What matters to young mums

28 March 2017

Between October 2016 and February 2017 we conducted research with mothers aged under 25 to find out what was important to them, and what they thought about work, children and employment support.

Our findings

  • Money is tight for young mums. 61% of mothers aged 16 to 24 said that they were only just managing financially. Nearly half (46%) regularly missed meals in order to provide for their children.
  • Young mothers feel that they are judged negatively because of their age. 74% had experienced doctors dismissing their concerns about their children’s health and 79% had been patronised by nurses, midwives or health visitors.

I remember speaking to the doctor’s or something and they spoke to me rubbish. And then I went with my mother or my mother in law and they spoke to me completely different. They just see me as a child… A child with a child, that’s what they see you as.

A young woman

  • Those mothers who work or who plan to work struggle with how to balance work and family. Formal childcare is expensive and inflexible, and 79% of mothers said that cheaper childcare available in their area would play an important role in allowing them to secure work.
  • Young mothers often have poor experiences with employers. 25% had experienced discrimination whentheir employer found out they were pregnant and 39% had been illegally questioned in an interview about how being a mother affects their ability to work.