This award was instituted on December 16, 1938 as part of Hitler's initiative to encourage Aryan population growth, and so only women with pure Aryan families could achieve such awards. Women from absorbed Germanic countries (such as Austria and Danzig) were also eligible. A mother could be awarded a bronze, silver, or gold cross depending on the number of children she had produced. Eight would entitle the woman to a gold cross, six for silver, and four for bronze.
There were also unconfirmed reports that a Golden Cross with Diamonds existed and was awarded to a small number of women who bore between twelve and fourteen children.
Mothers who received a cross were to be saluted in the streets by the Hitler Youth upon parades, for service to Germany.