The 11 Best Countries to Be a Mother
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The Fiscal Times
May 11, 2012

Becoming a mother can be a joyful, life-changing event, but in some countries, harsh living environments and working conditions can make motherhood much more difficult.

One of those countries? The United States of America.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click Here to See the 11 Best Countries to Be a Mother

Save the Children has just released its annual “Mothers’ Index” naming the ten best countries to be a mother this week – and the U.S. didn’t even make the list. It ranked a disappointing 25th out of 43 developed countries, though at least it’s up from last year’s 31st position due to minor improvements in education indicators.

Factors contributing to the low ranking include a high maternal mortality rate – mothers face a 1 in 2,100 risk of maternal death, the highest of any industrialized country; a relatively high mortality rate for children under five for developed countries (8 deaths per 1,000 live births); one of the worst maternity leave policies of any wealthy nation (12 weeks of unpaid leave); less than stellar rates of preschool enrollment; and a disappointing number of women in national government (only 17 percent of U.S. congressional seats are held by women). Happy Mother’s Day!

RELATED: Mother’s Day 2012: Spending Exceeds $18 Billion

Here are 11 countries that do a much better job than the U.S. of taking care of their mothers, according to the report. All maternity leave benefits are based on government requirements. 

Blaire Briody is a contributing editor at The Fiscal Times. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, Publishers Weekly, among others.