Report: Stagnating Infant Mortality Rate Connected to Poor Health of Pregnant Mothers

June 16, 2008
by Annie Johnson
Congressional Quarterly

A slowing of the decline of national infant mortality rates since 2000 can be linked to the poor health among American women, according to a recent report. Strides in infant health have stagnated because of the deteriorating health of mothers who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, according to a report released Wednesday by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) titled Healthy Women, Healthy Babies. The report found that about 30 percent of women who give birth have some form of pregnancy complication. “In the wake of all the great medical breakthroughs over the last 40 years, one would assume that infant mortality rates would plummet. Instead, medical progress has been cancelled out in the delivery room by the deteriorating health of childbearing-aged women and their lack of health care access; and infant mortality rates have stalled as a result,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, in a press release.