively have two older daughters, James, 4, and Inez, age 3, and Reynolds (a Canadian) recently tweeted about the Canadian election, along with a picture of himself with Blake and the new baby (whose face was covered to protect her privacy).

"I love B.C. I want my daughters to experience the same natural playground I grew up in. On Oct. 21, the candidate you vote for will SHAPE CLIMATE POLICY."

Through this tweet the world learned a little more about Canadian politics and the gender of Lively and Reynolds' youngest child. The couple has not announced their youngest's name as they are keeping it to themselves for now.

Lauren Conrad is a mom of two! 

Lauren Conrad is now a mom of two as she and husband William Tell welcomed their second child, Charlie Wolf Tell this month. He joins older brother Liam to make it a party of four.

Conrad hasn’t posted any pics of the newest addition to the family yet but made the announcement via Instagram by posting a charming illustration of her growing family.

Congrats to LC!

Amy Duggar King is a boy mom + the baby name she picked is getting popular  

As first reported by People, Amy (Duggar) King is now a mama as she and her husband Dillion just welcomed their first child, baby boy Daxton Ryan.

Amy and Dillion have had their son's name picked out since July. Amy told People that on her husband's side of the family all the names begin with the letter 'D' (kind of like her famously 'J'-named cousins).

"So we were trying to figure out a 'D' name that was different, and we landed on Dax, then Daxton," she explains.

Daxton is a baby name on the rise in recent years. It snuck onto the Social Security Administration's by a hair in 2007 but is now among the top 300 names for boys in the U.S. Last year there were more Daxtons born than ever before.

Nicole and Michael Phelps welcome baby no.3! 🎉

Olympian Michael Phelps and his wife (and champion pumper) Nicole now have three boys as Maverick Nicolas Phelps arrived on September 9.

The couple already have two sons, 2-year-old Boomer and 1-year-old Beckett.

"Oops we did it again," Nicole wrote on Instagram back when they announced this pregnancy. "I get to be a mama x3!!"

"Can't wait to see the journey that this takes us on," Micheal wrote on his account.

Now that Maverick is in the world his parents couldn't be happier.

"He instantly has stolen all of our hearts and keeps me an ecstatic mommy of boys," Nicole captioned his Instagram birth announcement.

She continues: "I cannot wait to walk this journey surrounded by my men."

[A version of this post was originally published February 1, 2019. It has been updated.]

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