Study: The Heartbreakingly Low Survival Rate of American Babies

Carolyn Miles, the CEO of Save the Children, has written this startling column for CNN that looks at America’s relatively low ranking on the organization’s State of the World’s Mothers Index. Despite being 10th in the world for per capita income, the U.S. is 30th on the Mother’s Index. Why so low? According to the piece, the primary factor is a low survival rate for mothers and babies. Here are some stats from Save the Children:

When it comes to a woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, we do better than only five other developed countries: Albania, Latvia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. American women are 10 times more likely to die eventually from pregnancy-related causes than women in Estonia, Greece or Singapore … In the United States, 11,300 babies a year die on the day they are born. That’s more than in the rest of the industrialized world combined.

The organization is currently trying to identify the reasons behind the low survival rate, but have observed several contributing factors: obesity, high rates of elective cesarean section deliveries and age can all play a role. But, they’ve also found that survival rates are lowest in economically poor communities and are asking lawmakers to create a National Commission on Children to address the challenges facing mothers who live in poverty …

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