Financial analysis website WalletHub.com has named Louisiana as the fourth worst state to have a baby.

 The only states to rank lower than Louisiana were South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. 

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke about what specifically made Louisiana rank so poorly on the list. She stated that one of Louisiana’s biggest concerns, as it relates to the list, is healthcare for mothers and babies.

"Some of the reasons Louisiana ranked so low are related to healthcare. For example, the state has some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country, as well as the second-highest low birth weight ratio, almost 11%, and the highest rate of preterm births, almost 18%. These are all consequences of the state having some of the fewest midwives, obstetrician-gynecologists, pediatricians and family doctors per capita,” Gonzalez said.

She went on to explain how few children in Louisiana received proper screenings.

“Another issue in Louisiana is that just 23% of children aged 9-35 months received developmental screening using a parent completed screening tool, and this is one of the lowest percentages nationwide,” Gonzalez said.

She also noted that Louisiana has no nationally accredited childcare centers. The lack of appropriate childcare options can place children in an unsafe environment, and can also be a burden on families that rely on both parents having a job.

While Louisiana may fall short in some areas, the state does well in others. Gonzalez noted that Louisiana has the lowest cost for having a baby and that the childcare that is available is more affordable in Louisiana than in other states. 

“Actually, Louisiana has the lowest costs to have a baby overall. The state has adopted Medicaid Expansion, which helps cover a big part of birthing costs. It also has some of the lowest costs for babysitters, nannies and newborn screenings," Gonzalez said.

Although Louisiana ranked low on the list, Gonzalez noted that there are solutions to help improve the quality of care for mothers and their babies in the state. She offered some advice as to what lawmakers and state leaders can do to make the necessary changes.

"Investing in childcare centers is one of the most important things authorities can do to ensure Louisiana's mothers and babies are well cared for,” Gonzalez said. “Along the same lines, drawing more healthcare professionals to the state through different incentives should also be one of their priorities."

To view the complete list log on to www.wallethub.com.