A recent global survey has found that India is not exactly the best place for mothers.
According to the State of the World's Mothers report, published by an American humanitarian organization Save the Children, India is ranked a miserable 66th among 71 less developed countries, only slightly better than countries like Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.
The survey that documents the poor state of India's institutional deliveries observes that one out of 70 women in India face a risk of dying during childbirth. Comparatively, a woman's lifetime risk of maternity-related deaths is one in 26 in Africa; it is one in 120 women in Asia, one in 290 women in Latin America and one in 7,300 women in developed countries.
The survey also highlights that skilled health personnel did not attend 53 per cent of births in India and that only 43% Indian women were using modern contraceptives.
The report says, "When mothers die, their children are 3-10 times more likely to die. Every year, four million newborn babies die in the first month mostly from preventive causes. The majority of these deaths occur in settings where there is also a high rate of maternal mortality."
"When mothers are poor, uneducated and unable to access healthcare, the risks to themselves and their children multiply. Poor women often do not get adequate care during pregnancy and childbirth. Women who become pregnant in developing countries face a risk of maternal death 6-600 times higher (than) that (of) women in developed countries," adds the report.
The survey criteria included "percentage of women using modern contraception, female life expectancy, expected number of years of formal schooling for females, maternity leave benefits and participation of women in national government."
According to the report Sweden, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark are the best places to be a mother while Niger, Chad and Yemen are the worst places in the world to be a mother.