According to the UN's Human Development Index, Norway is the best place to live on the planet. It certainly seems to be one of the best places to be a baby. In contrast to most European countries, the Norwegian birth rate is a healthy 1.9. Norway's reputation as a child friendly society is partially founded on a succession of government initiatives to improve parents' rights and economic circumstances. Maternity leave is 42 weeks with full pay, and paternity leave 4 weeks. There is financial support for those who choose to look after their children rather than return to the workplace. And the baby industry is booming, giving birth to a plethora of new activities: baby-massage, baby-cinema, baby 'n' book days at the library, even baby-au-lait, a term for breastfeeding-friendly cafes.
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