FLORENCE, Ala. (WAAY) - What's the best state to have a baby? Wallethub.com says, it's not Alabama. In fact, it rates Alabama the worst state in the country to have a baby.
Wallethub ranked Alabama with the highest infant mortality rate, which is one factor in naming Alabama the worst state to have a Baby. Many experts say those numbers, are misleading.
Dr. Karen landers, a pediatric consultant with the Alabama Department of Public Health says, "The infant mortality rate was 8.6 per one thousand births in Alabama and thats actually the lowest we've ever been."
While Alabama made strides in lowering infant mortality rates its still high compared to the national average.
"I think another big issue in Alabama is the concern of substance abuse during pregnancy," said Dr. Landers.
Alabama also ranked 45th in the number of child centers available in the report according to Wallethub.
"Largely this state is rural so people have to drive to get access to quality medical care," said Dr. Landers.
There is a bit of good news in the study, Alabama ranked 3rd for annual infant care costs which means your child's medical expenses are cheaper here.
"We have some excellent pediatricians and all of us are committed to improving the infant mortality rate and also long term pediatric care for children in Alabama," said Dr. Landers.
Dr. Landers says the report by Wallethub overlooked the good things.
"It was largely an economic study and certainly didn't look at the other factors in Alabama," Dr. Landers said.
Dr. Landers has a message for expecting mothers in Alabama.
"Have confidence in your Obgyn and Pediatrician. Talk to them about the level of care we have in our area and any concerns you might have," said Dr. Landers.
Wallethub says the best state to have a baby, is Vermont. You can take a look at the report by Wallethub by following this link http://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-to-have-a-baby/6513/