Subscribe for 99¢

Joe Holleman is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sextuplets parents prepare for homecoming soon

Friday May 21, 2004--RN Shannon Miller soothes Tyler Otten, one of the Otten Sextuplets, in the maternity ward at St. John's Mercy Medical Center on Friday. The Otten's showed off their babies to local media on Friday at the hospital. Photo By David Carson/PD

Should any of you Missourians out there be in a pregnant state, you may not be in the best of states.

Missouri could manage only a No. 34 ranking when it came to the "Best & Worst States to Have a Baby" list from personal-finance website WalletHub.

The Show Me Sector ranked behind neighboring states Nebraska (15), Iowa (16), Illinois (23), Kentucky (31) and Kansas (32). Border states faring worse than Missouri were: Tennessee (37), Arkansas (44) and Oklahoma (46).

Missouri had only one top-half finish in the four categories judged by WalletHub.

Our worst performance, No. 43, was in the area of "baby-friendliness," which looked at parental-leave policies; number of mom groups and child-care centers; and Medicaid-covered parenting programs.

We clocked in at No. 39 in "health care," which focused on infant and maternal mortality rates; birth weights; pre-term births; food security for babies; and vaccinations.

When it comes to the "cost" of having a baby, Missouri was No. 30, based on hospital delivery charges; cost of babysitter/nanny and child care; health-insurance premiums; and newborn screening prices.

Our best placement, and the only one in which we placed in the top half of all states, was when it comes to "family friendliness." We were No. 22 in the category that took into account the cost of raising children past infanthood.

The best state in the U.S was Vermont; the worst, Mississippi. 

Joe's St. Louis e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.