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Mother's Day: The unexpected best (and worst) places to be a mom

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What’s the best place in the world to be a mother?  Not the US, says Save the Children – not by a long shot. 

In it’s annual pre-Mother’s Day index of the best and worst places across the globe to be a mother, the international children’s advocacy group puts Norway in the No. 1 spot, while the US sits at number 25 - down in between Belarus and the Czech Republic.

Maternal death rate, low preschool attendance and low political representation push the US behind many of its developed country peers, the organization says.  To come up with its rankings list, the group also evaluated factors such as maternity leave policies, mortality among children younger than five and the ratio of estimated female to male earned income.

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Mothers in the US face a 1 in 2,100 risk of maternal death – the highest in any industrialized nation – and children face an under-five mortality rate of 8 per 1,000 births. That’s around the same level as rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovakia, and Qatar.

Save the Children's “breastfeeding policy scorecard” also lists the US as “poor,” behind almost all other developed nations. This is in large part because the of the country’s short and unpaid maternity leave policy, the group reports. The US also has among the lowest percentage of moms exclusively breastfeeding at three months. (The group ties breastfeeding to significant health benefits for mother and child.)

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