Best place to be a mom? And the winner is . . .
Norway. At least according to the organization Save the Children's Annual State of the World's Mothers report
. The US did not do all that well, ranking 28th--which is below Greece, Portugal, pretty much all Western Europe and just above the former Soviet bloc. The reasons cited for the US' poor ranking was that more women die in childbirth or after than in most wealthy countries and shorter maternity leave and fewer maternity benefits. Of course, our individual situations are so varied and it probably seems that in many ways, such rankings don't have much to do with us personally. But one thing that I think we can do as individuals is learn as much as we can about pregnancy and birth when we find out that we are expecting a baby. Not any particular "method" or philosophy about pregnancy or birth; there are many and people will probably have strongly varied opinions on them. Just learn about the biological and physiological facts about pregnancy and childbirth. For one, it's fascinating! An amazing thing happens to our bodies when we become pregnant and prepare to give birth! But more importantly, in my opinion, is that learning about what is happening to our bodies during pregnancy helps us overcome natural fears about the process and make informed choices about what's best for us and our families. There are many types of childbirth classes that you can take together with the baby's father and research suggests that fathers who become involved in the education process have a huge positive affect on birth outcomes. Read books and articles and ask your doctor or midwife to suggest places to find soundly researched info that can help you understand pregnancy and birth and prepare for the big event. Then instead of something that is happening to you, it becomes a process that you are a part of, and if you get thrown for a loop by some unexpected event, you will be that much better able to stay calm and make the decision that is best for you and your baby.
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