African American women are three to four times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related complications and are more likely to die from ectopic pregnancies, preeclampsia along with other pregnancy related issues with the risks of death increasing with age.
According to Mashable, the State of the World’s Mothers 2015, published by international organization Save the Children on Monday, reports the United States is the worst-performing developed nation in the world for the health of mothers, according to a new report– with american women in general, facing a 1 in 1,800 risk of pregnancy-related death.
The report ranked 179 countries on the best and worst places in the world to be a mother. Five factors informed the index: maternal health, children’s well-being, educational status, economic status and political status.
On last year’s index, the U.S. was at No. 31 overall, and it has slipped to 33rd overall on this year’s Mother’s Index. While the U.S. did well on economic and educational status, it falls behind all other top-ranked countries on maternal health, where America lands a lackluster 61st; children’s well-being, where the U.S. is 42nd, and political status, for which the U.S. ranks 89th.
Norway ranked No. 1 on the index overall (up from No. 2 in 2014), with a strong performance across all five indicators. Somalia, where economic and educational status are the lowest in the world, remained at the bottom of the list.
The under-five mortality rate in the U.S. is 6.9 per 1,000 live births, which means American children are three times as likely to die before their fifth birthdays as children in Iceland, for example.
Similarly, women hold less than 20% of seats in the U.S. Congress; in contrast, women hold roughly 40% of government seats in Norway.
“We need to do more to make sure that all mothers and babies have a fair chance of survival and a happy, healthy life, no matter where they live,” Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, said in a statement. “Save the Children believes that a mother in Somalia or, frankly, a mother in America, deserves the same opportunity to thrive as a mother in Norway.”
WomensHealth.gov suggests taking preventative measures and protecting your health and your unborn baby’s health starts before pregnancy with good preconception health, this means being aware of your current health conditions and risk factors that may affect your health once you become pregnant.