Listening to Mothers Reports and Surveys
The surveys cover the time from planning pregnancy through the postpartum period, and shed light on women's attitudes, beliefs, preferences and knowledge, as well as maternity care practices and family and employment life. They report on many items that are not otherwise gathered at the national level. They also provide what are likely to be more accurate estimates for many items that are collected but are known to be undercounted on birth certificates and in hospital discharge records. Survey results also reveal the size of gaps between women's actual experiences and experiences they should have in light of their preferences, best maternity care practice and their legal rights.
Four national Listening to Mothers surveys have been conducted by Harris Interactive, and the reports are freely available here:
See Quick Links box, above, for all four survey reports and the press release for the newest report. Learn more about the four reports and get related documents on other web pages in this section.
We invite pregnant women to read the reports to help understand maternity experiences, set goals and make plans and decisions. New and experienced mothers can use this national profile to put your own experiences in perspective.
Policy makers, administrators, clinicians, educators and others with responsibility for mothers and babies can use survey results to understand and improve the quality of maternity experiences.
We invite others - including leaders in health plans, hospitals, states and other countries - to use and adapt the survey questionnaires to understand and improve the experiences of specific populations. Please contact us for more information.
Inside Listening to Mothers:
Go to New Mothers Speak Out Report (2008)
Listening to Mothers I was the first opportunity for women in the U.S. to describe at the national level their maternity experiences and assessment of those experiences. The results have given health professionals, policy makers and mothers themselves a new level of understanding about many important matters and have been widely used to improve policy, practice, education and research. You can find survey results, Childbirth Connection's recommendations, and the why, how, who and what of this survey here.
Since the release of the Listening to Mothers surveys and reports, a variety of publications have further analyzed the survey results, used the results to identify evidence-practice gaps and make international comparisons, and presented commentary based on the results. A list of these publications is provided in the link below.
Most recent page update: 5/16/2013
© 2013 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.
Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
News and Features
Listening to MothersSM III is the third national survey exploring women’s experiences in pregnancy and childbirth. Commissioned by Childbirth Connection, conducted by Harris Interactive, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the survey polled 2,400 women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals from 2011 to 2012. Results show that medically intensive experiences are typical, and evidence-based practices are underutilized. Childbearing women need better support and knowledge to navigate their maternity care.
Access the full report and supplementary materials
New Report: Maternity Care and Liability
Go to report and supporting materials
New Report: The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States
Go to report and supporting materials
New Cesarean Resources:
Go to Best Evidence Report
Go to web pages and booklet for women
For 95 years, Childbirth Connection has been dedicated to improving the quality and value of maternity care for all women and their families. Learn more about our rich history through our interactive timeline and give $95 for 95 in honor of our 95th birthday.
Childbirth Connection works to ensure that all women and babies get the best possible maternity care. We have the collective vision and we know how to get there, but we can't do it alone. Join the transformation today.
The Transforming Maternity Care website focuses on maternity care system improvements designed to engage diverse stakeholders in quality improvement efforts. The site offers full access to the landmark reports 2020 Vision and Blueprint for Action, features a Blog, and other resources such as an Action Center, a database of quality improvement projects, an interactive data center, and many more tools for advocates and stakeholders.