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Evidence of Abundance #2: Maternal and Infant Mortality

07/02/2014 01:07 pm ET | Updated Sep 01, 2014
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A hundred years ago, child birth was risky and infant mortality rates were horrific.

How would you feel if 30 percent of infants died? Or if 900 expectant mothers out of every 100,000 died giving birth?

But thanks to technology, the reality today is far different.

Today's Evidence of Abundance is perhaps the most important topic I could offer.

***Evidence of Abundance: Maternal & Infant Mortality***


This week's topic is very personal to all of us. It's the life and health of your mother, your wife, your children.

Giving birth today is a happy occasion, but for centuries and millennia, it was a risky endeavor. Let's look at the data.

If we look back over the last 100 years, a mother's chances of dying in childbirth were as high as 900 deaths per 100,000 births.

As sanitation and modern medicine have improved, those mortality rates have plummeted. Today, a pregnant woman expects that she'll give birth and live through it.

Let's look at infant mortality next. I divide this into two parts: (i) infant mortality at birth; and, (ii) having your child living past the age of 5.

This graph shows the death rate per 1,000 live births in the world, starting in 1900 through today. In 1900, the average infant death rate was 18 percent... and in some parts of the world, this death rate is as much as one-third.

Imagine having one out of three infants dying?

We see another precipitous drop when we look at children who die before the age of 5. Through improvements in technology, medicine, and even reduction in local conflicts, we're now able to keep children alive into adulthood -- feed them, take care of them, protect them -- and this is changing the world.

As we create this world of abundance, we're able to build tight family bonds as mothers and children both live longer, better lives.

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