U.S. Ranked One of the Worst Places in the Developed World to Have Kids

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by keista, Nov 5, 2011.

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  1. keista

    keista New Member

  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'm not surprised. The pre-natal care here is based on getting money for dr and not the mother/child needs. The American public just hasn't caught on yet.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm not surprised, our history and culture has been based in violence and personal greed for its entire existence.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If the US is so bad, why are people dying to come here? Not to get political but if folks dont like it here I think they are free to leave.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Our statistics are bad for good reasons that these types of survey's whatever really don't show.

    Prenatal care........any pregnant female can have prenatal care and there is no reason she should not. Welfare won't turn down a pregnant female. I'm not even sure it's based on income anymore for the prenatal care insurance. That doesn't mean the word is out there that it is available either, although most docs and clinics are pretty darn good about informing their clients.

    But many pregnant females who are addicts won't go for prenatal care, either because they're too absorbed in the addiction to care or they're afraid of getting in trouble, whatever. Which puts both mom and infant at high risk.

    I will agree with them that c sections are done far too often in many cases, yet in my opinion that is far better than waiting too long and losing both the mother and child, which happened often in the past. A mom struggling with addictions is also going to be high risk for post delivery complications as is the infant.

    We have a very high rate of very young teens giving birth. They younger they are the higher the risk, although from what I've seen docs don't stress this anymore.......sort of like they've given up as no one listens to them. I'll never forget when I was preg with easy child, doctor had a 13 yr old come in and he had to talk to her and her mom and explain in full gory detail how dangerous both the pregnancy and birth would be for both her and the infant. Nichole's OB only mentioned the risk because I brought it up, because I knew to bring it up, and I didn't want her going out and making the same mistake twice thinking it was just like an adult giving birth.

    We have a really high obesity rate in this country which puts both mothers and babies at high risk. It increases the risk for pregnancy induced diabetes too, which can be serious for the infant.

    And due to the obesity issue we have a higher diabetes issue going on, which again means high risk pregnancies.

    And......we now do whatever we can to save an infant even if they know it's far too young to survive or too deformed to survive. Live birth = a spot on the infant morality list (I'm not saying that's wrong, just saying it affects it)

    The preschool thing? Really? phht. That one to me is just stupid. If you can't afford preschool there is Head Start. Unless you're an idiot like katie and too lazy to sign your kids up.

    Maternity leave, ok.......that could probably be a lot better. But it probably will never be.

    The problem with these things is that they don't show the whole picture. Odds are we have more pregnant females than the number one country, Norway. Just on numbers alone you're going to have more maternal and infant mortality.

    Our system can use improvements, of course. But naw, don't buy that it's that bad. I've been on both sides of the bed in maternity wards.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    THAT is one thing I had not considered. Nice catch and very true. Even a child that was born dead and immediately, successfully resuscitated, would skew infant mortality up.

    The rest? in my opinion is reflected in the stats.

    Fat country? - problem
    Drug addicted moms? - problem
    Stupid moms not enrolling kids in pre-k? problem.
    Teen pregnancies? - problem

    No, stats don't explain the why of anything. They just show the state of how things are, so we have to ask WHY our stats are so low and find ways to change them.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    But how many of them are coming from what would qualify as a "developed" nation by the survey writers? We're lax, and we're violent, but we still have freedoms that many countries don't. How many people in our jails could in all fairness be considered "political prisoners"? So many places still where just speaking your mind about things could be run better will land you in jail or worse. We have the freedom to speak up and speak out, and for many that is a freedom worth dying to achieve.
    So yeah, we're not the best, but even being last among "developed" nations is better than being first on some lists. It also gives us something to gripe at our government about and the hope that things can and (eventually) will improve. If you're already the best, where's the incentive to do better? :)

    ETA: I forget who said it, but "There's three types of lies: lies, d*** lies, and statistics."
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    My perspective comes from having had a few babies recently in an area where there are tons of babies being born. It tends to amplify both the good and the bad about the pre-natal care system in our country.

    What I have seen are a lot of dr. CYA because of the huge costs of malpractice insurance. A sue happy public that makes that insurance a necessity. C-sections on the convenience of the mother or dr schedules. Outrageous drug prices for life saving drugs. Mothers and babies given drugs and not told the side effects (or told there are no side effects). A hostile attitude towards those with more than a few kids.

    I have also been on the receiving end of the good parts of our system. Pre-natal care for poor people, c-section if needed/emergency, NICU's that saved the lives of difficult child 3 and difficult child 2. Things that can be caught and fixed even before the baby is born. There are wonderful/miraculous things about the USA health system. We still have room to improve and we can learn from other countries.

    And in the back of my mind is the haunting question "what if something I did or took during my pregnancy made my kids autistic?"

    I don't consider myself un-patriotic. I don't plan on moving. And, I don't want to trade our health system for another. I want to change ours to be more mother/child friendly. I think if more mothers would research and think of their options and what happens in other countries the USA system will change for the better.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    These things are usually decided by people from other countries/cultures. I disagree strongly and don't give it much credence. The US is always picked on by other nations.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, one thing that hasn't helped our health care system one bit is giving the insurance co the decision making power to decide how long a patient gets to stay in hospital, for maternity or otherwise.

    Somehow that needs to be fixed. You're paying your insurance to pay up when you need them too (and they're making a hefty profit at it too by the way or they would get out of the business), not for them to decide oh you can't stay that long it cuts into our profit margin or no you can't have this medication or that treatment because it cuts into our profit margin.

    Docs and nurses would like health care to get back to being patient oriented instead of insurance co profit oriented.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I'm going to stand up for the United States. Sorry, guys, but we are MUCH bigger, more culturally diverse, and have far more immigrants (many illegal) than other countries. The very poor can and do get health care. I can not see how we can be compared to a small, one race, socialist country like, say, Sweden...or Norway...or even the UK. If anyone pays attention to the UN, the US is always the bad guy...along with Israel. I don't really care what a bunch of people, who are culturally different from the US, yet not as diverse or as large say about our children's lives. I think our children have marvelous opportunities and get a lot more free help at school than other countries do. I also think we are ahead in the mental health field and I'm tired of US bashing from people in other parts of the world. It's not fair and it's biased. Who can decide what is good for a child? We all have our own opinions.

    Sorry, but I'm tired of it. I would rather live here than (no offense to anyone in France) have our kids live in a culture where a hyperactive child is seen as a "bad" child or a freak and where nobody understands or helps. And where all people are expected to behave the same. We don't have that here. Thank God. We aren't perfect, but we are far more accepting of differences here. Any child can hope to be president one day, right, Mr. Obama? Where else could that happen? I'm happy to be here and proud. Whether or not we like President Obama or dislike him or if he gets in again or not...we alone elected a black president. Where else in the world will a minority be elected? Where else do so many different types of people live together? It's not always perfect, but our kids do have the chance to meet and befriend and marry all sorts of people...moreso than in other places. I consider that a big plus. For those of you thinking, "Must be a conservative" I'm very moderate and voted for Mr. Obama. I worked for him and when he was elected, I cried and my kids were proud.

    Ok, off my soap box, but these kinds of topics make me roll my eyes.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How about some "international" perspective?

    Australia ranked #2.
    Canada, #20.
    US, #31

    # of "developed countries" on that list, 43.

    I hate rankings. I'd far rather see some formally computed score. Just how far apart are the underlying "scores", anyway?
    For example, if they are scoring out of 500, the top 5 or 10 will be close to that, then there will be clusters... and all of the 43 may be better than 450 out of 500... in other words, not that bad on the overall score.

    RANK tells you almost nothing.

    (and my prof thought I never learned anything in stats class...)
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I"m sure I don't speak for everybody here, but most of us ARE American and I"m sure this rubs more than just me the wrong way. What one "expert" considers an asset, another doesn't.

    I'm sorry, I am not sure this is a good post for the board. Most people who think like me won't make a big deal about it, but I know I'm not the only one. And I don't care what some professors think. I'd rather my child grow up here than in some country that is 99% white, where people expect children to behave in one way and in one way only, where many children grow up without religion (and it's considered ok because values don't matter), and I won't go on from there. It can get very insulting when we post these sorts of things. My husband fought for this country. He has lived all over the world. His personal opinion is that this is the best country in existence. His opinion is as valid as some college professor's from Ireland. Or the middle east, where we are hated.

    From reading the article, this is from a socialist point of view. The more the government does for the individuals, the more it is perceived as "good." Somebody who is not socialist would probably think just the opposite...that it is best for people to take care of themselves and foster individualism. I have little to no faith in UNICEF. They have always been anti-American.

    I love our individuality and do not want socialism. We could do better in some areas, but I don't want the government in every aspect of my life.
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, I only posted this because I found it interesting. It wasn't meant to bash or criticize or anything else. I did, however, go back and look at some of the details regarding the statistics on the second link, and found something even more interesting.


    It's a graph showing the reduction of the child mortality rate of 15 countries. The reason these countries are being shown is because these are the countries the US sent aid to, to help mothers and children. So, no, the statistics don't show that not only are we "taking care of our own" but we are also taking care of other countries as well.

    FYI about the pre-school thing. If you read the "Complete Mother's Index", it states that the US was ranked FIFTH of all countries for attendance. That is pretty darn awesome, if you ask me.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Keista... that's why I hate rankings. They really do NOT tell anybody a single solitary useful thing.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm not angry...not exactly. I just get so tired of people from other cultures judging us by THEIR standards and there is just so much US hatred because of our position in the world. I can not see how a huge, multi-cultural country like the US can even be compared to Finland. It's apples and oranges. I wonder how my black kids would fare in a country like that...or if the kids there could handle our cultural differences...I don't know. I'm signing off now. I don't think anyone meant any harm, but I get so darn tired of it. It is much easier to take care of a family if you have only one child to care for than if you have ten. It is the same with the size of a country. It is easy to ensure the well being of a few rather than our vast millions who are all very different. Sometimes it's just plain silly. I just can't sit by anymore, here or anywhere, when some people from other cultures decide we are not as good as them. I have to stick up for my country.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Its a classical problem...
    "... not as good as them..."... at what? The challenge with the US - and in different ways, Canada - is that we cover SO many bases. We might not rank as "the best" in many areas... but so many other countries "aren't even on the map" for the so much of what we do. Can vs. US is different... we cover some bases US doesn't, but US covers more bases than we do. We're neighbors. We KNOW we're different - and we KNOW both sides are complex.

    You're right... comparing the US to Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, even Germany... not realistic.
    Not really realistic, even, to compare US to Canada. (US has way more people... we have as much or more territory, with way less people, which is a very different dynamic)
    Might be reasonable to compare Canada to Australia, as we are more similar in terms of history, population density challenges, and so on... but again, only reasonable to compare "some things". Aus doesn't have to deal with the frozen north, or with having to share a continent with anybody else (small examples) - but I'm sure they have to deal with stuff that doesn't even cross a Canadian's mind!

    In the days before PCs became rampant (back in the days of IBM mainframes being king and Unix mini-computers being "high-risk"), nobody had the time to come up with pages upon pages of useless statistics. The questions asked were much more specific, and the stats were far more relevant. I can run my own stats analysis, thank you. Please just give me your raw data, and I'll see if I reach the same conclusion. (they won't, of course...)
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'd love to get out of this backward country.
  19. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    First, any pregnant female in this country cannot get prenatal care simply because she is pregnant. She has to have private insurance, meet income guidelines for medicaid (yes, there are still guidelines as noted here, for example: ODJFS Online | Ohio Medicaid), or she has to be able to pay out of pocket. It's not one of those things where you can pay the bill later. OB/GYN's require a hefty deposit (read: thousands of dollars) before they will see a pregnant female without insurance. been there done that.

    Second, reflected in the Mother Mortality Rate is the availability of contraceptives. The higher scoring countries also had better contraceptive coverage.

    Third, there is no publicly funded preschool in this country except for Head Start, which has income qualifications. All children cannot be enrolled in preschool unless the family meets the income requirements for Head Start, or they can afford to pay out of pocket.

    Fourth, our maternity leave sucks. Period.

    MWM, this is not another culture "judging" us. Save the Children does this study every year and they are based out of Connecticut. Further, they have worked on every continent, so I think they are qualified to do this study.

    It's the arrogance in this country that makes its people like to believe that we are the best at everything. We're not. Not even close in a lot of areas, including education, income equality for women, women in high ranking corporate positions, infant mortality, health care, etc, etc, etc. As long as we make excuses nothing is going to change, but that's all that is ever done. One excuse after another.
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Contraceptives are readily available in this country. And they're FREE. Walk into any Planned Parenthood clinic or any health dept. You can't force someone to use them. If someone can't get them free for whatever reason, perhaps they need to reconsider having sex.

    Nichole just gave birth. Her husband makes a considerable amt of money a year. No where near the poverty level. Yet his insurance didn't cover her for 6 months, guess who did? The state, they didn't even bat an eye.

    And I gave birth without insurance with Travis, I paid a small deposit done in monthly payments.

    Head start IS for low income families, but those standards are much higher than the poverty levels as well. Now heaven forbid you don't meet that requirement, I'd imagine if you were careful you could budget out enough for preschool for your child. husband and I were on a super tight budget and managed to fund a good preschool for 2 of ours. Even the "expensive" catholic preschool Darrin attended was more than affordable.

    And I won't even get into what opinion I have of Save the Children except to say I wouldn't trust them with my money as far as I could spit.

    Bottom line is that we have choices in this country that others don't. You can't force people to make choices that are "right" in your eyes because they may not be right in theirs for whatever reasons they have. You see, having the right to choose what you do and don't do happens to also give you the right to make poor decisions. We need to also start remembering that there is a heavy responsibility that comes along with those rights and freedoms that we have.
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