Last night I watched a documentary entitled “Pregnant In America.” This eye-opening documentary pointed out many things about maternal, prenatal, and postnatal care in the United States. For example, looking at pure numbers, Sweden is in the top five best countries in the world to have a baby in terms of lowest probability of losing the child during or soon after birth. By comparision, the United States is THIRTY-SIXTH. The numbers for maternal death rate also are pretty ugly. In 2008, Sweden lost 5 per 1,000, whereas the United States lost TWENTY FOUR out of every thousand mothers.
Now, I’m aware of the possibility of the Michael Moore effect, so keep in mind that the sources I used are NOT the same sources used in the documentary. They’re independent facts I found by googling “infant mortality rate” and “maternal mortality rate,” the fact that the numbers I found coincided with the documentary just lends more weight to the information being correct. Still though, I did feel the whole film was slanted towards a particular POV, so I did some additional poking around. I then watched The Business of Being Born, which also touches on some points the other one did not. Most importantly, it gave the medical community a voice as well — it told the story from both sides. Even in doing so, it ultimately just strengthened my desire to ensure that I am in Sweden before I settle down to have my family.
That being said, my most recent Swedish lesson went well. I still don’t know if I got into the foreign exchange program for Lund this Spring yet, but at least I’m able to “sort of” hold a conversation in Swedish now. I can ask questions, ask for clarification, make spontaneous sentences out of my existing vocabulary.. such as the ever-important “Var är toaletten?”