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How the recession has affected motherhood

When the economies of world plummeted late last year, that “motherhood” would be a victim of the spiraling trend might not have been foremost in the minds of most. However, recent reports have indicated that mothers have ended up being as much a casualty of the recession as the stock markets.

Alternate Income

According to Associated Content:

With the extremely high cost of decent childcare in this country and the ongoing problem of women being unable to collect child support regularly, more and more single mothers are turning to prostitution in order to pay their bills and support themselves and their children.

The report states that the Internet has opened new doors for these ladies. “Holly”, aged 25, was quoted as saying:

My ex-husband was not paying child support for our four-year-old son, and I was getting desperate for money… I placed an ad on Yahoo looking for a sugar-daddy type of relationship and met a decent guy that was willing to help me out.

This has apparently become a trend in Japan. Japan Today reports:

There are 1.23 million single-mother households in Japan, Health and Labor Ministry statistics show. Their average annual income, government benefits included, is 2.11 million yen—40% of the overall household average. A revised welfare law shrank entitlements in 2002. The current recession is choking off employment opportunities. For the 28-year-old woman Suzuki calls “Ruriko Kumata,” prostitution seems her only means of survival.

Not only mothers, single women are turning to prostitution or “hostess” jobs in Japan. News from Ground Report states that more young women are turning to “club jobs”, while Nurse In Australia, a blog by a nurse in Australia, reports that nurses are leaving the profession and turning to prostitution.

In response to a report similar to these, Wandaphull World, a blog ‘is dedicated to all the “REAL” women of the world”, states:

Ladies I know time are hard and we can barely pay our rents but this is not going to last forever, so pray and have patients. These are trying times for everyone but we still have to hold strong as women and keep our hearts, homes and body intact for we will need it all following the recession. Women are so much stronger than people give us credit for and I’m pretty sure that the “real hardworking women” of today will be as disgusted by this story as I am, yet [I] feel bad for the women who feel this is [necessary.]

Thinking Twice About Motherhood

Another effect the recession has had on motherhood is that many women are reconsidering motherhood. Bester News reports from Reuters:

Worries about the economy have led many American women to think twice about having a baby, a survey released on Wednesday found, with nearly half of those surveyed saying they want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have.

Leah, a blogger on Work It, Mom, writes:

New York Times Magazine, WebMd, and Work It, Mom have all featured stories about how economic recessions negatively affect birth rates and the numbers of children per household. Expanding a family–whether the old-fashioned way or through fertility treatments or adoption–is expensive no matter how you cut it, and in addition to the three major costs I was stressing about last fall–maternity leave, childcare, and health insurance–there are dozens of other financial factors that might influence a couple’s decision to have a child…or not

Erica commented to this blog post:

I’m almost 29 and had really hoped to have my 2 children by the time I was 30. But with this recession, its looking less likely to happen. I’m hoping maybe next year, maybe things will get better. My hubby is convinced we should just be happy with the child we have because he doesn’t think we’ll ever be able to afford another one.

A recent survey by the Guttmacher Institute echoes these sentiments, finding that “nearly two-thirds (64%) of US low- and middle-income women of childbearing age say they cannot afford to have a baby because of the current bad economy.”

What Birth Control?

The Guttmacher Institute also found that women are either forgoing birth control pills or else purchasing cheaper contraceptives to save on cash during this economic downturn. The Women’s Rights blog at Care2.com stated:

The problem is, affordable birth control is not yet regarded as a fundamental right in this country… This isn't just about getting access to the pill – it's about basic women's health needs like pap smears or pelvic exams. And when the government is considering how it can help Americans weather the recession, family planning and reproductive health need to be high priorities.

Café Kim, on the Healthy Living Buzz blog, wrote:

I found the results of this survey alarming because if these women can't afford birth control, how will they afford the cost of having a child? What can be done about this?

Octobersmom, in response to Café Kim, wrote:

[A] child is a hell of a lot more expensive than a baby! If you can't afford BC then, joy of joys, the rest of the country can pay for your baby because you couldn't keep your pants on.

Francine Huff on the Wallet Pop, struggling families are now considering giving away their babies because they cannot afford to bring the children up. In addition, Wallet Pop reports that adoption agencies claim there has been an increase in inquiries from women who are considering giving their babies up for adoption. With these as a few examples of how the recession has affected motherhood, perhaps more will be done on the way back to recovery.

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