Save your babies!
(1 in 8 babies will die before 1 year)
Mothers! Give smart care, snatch it out of his hands.
Surprisingly, unlike many other countries directly affected by WWI, France did not experience a significant uptick in infant, childhood, or maternal mortality during the later years of the war. Though they lost many more young men than most countries, and the fertility rate (babies per fertile woman) dropped as a consequence, the survival of the babies that were born actually increased. In other countries, such as Spain and Italy, food shortages and oppressive regimes ended up creating a situation where their childhood mortality increased nearly 150% by the last year of the war.
However, a 1 in 8 (12.5%) mortality rate is still abysmal, compared to today’s standards. Cholera, viral diarrhea, typhoid, measles, scarlet fever, and all manner of other infectious diseases were still prevalent in Europe. By 1950, the infant mortality rate had decreased to 52 out of 1000 babies (0.05%), and by 1993, the rate had fallen all the way to 6 out of 1000 babies.
Chromolithograph for the Red Cross by Alice Dick Dumas, 1918. Now part of the Wellcome Archives in London.