The top ten countries to give birth in order are: Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Australia, and Belgium.
Prenatal care, pregnancy knowledge, access to healthcare professionals, post-birth resources and maternity leave exist as several key aspects in determining a healthy birth, baby, and mother. The Mothers’ Index (2015), a report compiled by Save the Children, recently ranked 179 countries based upon these factors among others to determine the best and worst countries to give birth.
Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Limited or no access to skilled care during pregnancy, at delivery, or after birth can dramatically increase the risk of death to a mother and child.
The worst ten countries to give birth in included Haiti and Sierra Leone (tied for 170), Guinea-Bissau, Chad, the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Niger, Mali, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, and Somalia, which earned the last spot.
The statistics are shockingly different regarding the 10 best and 10 worst countries; in the top 10 countries, statistics show that 1 in 12,160 women will die due to maternal causes while the number in the 10 worst countries is 1 in 30.
While Canada ranked 20 out of 179 countries and the UK ranked 24, the United States came in at 33, dropping two spots from its previous ranking. The Mothers’ Index used data to conclude that women giving birth in the United States faced an approximate risk of maternal death of 1 in 1,800. Statistically, these are the worst birthing odds among all developed countries on a global scale.
Countries outranking the United States in terms of maternal care included Ireland, Korea, Poland, and Croatia. Slovakia, Serbia, and Argentina closely followed the U.S. with rankings of 34, 35, and 36.