A new report uncovers the best place in the world to be a mother. And it's not Canada.

Save The Children's State of the World's Mothers report ranked mothers' well-being in 165 countries based on male-to-female income ratios, maternity leave benefits, educational enrolment, female life expectancy, risk of maternal death, and women's participation in government.

Where did Canada fall? (Drumroll, please.) Nineteenth out of the world's 43 most developed countries, a notch up from last year's study, the Toronto Sun points out.

So why did a country like Canada rank in the middle of the pack of developed countries?

For one thing, 15 per cent of children or less have six months of exclusive breastfeeding, the study notes, possibly because of a lack of support, demanding schedules or -- most notably -- a lack of stated rights to nursing breaks at work (paid or unpaid). Although the report notes that developed countries don't rely on breastfeeding as heavily as other nations, "breastfeeding has many benefits for mothers and babies, and more can be done to support mothers who want to breastfeed."

Canada's new higher spot, on the other hand, owed much to its 52-week maternity leave benefits, as well as the inclusion of paternal leave in that plan. The increased percentage of women in the national government also helped the ranking.

To see where Canada ranks compared to other countries from around the world -- and which nation snagged the top spot -- click through the slideshow below:

Loading Slideshow...
  • #42-3: Niger

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: A typical girl only receives four years of education and her life expectancy is 56 years -- one in seven children die before their fifth birthdays.

  • #41-3: Afghanistan

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of biggest concern</b>: Malnutrition, which can lead to stunted growth, and a lack of development in breastfeeding.

  • #40-3: Yemen

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: Yemen has a child stunting rate of 60 per cent, along with Afghanistan, Burundi and Timor-Lest.

  • 30-3: Sierra Leone

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: The average woman in Sierra Leone won't reach 50, while a Japanese woman will likely live into her late 80s.

  • #10-3: Mozambique

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern and accomplishment</b>: While only 12 per cent of women use modern birth control and 47 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water, the national government is composed of 39 per cent women.

  • #1-3: Rwanda

    <b>Tier</b>: III, Least Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: Women hold over half the seats in parliament.

  • #80-2: Nigeria

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: One in 23 women are at risk of maternal death, and only eight per cent use modern forms of contraception.

  • #68-2: Guatemala

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Only half of all births are attended by skilled professionals, but the life expectancy for females at birth is still high, at 75 years.

  • #58-2: Botswana

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of biggest concern</b>: Under-5 feeding, and longevity of life -- a girl born today in Botswana isn't expected to live past 50.

  • #33-2: South Africa

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: Relative to the country's wealth, South Africa under-performs on child nutrition.

  • #12-2: Brazil

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Doing better with child nutrition than national wealth would suggest, and huge leaps in breastfeeding.

  • #8-2: Mongolia

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of concern and accomplishment</b>: An incredible 100 per cent of births in Mongolia are attended by skilled health workers, and "Sprinkles" -- micronutrient powders that contain vitamins and minerals -- are being distributed widely to combat children's malnutrition.

  • #1-2: Cuba

    <b>Tier</b>: II, Less Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: 100 per cent of births are attended by a skilled professional, and women are expected to receive 17 years of formal education.

  • #30-1: Japan

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Japan has the highest life expectancy on the list at 87.

  • #26-1: Czech Republic

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: The country's breastfeeding policy is rated as "good," and the under-5 mortality rate is 4 in 1,000 live births, a number that surpasses many other countries, including Canada and Hungary.

  • #25-1: United States

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of concern</b>: Fewer than two per cent of low-income mothers who planned to breastfeed were able to meet their goals, suggesting they needed extra support from health care professionals.

  • #19-1: Canada

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas that remain a concern</b>: Breastfeeding is still only at 15 per cent, and women do not have explicit rights to nursing breaks.

  • #18-1: Switzerland

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment and concern</b>: Switzerland provides women the right to nursing breaks, but doesn't guarantee pay.

  • #14-1: France

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: France has one of the highest life expectancies at birth of 85, and nearly all children in France go from preschool all the way to high school.

  • #10-1: United Kingdom

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Only one per cent of children in the UK are exclusively breastfed until they're six months of age.

  • #9-1: Ireland

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Ireland has the second lowest rate of maternal deaths for the counties listed, at 1 in 17,800 -- only Greece is higher at 1 in 31,800.

  • #4-1: New Zealand

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment and concern</b>: In addition to their top score on education at 20 years, laws in New Zealand give women the right to take nursing breaks -- but unfortunately, without pay.

  • #3-1: Sweden

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Area of accomplishment</b>: Sweden boasts a high percentage of births in baby-friendly hospitals.

  • #2-1: Iceland

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: Iceland boasts the highest number of years in formal education, tying with Australia and New Zealand at 20. As well, 40 per cent of seats in national government are held by women.

  • #1-1: Norway

    <b>Tier</b>: I, More Developed Countries<br> <b>Areas of accomplishment</b>: Norway has the most generous maternal leave policy in the world, with 36 off work with 100 per cent of pay, or 46 weeks off at 80 per cent of pay. The law also allows for up to 12 months of additional child care.