05/08/2012 04:17 EDT | Updated 05/09/2012 04:22 EDT

Best Country To Be A Mother: Canada Ranks 19th In Study


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:

Best And Worst Places To Be A Mom