Save the Children published their 13th annual _State of the World’s Mothers _report today and there are some surprising results. In the Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom ranking, the U.S. came in at 25th place compared to 165 other countries. Norway was in first place and Niger was in last place – replacing Afghanistan for the first time in two years. The rankings look at factors like mother’s health, education and economic status, plus child’s health and nutrition.
Some differences between Niger and Norway include: 100% of births are supervised by medical professionals in Norway, compared to one-third in Niger; a child’s risk of death is 1 in 333 in Norway, compared to 1 in 7 in Niger; and the maternal death risk is 1 in 7,6000 in Norway, compared to 1 in 16 women in Niger.
So why didn’t the U.S. have a higher ranking? “While the US has moved up in the rankings, ahead of last year’s 31st place, we still fall below most wealthy nations,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children. “A woman in the US is more than 7 times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause in her lifetime than a woman in Italy or Ireland. When it comes to the number of children enrolled in preschools or the political status of women, the United States also places in the bottom 10 countries of the developed world.” Moms in the U.S. have a 1 in 2,100 risk of dying from something pregnancy-related, which was the highest among of any industrialized nation. Plus, the mortality rate of children for the U.S. ranks 41st. Also, the U.S. maternity leave policies are the poorest of any wealthy nation because there isn’t guaranteed paid leave for every working mother.
Nutrition is one of the major factors that decide the rankings – of the 10 countries at the bottom of the list, seven are in food crises right now. The report showed that educating mothers and encouraging them to breastfeed could save one million children a year – only 40 percent of infants in developing countries benefit from exclusive breastfeeding.
Save the Children is focusing on asking world leaders to take global action for malnutrition, especially since the G8 Summit is taking place in two weeks.
Surprised by the stats? Do you think where you live is a great place to be a mom?