This is the first international study of maternal care and maternal mortality. Over the last two hundred years different countries developed quite different systems of maternal care. Death in Childbirth is a meticulously researched analysis, firmly grounded in the available statistics, ofthe evolution of those systems between 1800 and 1950 in Britain, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and continental Europe. Irvine Loudon examines the effectiveness of various forms of maternal care by means of the measurement of maternal mortality - the number of women who died as a result of childbirth. His detailed study answers a number of important questions: What was the relative risk of a home or hospitaldelivery, or a delivery by a midwife as opposed to a doctor? What was the safest country in which to have a baby, and what were the factors which accounted for enormous international differences? Why, against all expectations, did maternal mortality fail to decline significantly until the late1930s? It is an invaluable contribution to medical and social history.