This report is the first of a series dealing with an investigation of the physical conditions surrounding maternity and infancy in the city of Berkeley, Calif. The study was started in October, 1927, at which time I was assistant professor of child hygiene in the University of California, and is still being carried on in cooperation with the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of California.
The relatively low maternal and infant mortality prevailing in Berkeley suggested at the outset the desirability of attempting to evaluate the complex social, economic and public health factors contributing to this favorable situation. The intimate problems involved have therefore been approached from the standpoint of why so many mothers and babies live and thrive in Berkeley rather than from that of maternal and infant mortality rates. So few mothers and babies die each year as to impair the reliability of any exact statistical