US doesn't even make it to list of top 20 places to be a mom

Some of my friends and family back home in Peru who haven't had the pleasure of visiting this great nation always think that living in the States is the absolute best. And I'm not going to lie and say it isn't, but not for the reasons they might think. I'm sure they'd be super surprised to find that the U.S. has been ranked not number one, number 10 or number 20, but number 25 in the world in terms of the best place to be a mom by Save The Children, which released its 13th State of the World's Mothers report today. 

Although there are lots of other countries worse off than us, a ranking of 25 means that there are 24 other countries that are much better for moms--a sad reality for such a powerful, rich and develop country, don't you think?

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I'd like to say I'm not surprised, but I'd be lying because I am. I've been living here most of my life and I've had the pleasure (NOT!) of becoming a mom in a country with one of the least generous maternity leaves of any wealthy nation. In other words, I know moms are not as valued here as they are elsewhere in the world, despite what some self-righteous politicians would like you to believe. Even so, I had no idea that we ranked so low in terms of lifetime risk of dying from childbirth and in terms of mortality rate of children under 5.

Moms in the U.S. have the highest risk of any industrialized nation of dying from childbirth, which means that 1-in-2,100 moms face the risk of maternal death. Not too bad compared most underdeveloped countries, but abysmal compared to countries like Greece where a mom's death is a rarity at 1-in-31,800. 

We don't do much better when it comes to our children's death rate. With a ranking of 41st, the mortality rate for children under 5 years old is 8-in1,000 births, just like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Qatar. Really?

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But why? What are we doing wrong? And why is this even the case in a country like the United States of America? I guess we could spend the whole day arguing why, but we just need to figure out a way to change it. And even though we're doing much better than last year's 31st ranking, we obviously still have a long way to go! 

Are you as surprised as I am with some of these findings? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment. 

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Topics: on parenting  child rearing