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The Safest (and Most Dangerous) Countries to Give Birth In

Starting a family is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s lives, and you want to ensure that you receive the best possible care during pregnancy and childbirth to avoid any complications. There are some countries which are notorious for their high infant mortality rates, and according to The Guardian, research published in The Lancet in 2014 found that there are 5.5 million infant deaths per year. Health editor Sarah Boseley stated “Three million of the deaths are among newborns and 2.6 million more babies are stillborn. Nearly all the deaths are preventable - half occur during labor.”

This knowledge is terrifying for expecting mothers, and these deaths usually tend to occur in countries with limited infrastructure and poor healthcare, and according to the Every Newborn Series published in the medical journal in 2014, the least safe country in the world to be born in is Sierra Leone (with 49.5 neonatal mortality rate per thousand live births in 2012) followed by Somalia (45.7) and Guinea-Bissau (45.7).

On the other end of the scale, there are countries that are known to be among the safest in the world to give birth, and these include Japan with a neonatal mortality rate per thousand live births as 1.1, followed by Singapore with 1.2, and then Cyprus with 1.5. Other countries to make it onto the top ten list were Estonia, Finland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Norway, and Portugal, respectively.

However, a more recent study was conducted by The Mother’s Index (2015), which ranked 179 countries across the world on several aspects relating to childbirth including prenatal care, access to healthcare professionals, and post-birth resources for both the mother and the baby. Their research found that the least safe countries were Somalia; followed by DR Congo and then The Central African Republic, and then it was Norway came in top place.

In fact, Scandinavia, in general, is a fantastic place for mothers and babies because following Norway was Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden.

But is the care for mothers and baby’s improving or only getting worse? It should be noted that there has reportedly been a 44 percent reduction in maternal deaths between 1990 and 2015, however, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), there are still 830 women dying every day due to complications with pregnancy and childbirth.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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