The enormous gap in infant survival between blacks and whites is one of the greatest and most long-standing tragedies confronting the United States. It is a major contributing factor to the overall infant mortality rate.

The United States ranks 17th in infant mortality, well behind a host of other nations that make widespread use of midwifery services. The problem of low birth weight is at the heart of the infant mortality problem throughout the United States. The knowledge and technology is there but a national commitment is lacking. In fact, major federal programs that subsidize prenatal and perinantal health services have recently been severely cut back.

The record clearly demonstrates that midwifery can help reduce the problem of low birth weight and infant mortality.