CHANGES IN COMMUNICATIONS PATTERNS: COMMUNICATING WITH TODAY’S MOM
Presenter: Georgia Galanoudis
Georgia Galanoudis, executive director of the Meredith Corporation Parents Custom Network Solutions Group, described the characteristics of “millennial moms,” the 37 million women born in the United States between 1977 and 1994. Except where noted, her findings are based on the Moms & Media: Always On survey (The Meredith Parents Network MomTrak®, 2011).
Changes in Demographics and Technology
More than 14 million of the U.S. women born between 1977 and 1994 are already mothers, and by 2030 more than 30 million of them will be mothers, making them a large and powerful group. Fertility rates are the highest that they have been in the last 15 years. In 2009 the millennial moms gave birth to 63 percent of all babies born in the United States and 76 percent of first births, according to National Center for Health Statistics figures (CDC/NCHS, 2010). They are also a more diverse group than earlier generations. Two in five millennial moms belong to a racial or ethnic group other than non-Hispanic White, and one in nine, or 11 percent, were born in the United States of an immigrant parent. Hispanic mothers account for the largest percentage of the population boom (Pew Research Center, 2010).
Galanoudis noted that these women grew up with home computers and the Internet. A woman born in 1985 was in first grade when the Internet came into widespread existence, and she considers a computer to be a normal household item. These mothers are tech-savvy, Galanoudis said, and they expect to find information online, especially because many do not have their parents living nearby to help them with various issues. They turn instead to their peers, to blogs, and to Web communities. As one mother said, “It isn’t technology for the sake of technology. It’s about making connections and staying connected.” WIC mothers’ use of technology is similar to that of others in their peer group. Virtually all (99 percent) of WIC mothers use electronic resources, 89 percent of them use parenthood advice and information websites, and 72 percent visit retailer websites. When an e-newsletter was offered to expectant and new mothers, 54 percent of all WIC mothers signed up, which was only slightly behind the percentage of all mothers who signed up (63 percent) (The Meredith Parents Network MomTrak®, 2011).