When you're newly pregnant and looking to move, normally you look for the best neighborhoods with the best schools. You may look for certain yards or size houses but have you ever considered what country might be best? Even all the "developed" countries don't stack up to each other. The Unicef Foundation ranked every country from best to worst based on infant mortality- they looked at infant deaths up until 28 days after birth. The mortality rate has also been ranked for mothers. Unlike what you'd think, the U.S. and Canada both did not make the list. They are both ranked 35 (Canada) and 36 (U.S.).
Japan made the top of the list. They take care of their pregnant women and babies. Family is important to their culture and they have an infant mortality rate of only .9 out of 1000 pregnancies/babies. In Japan, most women quit working while pregnant and move back with their mothers so that they have postpartum care, family is prioritized there, and they have universal healthcare
The next on the list was Iceland. Iceland has free pre-natal care for any Iceland citizen or who has held citizenship for at least 6 months, free delivery if you hold insurance, and first-time pregnant women are seen by their clinic around 10 times.
Next up as number 3 was Singapore. We didn't find too much on maternity benefits, but they have a very low mortality rate so they're doing something right. The cost of having the baby is lower than in the U.S. but higher than most of the other countries on the list.
Coming in at number 4 with a mortality rate of only 1.2 in 1000 and universal healthcare (so they don't go bankrupt trying to pay for baby) is Finland. In Finland, you have to sign up for benefits but get to choose between the famous "baby box" and a lump sum of money (140Euros). The baby box features items like clothing, baby hygiene products, accessories and the box itself can double as a bed- the bottom is a mattress.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="3977"] Via Embracing Ottawa[/caption]
The last on the top 5 was Slovenia, a small European country with a mortality rate of only 1.3. They are technically tied with Estonia. The people of Slovenia started having fewer kids and at older ages, so the government now pays them a "salary" to have kids. The fathers are active in their child's birth and are even allowed during C-sections.
The other countries that made up the top 10 included Cyprus, the Republic of Korea/South Korea, Norway, and Luxembourg.
On the flip side, the top 10 worst countries included Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lesotho, Guinea, South Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Mali, and Chad.
The countries that have made the top 10 list are the ones that value pre-natal and infant education and clean/sanitary conditions. They make sure the midwives or nurses are able to do basics like washing their hands and keeping stuff sterile. The reasons babies in other countries don't make it to a year involve prematurity, infections during or right after birth, unclean water and lack of education among other factors.