In light of the upcoming holiday, a new report has been released that details the best and worst places in the world for mothers to live.
WESTPORT, Connecticut - In light of the upcoming holiday, a new report has been released that details the best and worst places in the world for mothers to live. Save the Children released its 15th annual State of the World's Mothers report on Tuesday and nine of the top 10 best countries for mothers are found in Europe, with Finland ranking No. 1 out of 178 countries surveyed. Poor countries ravaged by war and natural disasters make it nearly impossible for mothers to raise their children with the basic necessities of life, according to the report, and Somalia was ranked as the worst place for a mother to raise her children. Over 250 million children under the age of 5 live in a country affected by violent conflict, the report said. Ninety-five percent of natural disasters occur in developing countries and women and children are 14 times more likely to die from a natural disaster than men. "In humanitarian emergencies, when basic health services and livelihoods are disrupted, if not totally destroyed, mothers may find it impossible to adequately feed and support their families," Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children USA, wrote in the report's summary. "They and their children also become more vulnerable to the risks of exploitation, sexual abuse and physical danger." Somalia is a dangerous place for women to live because of natural disasters such as floods and the constant armed conflict that uproots families from their homes and livelihoods. One in 16 women in the African country will die from maternal causes and 15 percent of children born won't make it to their fifth birthday. Finland is considered extremely safe because only one in 12,200 women will die from maternal causes and 99 percent of Finnish children will reach the age of 5. The United States, which hasn't been in the top 10 since the year 2000, moved down one spot to 31st on the list, largely because of the rate of maternal deaths. One in 2,400 women will die from maternal causes. The report cited Hurricane Sandy as one reason its rate for 2014 is so low and, despite emergency efforts, "many gaps remain in U.S. emergency planning and preparedness." This report comes on the heels of a study released by researchers for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington that says maternal deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. The Washington Post reported the U.S. maternity rate is double the rate in Canada and triple the rate in the United Kingdom. About 18 mothers died for every 100,000 births in 2013, with a total of almost 800 deaths. The U.S. rate has more than doubled in the past 25 years. One reason given for the rise in deaths is the accuracy of hospitals' reporting systems, the Washington Post reports, and because high-risk women with chronic diseases who would have died without medical treatment, are living long enough to have kids. In order to make a country more liveable for a mother and her children, Save the Children stresses the importance of quality pre- and postnatal care for mothers in crisis situations and says that all countries need to be better equipped to handle maternal, newborn and child needs during emergencies. For more information and details from the report, visit savethechildren.org.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D168528%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E