For their study, Save the Children compared 165 countries around the world to determine which ones were the best and worst places to to be a mother. They analyzed certain components to come to their conclusions, such as education, economic status, mother's health, children's health and nutrition.
Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children commented:
"While the U.S has moved up in the rankings, ahead of last year's 31st place, we still fall below most wealthy nations. A woman in the US is more than 7 times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause in her lifetime than a woman in Italy or Ireland. When it comes to the number of children enrolled in preschools or the political status of women, the United States also places in the bottom 10 countries of the developed world."
The State of the World's Mothers Report says that nutrition is one of the main reasons why mothers and children are either better or worse off in a certain country. They say that more than one fifth of maternal mortality and more than one third of child mortality is a result of malnutrition.
Norway is the best place to be a mother, Afghanistan is the worst
Of the 10 countries which are found at the bottom of this year's list by Save the Children, 7 are in the middle of a food crisis, and 4 have experienced an increase in "stunting", which is described as a child's mental and physical growth permanently stopping.
Niger, in last place on the list, is going through a severe hunger problem, which as a result, is putting millions of children's lives at stake.
In the report, researchers say that these ongoing problems may be due to a repetitive cycle, one which involves "stunted" mothers continuing to have babies who are underweight and malnourished before birth. This is usually due to the mother's lack of education, poor work conditions and bad health, which then results in lack-luster care towards the child.
According to Save the Children, 20% of women in sub-Saharan Africa, and 35% of women in South Asia are malnourished and too thin.
To break the cycle of malnutrition amongst babies and mothers, the report suggests focusing on the first 1000 days - beginning from pregnancy.
"The 2012 State of the World's Mothers report shows clearly that this crisis os chronic malnutrition has devastating effects on both mothers and their children. We urgently need global leadership on the malnutrition issue, so that policies and programs are put in place to ensure the health and survival of mothers and their babies."
In two weeks, G8 leaders will come together at Camp David, where president Obama will be focusing on agriculture and food, and Save the Children and The World's Mothers report believes more focus on nutrition is necessary to end this global crisis.
Save the Children also says that the small task of urging mothers to breastfeed could be responsible for saving 1 million children's lives each year. However, the 2012 State of the World's Mothers report states that not even 40% of all babies in developed nations actually get full benefits from breastfeeding. They say this is because of certain nations not having access to informative programs which help mothers to exclusively breastfeed.
"Our research shows that a mother's breast milk - one single nutrition intervention - can save a million children's lives each year. All mothers should have the support they need to choose to breastfeed if they want to. Breastfeeding is good for babies no matter where they live, but in developing countries, especially those without access to clean water, breastfeeding can be a matter of life or death."
- The G8 nations deliver bold commitments to tackle the global hidden crisis of chronic malnutrition that is blighting the lives of millions of mothers and children.
- All health authorities and governments make fighting malnutrition a priority, setting targets for their own countries and around the world.
- Low- and middle-income country governments should scale up nutrition programs around the first 1000 days, from a mother's pregnancy to the child's second birthday.
- The governments of developing countries must commit and fund national nutrition plans of action - including breastfeeding - that are aligned with plans for maternal and child health.
- Countries that donate resources should continue to keep their commitments to deliver their international assistance budgets, so that governments can continue to invest in global health and development, including nutrition.