Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom
Survey Shows Norway Is the Best Country to Be a Mother; U.S. Ranks 28
WebMD News Archive
May 6, 2010 -- It will be a very happy Mother's Day for moms in Norway,
Australia, Iceland, and Sweden this Sunday, as a new survey ranks these
countries as the best places to be a mom.
The Save the Children Mother's Index compared the health and well-being of
mothers and children in 160 countries. The rankings are based on the health,
educational, and economic status of moms and their kids.
The worst place to be a mom? Afghanistan, where health professionals are
present at fewer than 15% of births, and one in eight women die of pregnancy or
The U.S. ranked No. 28 in the survey. The rate of maternal mortality in the
U.S. (one in 4,800), as well as the country's less generous maternity
leave policies, were responsible for the low ranking.
A U.S. woman is more than five times more likely to die from
pregnancy-related causes than a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, or
Italy, and 10 times more likely than a woman in Ireland, the survey finds.
The U.S. also scored poorly on the mortality rate of children under age 5. In
the U.S., eight of 1,000 children die before reaching age 5, the survey
"While the situation in the United States needs to improve, mothers in the
developing world are facing far greater risks to their own health and that of
their children," said Mary Beth Powers, the chief of Save the Children's
Newborn and Child Survival Campaign, in a news release. "The shortage of
skilled birth attendants and challenges in accessing birth control means that
women in countries at the bottom of the list face the most pregnancies and the
most risky birth situations, resulting in newborn and maternal deaths."
Top 10 List
According to the survey, the top 10 best places to be a mom are:
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
10 Worst List
The 10 worst places to be a mom are:
- Equatorial Guinea
- Democratic Republic of Congo