The ongoing pandemic has highlighted many inequalities in the world we live in today. From racial inequities to our climate, it’s no surprise that a collective grievance in our lives really showcases what is going on behind the scenes. In keeping up with our series on predictions for the year 2021, we had to include some about the state of motherhood. It seems as though unveiling the past year has shown us that all of those things we wanted are all possible and not out of the box ideas. You know, maternal leave, a real work/life balance, support for working mothers, those things. When a virus is in the way of most things, we have to change, for our own health, and the health of the world.
We here at Amodrn spoke to Chelsea Allison, CEO of Motherfigure, about what her predictions are for the future of maternal wellness in the year 2021. Keep reading for more.
Motherfigure is a maternal wellness startup focused on supporting the motherhood journey by lowering the barriers to support. We offer a national, community-driven maternal wellness provider directory (the Motherlode); a magazine, The Mothership, where experts share evidence-based info and moms share their stories; and we also offer products like nursing pads and maternity activewear that provide meaningful improvements on existing offerings.
1) Employers will have to step up to support parents in 2021.
Covid has laid bare the gender inequality that exists in caregiving. 2020 amounted to a working woman crisis, undoing decades of progress as scores of women, especially moms, have left the workforce and borne the brunt of the pandemic shuttering schools, daycare, and complicating decisions about how to balance raising kids with building careers. This should be a wake-up call for everyone. Employers everywhere will have to step up to do more to support — and employ — parents in the workforce.
2) Remote work — and remote support — is here to stay.
The pandemic demanded that work and support immediately pivot to digital. On the maternal care side, this had obvious drawbacks, but some benefits too. Improving access for people in maternal care deserts, for example. Things like lowering the barrier to support for folks who weren’t able to commute or leave kids to get help. This year, we’ll also see a renewed focus on making remote offerings work for more people. There will be real community building and support.
3) The Biden-Harris administration will start addressing the maternal care crisis.
Vice President Harris sponsored the Maternal CARE Act and Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020, meant to begin to address the horrifying racism that exists in our healthcare system as it relates to maternity care. Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes, and the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal death in the developed world. We should also expect that the new administration will act to improve access to care.