A new survey released by BabyCenter.com reveals that 43 percent of the more than 1,000 moms polled waited to start or expand their family until they felt financially stable. Of those, 70 percent held off on babies until they or their partner had a stable job; half waited to have health insurance.
Family size is also taking a hit from the recession. Two-thirds of moms polled by BabyCenter say that money will affect how many kids they have. On average, these moms of the "recession generation" want to have three babies but plan to stop at just two.
It's no wonder, with more than 60 percent of moms worried about not having enough money to support their children. And their sentiments are backed up by recent data showing that the U.S. birth rate has plunged. Births fell 4 percent from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
"A common stressor for new parents has always been providing for their children financially, but combine that existing fear with a weak economy, and you've got more concern than ever before," says Jean Chatzky, financial expert and BabyCenter.com contributor.
What is Mom's top money woe? Education. Sixty-six percent of moms say they're worried about paying for school or college. Housing and childcare came next on the list of money stressors.
Once folks take the parenting plunge, parents are working a lot harder than they would choose to cover their added expenses. Nearly two-thirds of working moms say that if they could afford it, they'd work less and take the pay cut to spend more time with their kids. And 59 percent would leave the workforce completely.
For many moms, leaving their job isn't feasible and it's easy to understand why - the average cost of raising a child in the United States right now is an eye-popping $226,920. (And, by the way, if you want your child to go to college, that'll be extra - you can calculate how much here.)
So, how much would it take for moms to be able to do as they choose? While it may not go far in some U.S. cities, most moms surveyed say $100,000 a year is the magic number that would make their family's money worries disappear.
And what would they do with all that cash? Seventy-nine percent would hit the road, saying that "more and better" family vacations would be their number one splurge.
More from BabyCenter's U.S. Cost of Raising a Child Report: