You knew that breastfeeding was beneficial, but did you know that if all women breastfed their babies immediately after birth, the lives of some 830,000 infants a year could be saved? Save the Children released its Superfood for Babies study yesterday, identifying both the benefits of breastfeeding, and the four most significant barriers that prevent women across the globe from being able to nurse their newborns. Here's what you need to know:
Think America is the best place in the world to be a mom? Think again. According to the 2012 State of the World’s Mothers Report from Save the Children, America actually only ranks 25th, up six spots from last year. But shockingly, "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," says Carolyn Miles, Save the Children’s president and CEO.
Of the 165 countries surveyed, the top three spots went to Norway, Iceland, and Sweden, all of which scored high for mother and child health, educational attainment, economic status, and the percentage of women in government roles. The world's worst place to raise children is Niger (eight of the bottom 10 are sub-Saharan African countries). Check out some crazy stats comparing the best and the worst below, and then take our quiz to test your knowledge about how mothers fare across the globe.
- Almost 100 percent of births are attended by skilled health personnel in Norway compared to one-third in Niger.
- The risk of maternal death in Norway is one in 7,600; in Niger, it's one in 16.
- A girl will receive on average 18 years of formal education in Norway and a mere four years in Niger.
Hilary Duff's been one busy mama since welcoming son Luca Cruz to the world 5 weeks ago. The new mama's been sharing family photos with her fans, trying to return to her prepregnancy workouts, and getting back into her daily routine. Now Hilary's about to become even busier as she joins Johnson's Baby and Save the Children for the launch of Johnson's Baby CARES, a new initiative to support the basic needs of families during natural disasters. The actress and recording star took some time to answer our questions about the campaign, as well as her initial thoughts on new motherhood.
LilSugar: What's been the most surprising thing about motherhood so far?
Hilary Duff: How much I fell in love with Luca from the moment I saw him; it's so cool to see your child changing every day.
LilSugar: And the most challenging?
HD: Getting Luca on a schedule that works for both of us, it was tough at first, but he is getting better every day.
LilSugar: Who does lil Luca look like?
HD: A lot like me when I was a baby, but he has his daddy's nose!
LilSugar: How did you come up with Luca's name?
HD: Mike [Comrie, Hilary's husband of a year and a half] and I were just bouncing names off each other and Luca just stuck. We both knew when we heard it — it was unique, but not crazy.
LilSugar: Have you and Mike gone out on a postbaby date yet?
HD: Yes, we've had a few dates since Luca's arrival. At first it was nerve-racking, but the second date went a lot better. It's important for Mom and Dad to have time together.
The devastation is unthinkable, and yet countless children are living through it right now. The catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti this week has left children and families without life's basic necessities. As parents, we try to provide our children with comfort and calm, but in the wake of disaster, there is no norm for the littlest survivors.
Since 1985, Save the Children has worked with Haitian residents to provide emergency relief and assistance to children and families in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. Though their Port-au-Prince offices were damaged, the agency is stepping up its lifesaving efforts by distributing hygiene and family kits to the victims. The kits include soap, towels, toothbrushes, mosquito nets, Jerry cans for water, and the like. The Save the Children volunteers are also working tirelessly to establish shelters that will provide child-friendly spaces for lil ones to play and recover.
Children are the most vulnerable victims of natural disasters, due to the possibility of being separated from their families. Through outreach efforts such as those by Save the Children and the American Red Cross, there is an opportunity to help.
Do you plan to donate time or money to the Haitian relief efforts?
Julianne Moore believes that children are our future and is doing all she can to ensure that they make it. The Academy Award nominated actress serves as a Save the Children artist ambassador and presented the agency's "The Disaster Decade: Lessons Unlearned for the United States" report recently.
According to the text, only seven out of 50 states meet the minimum preparedness standards for protecting children during disasters, which includes effective systems for family reunification and shelters that separate tots from adults to keep them safe from predators. Moore and Save the Children are now lobbying Congress to better prepare for helping children during hurricanes, wildfires, the recession and the like.
The mother of two – Caleb, 11, and Liv, 7 – plans her filming schedules around her offspring and is often seen shuttling them to school. She is an outspoken supporter of the TS Alliance to raise awareness of tuberous sclerosis and has penned two books about life as a redheaded child, Freckleface Strawberry and Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully.
Celeb mama Julianne Moore was on The View raising awareness for the Save the Children's Hopeful Hearts program. The effort is aimed at helping children in poor rural areas of the United States with education, activities, literacy and nutritional programs.
To learn how to participate in the Hopeful Hearts program, read more