What is the state of motherhood and children in the world?

Save the Children has released it’s 2012 report on the State of the World’s Mother with lots to think about and consider. I am going to hit a few of the highlights from the report but if you have some time poke around. It’s pretty interesting.

Some headlines from the round up report featured in The Huffington Post:

One in four children in the world are still chronically malnourished or stunted

“One in four of the world’s children are chronically malnourished or stunted — with little access to proper nutrients, these children have underdeveloped brains or bodies.”

“According to the report, malnutrition kills as many as 2.6 million children and 100,000 mothers every year. Millions of others are left struggling with the physical and mental impairments of stunting. In some parts of the developing world — like Afghanistan, Burundi and Yemen — the stunting rate is a whopping 60 percent!”

“Of the six key solutions offered by the report to combat malnutrition, one of the cheapest and most effective is regularly breast feeding newborns. Nearly 1 million lives can be saved by breast feeding alone. Unsurprisingly, the United States is the LEAST favorable environment in the industrialized world for mothers who want to breast feed.

The report’s other recommendations including investing in frontline health workers, investing in girls’ education, maintaining better hygiene and supplementing meals with iron folate, zinc and vitamin A.”

(Click here for even more stats about children and mothers.)

Where are the best places to be a mom? Here are the top 30 places and guess what? The U.S. is in there but not close to No. 1.

From The Huffington Post:

“Of the 165 countries surveyed, Norway, Iceland and Sweden top the rankings this year. The top 10 countries, in general, attain very high scores for mother and child health, educational attainment and economic status. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Niger ranks last. The 10 bottom-ranked countries — eight from sub-Saharan Africa -– are a reverse image of the top 10, performing poorly on all indicators. The United States places 25th this year –- up six spots from last year.

Each country page will include a fact that supports the country’s ranking. Please refer to the Appendix of the main report for all the detailed rankings.”

Every 90 seconds a woman dies becoming a mother:

“Every 90 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from a pregnancy-related complication. This isn’t just a “third world” problem. The United States currently ranks 50th in the world for maternal health. It is safer to give birth in Bosnia or Kuwait than in California. But what we do here ultimately affects women everywhere. This is a matter of inequality and political will….”

“For these women and their families, there is no Mother’s Day. That’s why this year, the maternal health advocacy organization Every Mother Counts is asking you, women and men, to act in solidarity on Mother’s Day to raise awareness and help change the lives of millions of women who will otherwise die becoming mothers.”

” ‘We hope this campaign will bring more attention to the global issue of maternal mortality because this is an urgent yet solvable problem,’ explains Christy Turlington Burns, who founded Every Mother Counts.”

You can see the public service announcement here.

Every child deserves a 5th Birthday

“… around the world, many parents don’t have this luxury. And in many cases, the greatest fear of a parent is that their son or daughter won’t even reach the age of five — an important milestone for survival.”

“Seeing a child die from pneumonia, diarrhea or a mosquito bite is simply unimaginable to most parents. But that is the sad reality for many families each day. Last year over seven million children under five died of largely preventable causes.”

“Tomorrow, April 23, I will join several partners at the Kaiser Family Foundation to preview a global campaign to help get more kids safely past five. I’ll lay the groundwork for a Child Survival: Call to Action in June, when the governments of the United States, India and Ethiopia will join together with UNICEF to mobilize the world to end preventable child deaths. Our focus is on building political will and driving collective action around a global roadmap — and developing mechanisms to hold all countries to account.

I will also launch “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday,” an awareness-raising campaign led by the U.S. Agency for International Development to raise awareness ahead of the Call to Action. Please join me in posting a photo from your fifth birthday — if you can’t find one, any photo of you or your kids at five will work — and sharing it via our website and social media outlets. Tomorrow, the website will be live at 5thBDay.usaid.gov.”

Are you surprised by some of the stats? What did you find the most interesting? How can people in developed nations have the women and children in less developed nations?

29 comments Add your comment

Statistice say whatever your agenda wants them to say...

May 10th, 2012
12:12 pm

…so take this statement as the main point on this topic – “In some parts of the developing world — like Afghanistan, Burundi and Yemen — the stunting rate is a whopping 60 percent!”

So, if you take away those “developing”, otherwise known as 3rd world countries, the statistics are not nearly as startling. Yes, those children count just as much as mine, however, not everyone can be saved from themselves – we do what we can, with what we have, and, unfortunately, people and children die.

It is like the old M A S H series, when Hawkeye was talking to Col. Blake about the number of “kids” dying in Korea – Col. Blake told him that WAR has two rules: Rule 1 is that soldiers die; Rule 2 is that doctors cannot change Rule # 1…


May 11th, 2012
12:52 pm

I’m going to bite my tongue on this one and instead wish all of you a wonderful mothers day (even you step-moms who deserve it). Thanks for the wisdom and experiences that you share with us on here.


May 11th, 2012
1:28 pm

Jeff….I am with you and not going to discuss this topic.

Happy Mom’s Day to the women on the blog who make a difference in the life of a child



May 11th, 2012
2:59 pm

Perhaps they should be breastfed from their chronically malnourished mothers until they are 6-8, or go through puberty!


May 11th, 2012
3:21 pm

Following @Jeff’ & @FCM… and, Happy Mother’s Day to all…


May 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Happy Mother’s day to ALL the mothers out there, regardless of your relationship to the child. Natural, adoptive, steps, guardians, aunts, sisters, etc. !


May 11th, 2012
4:04 pm

Ditto what Jeff & FCM said on topic.

Ditto what Augusta said..


May 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

Happy Mother’s Day, including step-moms!

Ms Mary

May 11th, 2012
7:04 pm

Clearly everyone cannot be saved though there are many charities and organizations out there to support the needy sadly the needy is overly populated. I am a single mother in the military and having one child that is very well taken care of is expensive.To live and eat healthy it cost money. Many lack the ability to budget effectively let alone shop and cook healthy. I agree that healthy eatting cost, but at what cost are you willing to die from not doing so. People turn to fast foods and microwave dinners instead of conveniently grocery shopping. I refuse to bring more kids into this world to only take away from the one I already have. I don’t understand why people do not take the proper precautions when it comes to another human being. If one can barely take care of themselves why bring another into this world to suffer. I have spent a year in Iraq and have seen how proverty effects that part of the world and its very sad to see men, woman, and kids live in those types of conditions. Straying away from third world countries the United States who is considered a country far from being 3rd world, itself has lacked in helping it’s own. Though there are resources such as welfare and food stamps there are many of people who are abusing these systems and doing so they are taking up space and enabling those that really need the help from getting it. Change does not happen over night , but some changes needs to be made.


May 12th, 2012
9:58 am

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who plays a Motherly Role in a child’s life. Hats off to the teachers who sometimes Mother children more that those who bore them! Have a great weekend!


May 12th, 2012
10:46 am

Happy Mother’s Day to all the pet moms out there…and all the women without kids who have a husband that acts like a kid.


May 12th, 2012
11:06 am

For some reason reading this piece I thought back to when Jane Fonda made remarks concerning how children in Georgia and other parts of the United States were not receiving proper nutrition and health care. And Zell Miller who was the governor then got his panties all in a wad and demanded that she apologize. Always thought that was unnecessary for her to do that and she should have just stuck to her guns because she was so right. And Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms. Y’all do rock.


May 12th, 2012
11:32 am

@ Ms Mary,
You would *think* some would before doing the deed yet,they don’t. They wait for the System to ‘kick in’ and then they milk it for all it’s worth.


May 12th, 2012
11:37 am

“The United States currently ranks 50th in the world for maternal health. It is safer to give birth in Bosnia or Kuwait than in California”…. Nice! This statement says it all.


May 12th, 2012
11:39 am

@ Statice .. I’m sure STATISTICS (try spellcheck!) is trying to attempt to say whatever you wanted to say..


May 12th, 2012
11:49 am

The state of motherhood and children in the world is perilous. Too many women having too many babies without any concern for their future.


May 12th, 2012
12:32 pm

A weekend where mother’s are honored and this is why the AJC publishes? OK! Happy Mother’s Day to all. Regardless of what this article says, the best place to be a mother is wherever that mother is. Children, regardless of location, is what makes motherhood so special (I say that as I hear arguing between those two beams of sunshine in my life).


May 12th, 2012
12:42 pm

How can people in developed nations have the women and children in less developed nations?

Purchase a few at a flea market? I think one of Theresa’s kids got some keyboard input. Either that or she’s running crazy busy like all moms. :)

Anyway, we can HELP women and children in less developed countries by helping the mothers. Most of us instinctively focus on the kids first (thus an entire column on childbirth/maternal health for Mother’s day) and that’s like shoveling resources into a black hole. Help the MOTHERS and kids will get better. It’s not coincidental cultures that treat women as sub-human have high child mortality rates. Offer women decent healthcare outside of their babymaking parts, give them access to education and raise their social status. This isn’t rocket science. It does upset a lot of people though…men and women both.


May 12th, 2012
12:51 pm

First, nice gratuitous slap in the face “UNSURPRISINGLY, the US is the most unfriendly country for St. Breastfeeder” or whatever it was.

Second, we can’t do any more for the 3rd world. They’re gonna by g-d have all the babies they want to. Either they don’t comprehend that babies die from malnutrition and they have no food for themselves let alone ANOTHER mouth, or they do not care. Either way, we need to get out. One reason there are so many poor people is that we keep them nice and comfy in poverty, so why rise out of it? That would take effort! They’re gonna breed, they’re gonna kill each other, they’re gonna keep spreading AIDS – but that’s OK because there’s a pill now that I’m sure we’ll distribute to every wretched woman in Africa, and it’ll only cost taxpayers $11,000 a year PER WOMAN!

No one wants to say it, but dear g-d we have to stop. Ignorant people breeding fragile kids will keep doing it while we keep helping. Stop rewarding the stubborn people who keep doing this and stop blaming rich white Americans for everything that’s wrong with the world. Oh, and the stubborn people here who keep saying “They’re a proud people and this is their custom!”….I don’t care. Some cultures deserve to be abandoned. Hope their pride sustains them.

Happy Mothers Day to everyone who cares for children, including who knew they didn’t want children of their own and chose to be Favorite Aunt or Trusted Adult.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 12th, 2012
12:59 pm

If the kid can walk up to the TAP and Ask for a Drink then he/she needs to be drinking from a GLASS not a Breast!

Mom is fighting Cancer and I am So HAPPY she is still here.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 12th, 2012
1:12 pm

6′6″ UVa pitcher looking OK but Hittable.

mother of 5

May 12th, 2012
1:14 pm

I am the mother of 5 beautiful, intelligent, and active toddlers, and the oldest is 5. Yes, you have just read a true statement. My husband and I have made the choice, along with God’s blessing, to have a large family. Often times, we get very nasty stares and rude questions asked by strangers such as, “how can you afford to take care of them all?” Or, “are all these your kids?” Yes, they are…I am a 31 year old, UGA College graduate with a background in Corporate Account Management. My husband is also a college graduate who works for a financial institution that pays him $45,000 per year…IF WE CAN DO IT, THEN ANYONE SHOULD! STRUGGLE, WE DO NOT. LIVE HUMBLY, YES!

We have never taken advantage of welfare benefits nor have received assistance from the government…God is our breadbasket and has enabled us.

Here is our logic…Why purchase fancy, designed clothes when toddlers delight in “playing hard” and getting dirty? The Goodwill, consignment shopping, and family department stores works very well for us…you will be surprised at the very gently used items available. Our kids eat well balanced and healthy meals thanks to planning our meals accroding to what is on sale at the local grocery stores. Add to that, we purchase organic food that is generally “on sale” if you are a savvy shopper. Not to mention, coupon clipping, and buying what you need, instead of stocking up on something you will never use. Why pay for kids to become a member of a playgroup, when you can socialize with those who live around you or attend your church and embrace your same morals and values? Also, why pay large sums of money for structured activities such as sports, when children are just as delighted as running around and exploring in their own backyard or using their imagination to think of games and activities with their peers? Being resourceful, entertaining kids is very affordable…family zoo passesand State park passes can be checked out at your local library; our bank Bank of America, has a Museums on Us program where admission is free on the 1st week-end of each month, minimal fee for kids; there are great programs at the local libraries (storytime, KinderMusik, gymnastics, etc); Lowes and Home Depot have Build and Grow clinics on some Saturdays; and the list goes on…

Structure will come in due time…let’s stop pushing our kids to become little adults and let them enjoy being a kid! I don’t have a fancy SUV or MiniVan with all the bells and whistles, but I do have a HIGHLY RELIABLE Chrysler Voyager for which we paid $3,000 cash a while ago.

I work my full-time job EVERY DAY with each of my kids, because I dont want some “system” raising them…I want to be with them the first 5 years guiding them; leading them; and correcting them each step of the way. I want to provide them the nurture they need and create memories together that my kids will someday appreciate.

It’s not all about the number of kids you have, but the quality and effectiveness that you have on them. We do a good darn job and am very proud of the bright future my kids will have! They will learn to appreciate a humble life with lots of love, attention, their faith, and great family memories.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 12th, 2012
1:20 pm

GOD do you NOT KNOW why MEN TUNE you out? Look at the length of your posts. As a Kid I wanted to be grown up so I could have SEX then I learned we have to talk to you to get in your pants and after that We have to listen to you as you tell a short story that becomes a 4 hour conversation. WOMEN learn K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. WE don’t want to hear what the lady was wearing when she was complaining about the teacher.

Hey, mom of 5...

May 12th, 2012
5:18 pm

…you had me on your side until you said you bank with BOA – if you will change a credit union or local bank you will save enough so that you can still have your free weekend museums…

And, Bull...

May 12th, 2012
5:22 pm

…don’t you just hate it when you are trying to be a smart arse (”@ statice”), and you end up just being a dumb arse?

Nobody wrote “statice” – just a slip of the finger when trying to type “statistics” and typing “statistice” instead –

Besides, this site does not have spell check (sure wish it did)…

Old Lady

May 12th, 2012
8:43 pm

Happy Mother’s Day to all those that had kids and love them and nurish them, unlike the one that bore my grandbabies. Just sayin…..


May 13th, 2012
7:07 pm

Education for girls is the first key to improving things for women, children, AND men!


May 14th, 2012
2:27 pm

@mother of 5..You rock girl..


May 15th, 2012
12:48 pm

US-imposed sanctions killed over 1/2 a million children in Iraq and was one of the main “justifications” by the terrorists for 9-11. Our 50 year embargo of Cuba has led to thousands of deaths. Now we have an embargo against Iran that is killing many. We sell arms either directly or through “foreign aid” programs to dozens of war-torn countries. Our CIA manipulated elections, deposes leaders, foments civil war and other atrocities all over the world. The US created and forced global was on drugs causes untold violence all over the world that impacts mothers, fathers, and children. Farm bills in this country lead to the destruction of foodstuffs to prop up prices, destroys farming opportunites in foreign countries, and further impacts families globally.

Hey, I appreciate all the misery families suffer under. One of the major causes of strife worldwide is the US government. What are you doing to change from the two-winged war party that has been in power for the past 100 years??