In Brief

The 29 countries where giving birth is safer than in the UK

British mothers six times as likely to die in childbirth or pregnancy as women in Belarus, says charity

Mothers in the UK are more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than those in 29 other countries around the world, including Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.

Women in Britain face a one in 6,900 risk of maternal death over their lifetime, meaning they are more than six times as likely to die as women in Belarus, which had the lowest maternal death rate of one in 45,200.

"Obesity, IVF, social deprivation, multiple pregnancies as well as increased maternal age and poorer access to healthcare, especially in some ethnic minority communities and among asylum seekers, are linked with high-risk pregnancies in the UK," says The Guardian.

The statistics come from Save the Children, which has produced its 2015 report on the State of the World's Mothers.

The overall index takes into account mortality rates for children, the number of years children are in formal schooling, the country's gross national income per capita and the number of seats held by women in national government.

Overall, the UK came 24th in the rankings, failing to make it into the top 20. At 33rd place overall, the US was even further behind. With a one in 1,800 lifetime risk of maternal death, it also had the worst performance of any developed country in the world.

The worst three countries for mothers were named as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.

Norway, Finland and Iceland were in first, second and third place respectively. All three had a much higher percentage of women in government than the UK, which has 23.5 per cent, less than the average for industrialised countries. Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda were also among the countries with more women in government than the UK.

Click the image below to see the top 30.

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