Insight: Milieu Insight explores differing attitudes towards motherhood among womenn across Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE — With Mother’s Day approaching, Milieu Insight released the results of its “Opinions of Motherhood” study, which explores what women across 4 Southeast Asian countries think about the possibility of motherhood, and some of the considerations they have before deciding to enter a new phase of life. The study was conducted in April 2022 with N=500 women without children each in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Indonesian women are most receptive towards motherhood

  • 73% of Indonesian women foresee themselves to have at least 1 child in the future, likewise for 50% of Filipino
  • Meanwhile, much fewer women from Singapore and Thailand are certain about having kids, with only 34% and 29% respectively foreseeing themselves to become parents in the future
    – More are uncertain about it, indicating ‘Maybe’ (39% and 43% respectively in Singapore and Thailand)

26-30 years old ideal age to become mothers, 2 is the ideal number of children

  • At least 5 in 10 women (excluding those who don’t intend to become mothers) want to become mothers between the ages of 26 to 30; slightly more in Indonesia (23% compared to 11% regional average) want to become mothers between 21-25 years old

  • Nearly 6 in 10 want up to 2 children; skew towards Indonesian and Filipino women who want 3 or more children
  • Top reasons for wanting children:
    – It is meaningful to raise a child (69%)
    – To experience motherhood (67%)
    – I think that a family is only complete with kids (57%)
    – I find children cute or fun to be with (56%)
    – To have someone to accompany/ take care of me when I’m old (56%)

Furthering support for women to understand motherhood

  • Entering motherhood requires one to be prepared – and to prepare – for many factors; as “natural” as childbirth is, in reality, parents have to be well-informed about parenthood to ensure that children can grow up in the right environment
  • Key considerations for motherhood:
    – Childcare expenses (64%)
    – My health or my partner’s health (63%)
    – My job security (or my partner’s) (62%)

  • Mental health care before and after childbirth emerged as top area that women want to learn about (66%) (eg. postnatal depression, which has been talked about more commonly recently), followed by ‘infant/childhood development’ (65%) and ‘finance management’ (65%)

Based on a Milieu Insight survey with N=500 women without children each in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, conducted in April 2022.

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