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Major Metros Surveyed for Pregnancy-Friendliness

By Natalie Wise

If you’re expecting or potentially expecting a child, you might want to pay attention to What to Expect’s first-ever list of the top 10 pregnancy-friendly cities.

The list surveyed 100 metros across the country to find those that excel in creating an environment for being pregnant and giving birth. They rated cities on a 100-point scale across three major indices: prenatal support for expectant parents, pregnancy-friendly environment and the quality and availability of healthcare.

San Francisco tops the list as the best city in America to have a baby. The city scored an almost-perfect 99 on health care access for expecting and new moms, infants and children.

Portland, Ore., is the No. 2 city, scoring a perfect 100 on prenatal support. No. 3 on the list, Boise, Idaho, ranks highly on access to health care, with top-notch medical facilities (two level III NICUs) in the area.

Albuquerque, N.M., snags the No. 4 spot on the list, thanks to a high score on its prenatal support and healthcare for new moms. The city offers CAM resources (complementary and alternative treatments), such as acupuncture, medical massage and birth hypnosis.

Spokane, Wash., is No. 5 on the list, followed by Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., and Madison, Wis.

The No. 8 best city in the country to have a baby is Anchorage, Alaska, which scores a 94 on healthcare for new moms, 74 on prenatal support, and 60 on pregnancy-friendly environment. The Providence Alaska Medical Center is building a new maternity center for women with high-risk pregnancies, and Alaska Regional Hospital offers all of the bells and whistles, such as private birthing suites with Wi-Fi.

One New York city made the list, Rochester at No. 9. The city boasts a perfect 100 for a pregnancy-friendly environment, with high percentages of midwife-attended births and a strong commitment to preventing premature births.

Sacramento, Calif., is the No. 10 best city to have a baby in America. The capital of California features at least three medical facilities certified by the World Health Organization as “Baby Friendly” and lots of classes and options for prenatal support.

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