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Norway is another top contender for a great place to have a baby, with excellent medical care, generous maternity leave, and low mortality rates for both mother and child. Norwegian women enjoy medical professionals present at almost all of their births, and there is only a 1 in 175 chance of losing a child before the age of five. Norway’s c-section rate is low, with just 16% of births from 2005 to 2009 delivered via c-section. Norway also enjoys a maternal mortality ratio that’s on par with other developed countries at a rate of 1 in 7,600, as well as an under-5 mortality rate of three. But perhaps the most impressive part of giving birth in Norway is that it’s 100% free, from the first check up to the delivery, due to universal health care in the country. The international organization Save the Children praised Norway for these marks, as well as "one of the most generous maternity leave policies in the developed world," a full year of paid leave for parents to spend with their infant. Norway’s clear advantage in these departments earned them number 1 in their 2011 Top Ten Places to Be a Mother report.
Contributed by Benjamin Swai