05/05/2010 18:28 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Ten Best Countries To Be A Mother

It would be nice to think that in this country we rank as the best place on earth to be a mother. It would, but you'd be wrong.

The news is not all bad. Britain ranks as number 14 out of 160 countries, which were assessed on women's and children's health and well-being,

So where is the best place to be a mother? Which country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world? And which country, sadly and not surprisingly, is bottom?If you're a mother in Norway count your blessings; you live in the country ranked as number one. This is followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, according to Save the Children's 11th annual "Mothers' Index".

Not surprisingly, Afghanistan came last on the list, which included 43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world. Also in the bottom ten were Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea.

What was shocking was America's place at number 28, down one from last year and behind Greece, Latvia, Austria and Croatia, because it's maternal mortality rate – 1 in 4,800 – is one of the highest in the developed world. It's also ranked lower than many other wealthy nations because of its maternity leave policies.

"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," says Mary Beth Powers, Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival Campaign Chief. "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."

According to the charity's State of the Mother Report, the rankings illustrate that mothers and children need education, economic opportunities and health care to survive and thrive.

For example, skilled health workers are present at virtually every birth in Norway but at less than15 percent of births in Afghanistan and Chad and in Ethiopia it's six percent.

A woman in Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau has less than five years of formal education, and in Niger she has less than four. But in Australia and New Zealand she stays in school for more than 20 years.

These differences have prompted Save the Children to launch a newborn and child survival campaign "See Where The Good Goes," and is asking the world's political leaders to keep to their commitment of expanding the coverage of skilled health workers delivering life saving interventions.

Source: Parentdish US
Source: Save the Children