The UK was ranked 23rd on Save the Children’s Mother’s Index, which looks at mothers’ well-being using indicators of maternal health, under-five mortality, levels of women’s education, income, and political status.

Finland finished top of the index, followed by Sweden and Norway. The UK found itself between Canada and the Czech Republic – but below much of Europe. The Democratic Republic of Congo finished bottom of the Index.

Commenting on the results, Save the Children’s Policy Director, Brendan Cox, said: “This ranking reminds us that even in wealthy countries, there will be higher rates of mortality in the poorest communities and no country should be complacent.

“The situation is, of course, far worse in the poorest countries where many more mothers and babies are lost from what should be simple preventable causes.

“Save the Children is calling on the UK Government to make sure that universal access to healthcare and better nutrition is a priority at home and abroad.”

Louise Silverton, the Royal College of Midwives’ Director for Midwifery, said: “We welcome the report and its findings. However, the Millennium development goals four and five addressing maternal mortality and infant mortality still have a long way to go. To improve conditions for mothers and babies globally, we need to improve the position of women in society in general and work with midwives to encourage women and girls to marry later, and have greater access to contraception. We also support the International Confederation of Midwives’ innovative campaign ‘The World Needs Midwives Now More than Ever!’

“On the domestic front, in England we need 5,000 more midwives to deal with the baby boom. Women giving birth here are becoming more complex, older and giving birth later and are more socially and culturally diverse. All these factors require more time and energy from midwives.” 

To view the report, please visit: http://blogs.savethechildren.org.uk/2013/05/democratic-republic-of-congo-worst-place-to-be-a-mum/