A good place to be a mum

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

NZ rises one notch in charity's annual survey on best and worst countries for mothers.

Jodi Brown with Kiana, right, and Aria, says as a mother she feels safe here.
Jodi Brown with Kiana, right, and Aria, says as a mother she feels safe here.

New Zealand mothers are considered among the luckiest in the world in a new report listing the best - and worst - places to be a mum.

New Zealand is placed in the top 20 in the State of the World's Mothers report. The report is an annual survey carried out by the Save the Children charity each year.

Read more: Worst place in the world to be a mum

Finland topped the list, New Zealand came in at 16th, a slight improvement from 17th in 2013. The report compared 178 countries based on maternal health, child mortality, education and levels of women's income and political status.

The highest non-European countries were Australia (9th), Singapore (15th) and New Zealand (16th).

Former Silver Fern Jodi Brown, now playing for the Southern Steel, said she felt lucky to be living in New Zealand as a young mother.

The 33-year-old is mum to Kiana, 5, and Aria, 3.

"I sort of take it for granted, what we have here. We're lucky to feel safe and know that everything we need as mothers, whether it's good midwives when you're pregnant and medical help, is on our doorstep."

Brown said on one of her first trips to the UK she had come across a woman begging on the side of the road with a baby in her arms. "The baby had blue lips and [another player and I] just looked at each other in disbelief. I know how lucky we are here."

The report estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children were dying around the world every day from largely preventable causes. Many of those deaths occurred in west and central Africa, as well as south Asia, and finding ways to help those women and children was a must.

Somalia was rated the worst place in the world for a mother to live, followed by Congo, Mali and Niger.

Save the Children's international head Jasmine Whitbread said "The report once again points out the disheartening disparity between mothers in rich and poor countries."

- NZ Herald

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