Read the Report

Listening to Mothers in California explores the views and experiences of childbearing women with an in-depth focus on maternity care. This is the first state-level Listening to Mothers survey and was adapted to California needs and opportunities, including current maternity care issues in the state and the distinctive population of birthing women. The report analyzes extensive, timely, previously unavailable data about women’s maternity care and postpartum experiences, views and outcomes.

Authors: Carol Sakala, Eugene R. Declercq, Jessica M. Turon, Maureen P. Corry

Navigate through the report chapters below to read the survey analysis in digital format, including interactive charts.

Note: You can access the PDF version of the full survey report, including preface and appendices, here.

Executive Summary

Learn about the Listening to Mothers in California survey methodology and key findings.



Learn about the who, what and why behind the Listening to Mothers in California survey.


Chapter 1: Care Team and Place of Birth

Learn about prenatal and childbirth maternity care providers, use of and interest in doulas and interest in out-of-hospital birth settings.


Chapter 2: Maternity Care Practices

Learn about women’s views about intervention in childbirth, labor practices related to comfort and pain relief and more.


Chapter 3: Vaginal and Cesarean Birth

Learn about modes of birth and total and primary cesarean rates.


Chapter 4: Respectful and Disrespectful Treatment

Learn about perceived bias in care, harsh language, rough handling, perceived pressure to have interventions and what respectful care looks like.


Chapter 5: Postpartum Experiences

Learn about women’s postpartum experiences, including returning to paid work, breast milk feeding, out-of-pocket costs for maternity care and more.


Chapter 6: Maternal Mental Health

Learn about psychological distress, using medication for anxiety and depression and more.



Learn about opportunities to close gaps between what women want and what they are experiencing.