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article imageWhere's the worst place for mothers? US worst for breastfeeding

By Lesley Lanir     Jun 21, 2012 in Health
The thirteenth annual State of the World’s Mothers report measuring the likelihood of death due to childbirth and other motherhood-related causes lists Niger as a mother's worst location; the US is the worst industrialized country for breastfeeding.
The 13th annual Mothers’ Index published by Save the Children evaluates the status of women’s health, nutrition, education, economic well-being and political participation. It assesses and ranks 165 countries both in the industrialized and developing world to show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships. Canada ranks 19th and the US, ranked the worst for breastfeeding in industialized countries, comes in at 25th in the overall mother's index.
Top 10 best places to be a mother:
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. New Zealand
5. Denmark
6. Finland
7. Australia
8. Belgium
9. Ireland
10. Netherlands / United Kingdom
Out of 165 countries, the bottom 10 worst places to be a mother:
156. DR Congo
157. South Sudan
158. Sudan
159. Chad
160. Eritrea
161. Mali
162 . Guinea-Bissau
163. Yemen
164. Afghanistan
165. Niger
In this 13th survey, the poverty racked West African country Niger replaced Afghanistan placed at the bottom in the 2011 Mother's Index.
Key findings:
1. Children in many countries are not receiving adequate nutrition during their first 1,000 days.
2. Child malnutrition is rampant and limits the success of millions of children and their countries.
3. Economic growth is not enough to fight malnutrition.
4. We have enough knowledge to save millions of children.
A woman on the streets of South Africa
A woman on the streets of South Africa
Steve Crane
In the report Save the Children highlighted six interventions that can save lives in children’s first 1,000 days and beyond.
• iron folate
• breastfeeding,
• complementary feeding
• vitamin A
• zinc
• good hygiene
They report that just breastfeeding could save nearly 1 million lives. The package of mainly low cost nutritional items is said to total less than $20 per child for the first 1,000 days. And yet more than 50 percent of the world’s children do not receive the six lifesaving items.
Save the Children recommendations
• Make available proven, low-cost solutions known to save children’s lives.
• Invest in front-line health workers.
• Help more girls attend school and stay in school.
• Intensify government support in the fight against malnutrition.
• Increase private sector involvement to advance nutrition for mothers and children.
• Improve laws, policies and actions that support families and encourage breastfeeding.
More about Save The Children, US breast feeding, Poverty, malnutition, State of the Worlds Mothers