When it comes to first-day infant death, it appears that the United States is number one. Some are quite surprised by the news, but others are not so shocked.
The organization called Save the Children released its annual report on the well being of children and their mothers around the world, called “State of the World’s Mothers.” In the publication, 176 countries are ranked according to how happy and healthy mothers and their new born babies are. This year, the publication reports that babies born in the US are as much as 50 percent more likely to die during their first day of life, as compared to any other industrialized country in the world.
No matter what country a baby is born in, the first day of their lives is always the hardest. In fact, new estimates suggest that just over one million babies die each year within their first 24 hours of life.
In addition to their usual annual report, Save the Children placed a strong focus on newborn health and has presented the very first “Birth Day Risk Index.” This publication lists countries according to which ones are the riskiest to be born in to the safest countries for babies to be born.
The results of the “Birth Day Risk Index” suggest that babies born in the United States are two times more likely to die in their first day of life than babies that are born in the European Union.
Carolyn Miles, the CEO and President of Save the Children, suggests that the findings on the reports are not really so surprising. Miles says that America consistently experiences premature births at a much higher rate than the other industrialized countries around the world.
The high rate of premature births, added to the extremely large population in the United States, may offer some explanation as to why America sits at number one for first-day mortality, but there are other factors that affect this standing, as well. For instance, poverty, stress and teen pregnancies are also contributors to this ranking.
Miles says that babies who are born to women that are the poorest in the country are at 40 percent higher risk of dying within the first 24 hours of life than those babies that are born to wealthy women.
“African-American women face much greater risks, and there are also reasons relating to chronic health conditions and obesity, to older mothers, to elective C-sections,” Carolyn Miles said.
Poor women and women who are minorities do face greater dangers than other women, including lower birth weight and higher rates of preterm births. This problem becomes even worse when there are so few providers of high risk prenatal care in the US.
How to make it better
Save the Children says that the only way to fix the issue of first-day baby deaths is to allow mothers easier access to medical care that they need, as well as more education.
Essentially, what it all comes down to is that more women need to have easy access to the health care services that they need before, as well as during pregnancy.
Save the Children has asked congress to create a National Commission on Children as a method that may help to deal with the many issues that children in poverty have to deal with every single day, in developing countries and the US alike.