America Is One of the Worst Places on Earth for Maternal Healthcare

According to an eye-opening new report.

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Just in time for Mother's Day (😓), a new report shows that the U.S. ranks way lower than other developed countries when it comes to quality of healthcare for pregnant women and their children.

Save the Children's annual State of the World's Mothers report assesses the well-being of moms and their kids in 179 countries around the world. Scandinavian countries took the top spots on the list, with Norway named the best place in the world for moms, and war-torn countries like Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Central African Republic ranked at the bottom of the list.

The United States ranked a dismal 33rd.

Despite its status as a wealthy, developed country, America performs shockingly poorly when it comes to maternal health. New York magazine points out that it ranked lower than any developed country, and is seen as "terrible" at caring for both moms and children.

One in 1,800 women in the U.S. dies from conditions related to childbirth and pregnancy. And a lot of that comes down to race—mothers of color often face worse outcomes than caucasian women.

Save the Children released a fascinating video about Washington D.C. in particular, which ranked the highest for infant mortality on a list of 25 wealthy capital cities around the world. In Washington, infants from the poorest parts of town die at a much higher rate than average. "Your ZIP code shouldn't determine your fate," the video's message asserts—and who could argue with that?

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Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.