US scores poorly on world motherhood rankings: charity | INFJ Forum

US scores poorly on world motherhood rankings: charity


Sep 5, 2009

By AFP - Mon May 3, 4:41 PM PDT

Norway topped the latest Save the Children "Mothers Index", followed by a string of other developed nations, while Afghanistan came in at the bottom of the table, below several African states.

But the US showing put it behind countries such as the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; and eastern and central European states such as Croatia and Slovenia.

Even debt-plagued Greece came in four places higher at 24.

Save the Children compiled the index after analyzing a range of factors affecting the health and well-being of women and children, including access to health care, education and economic opportunities.

One factor that dragged the US ranking down was its maternal mortality rate, which at one in 4,800 is one of the highest in the developed world," said the report.

"A woman in the Unites States is more than five times as likely as a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece or Italy to die from pregnancy-related causes in her lifetime and her risk of maternal death is nearly 10-fold that of a woman in Ireland," the report said.

It also scored poorly on under-five mortality, its rate of eight per 1,000 births putting it on a par with Slovakia and Montenegro.

"At this rate, a child in the US is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Iceland, Sweden or Singapore to die before his or her fifth birthday," the report noted.

Only 61 percent of children were enrolled in preschool, which on this indicator made it the seventh-lowest country in the developed world, it said.

And it added: "The United States has the least generous maternity leave policy -- both in terms of duration and percent of wages paid -- of any wealthy nation."

Norway headed the list of developed countries at the top of the list of best places to be a mother, followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
At the bottom was Afghanistan, followed by Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea.

"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 Save the Children's Mary Beth Powers.

"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," she added.
That statistical info makes me sad. The thought of a baby growing up without a mother, or a mother losing her little baby always makes me want to cry.

Even the thought of baby animals losing their mother and being raised by humans makes me sad.

I think I was traumatised as a child by seeing how desperate my pet cat was when my parents gave away one of her kittens.
Makes sense, It is as I have always said; The USA is not a First World nation, it is second world, if not third. Some members there are incredibly wealthy, most are poor as fuck with little access to anything good in terms of institutionalised aid, education or information.

It is the socialist-capitalist countries that top the charts in terms of giving their citizens and denizens quality of life.
Only 61 percent of children were enrolled in preschool, which on this indicator made it the seventh-lowest country in the developed world, it said.

And it added: "The United States has the least generous maternity leave policy -- both in terms of duration and percent of wages paid -- of any wealthy nation."

I'm not sure being enrolled in preschool is a measure of children's well-being. Many children who are not enrolled in preschool are home with parents or grandparents, and starting "formal" education at 2- and 3- and even 4- years old is not necessarily in a child's best interest, so I question this measurement.

Not the others, though.

The crappy maternity leave policy sucks in the US, although it is not universal, and it is improving (from my informal observations). They should have put attempting to use a breast pump in a janitor's closet at 6-weeks postpartum in there somewhere, too. Not all companies are as ungenerous.
I'm not surprised. We make midwifery practically illegal in some states, so prenatal care is out of the question for some folks because of cost.
The term Second World country does not refer to the level of development, but to the political alignment during the Cold War. Shai Gar, do you really think the US is Communist?

Perhaps the availability of preschool programs should be counted, but attendance should certainly not. It might be beneficial for low income families with poorly educated parents, but plenty of us from more fortunate backgrounds learned more at home before starting school and would likely have been better off if we hadn't started formal schooling until about 3rd grade. Preschool certainly should not be mandatory.

(Actually, I don't think schooling should be mandatory at any age. I do think there should be fairly strict (roughly GED level) tests for anyone to attain citizenship though, and that the state has a responsibility to provide the option of free schooling up to the level of such tests to any non-citizen of any age.)

The childhood mortality stats are probably not a great comparison, as different countries count live births differently. The US includes everyone, including premature babies who die within seconds of being removed by C-section, whereas some countries count children as stillborn unless they live a certain number of minutes, hours, days, or even months after delivery.

Americans are also much less likely to choose to abort pregnancies even when doctors advise to do so for the sake of the mother's health or when it is known that the child will have serious birth defects.

The US is also more spread out but concentrates child delivery into a relatively low number of hospitals, making it harder for pregnant women to get to where they need to be to deliver. The paucity of trained midwives is a problem too.