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New Mexico Is 9th Worst State To Have A Baby

New Mexico Is 9th Worst State To Have A Baby

State Scores 34 In Parental-Leave Policy Score

According to the International Federation of Health Plans, Americans pay the highest birthing costs in the world. Without maternity health coverage, including Medicaid, you can expect those prices to double or even triple.

Birthing costs, however, can vary significantly from state to state, considering the wide disparities in cost of living. The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2017’s Best and Worst States to Have a Baby, ranking New Mexico as the ninth worst.

To determine the most ideal places for parents and their newborns, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 20 key measures of cost, health care accessibility and baby-friendliness. The data set ranges from hospital conventional-delivery charges to annual average infant-care costs to pediatricians per capita.

New Mexico scored 21 in “baby friendliness” and 51 in “family friendliness”, based on its parental-leave policy score, mom groups and child-care centers per capita and share of nationally accredited child-care centers. The state ranked 34th in its parental-leave policy score and 23rd in its child-care centers per capita.

In terms of health care costs, New Mexico received its best score (11). The state ranked 21st in hospital cesarean-delivery charges. Other metrics were the average annual costs of early child care, average health insurance premiums and hospital conventional-delivery charges.

New Mexico’s health care score of 39 was heavily determined by the state having the 39th worst low birth-weight. The state also had the 41st worst share of pediatricians and family doctors per capita. Other determining factors were infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, rate of preterm births, share of vaccinated children and the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care survey score.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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