• Melisa M. AdamsEmail author

At the beginning of the twentieth century, women of childbearing age and infants were at a substantial risk of death. In the United States, nearly 1% of women of childbearing age died of pregnancy-related complications and 10% of their babies never celebrated their first birthdays (1, 2, 3). During the past century, reductions in maternal and infant mortality were unparalleled historically. The maternal mortality ratio decreased to 15.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 (4). The infant mortality rate declined more than 90% from 1915 through 2005, decreasing to 6.9 per 1,000 live births.

Improved access to health care, environmental health and sanitation, as well as public health surveillance, increasing levels of education, and other advances contributed to the healthier mothers and babies. Improvements in living and environmental conditions in urban areas were a primary focus in efforts to reduce infant mortality. Milk pasteurization contributed to the reduction in milk-borne...


Infant Mortality Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Maternal Mortality Maternal Death Public Health Practitioner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AtlantaUSA

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