IMPACT
05/07/2013 09:03 am ET Updated May 08, 2013

State Of The World's Mothers Report 2013: Finland Best, Congo Worst

Save the Children released its 14th annual State of the World's Mothers (SOTWM) report: 'Surviving the First Day.'

This year's edition focuses on the staggering number of newborn deaths that occur in a baby's earliest days -- and the opportunity to reduce this universal tragedy.

The SOTWM report is released each year around Mother's Day to provide a global status report of maternal and infant health worldwide. It includes data on women's health, children's health and economic wellbeing for 176 countries.

On the Mother's Index -- the global ranking system for maternal and infant health -- Finland, Sweden and Norway top the list, while Sierra Leone, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo bring up the rear. The United States fell from number 25 to number 30 in 2013 and is also the country in which more than half of all first-day deaths in the industrialized world occur.

The focus of this year's edition is highlighted by a breathtaking statistic: More than one million babies around the world die on the day they are born each year. Nearly 3 million die within the first month.

Even more heartbreaking is the fact that many of those deaths can be prevented by the implementation of simple and straightforward health practices. Save the Children calculates that up to 75 percent of newborn deaths are preventable with basic care -- a basic antiseptic for cleansing the umbilical cord to prevent infection, for example, or antenatal steroids to help premature babies breathe, and "kangaroo mother care" which keeps newborns warm, encourages breastfeeding and shields them from disease.

The video above features mothers from around the world talking about the experience of seeing their newborns for the first time.

Below, you can read the report in its entirety, along with an infographic that highlights salient statistics:

stateoftheworldsmothersinfographic

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