Giving Compass' Take:
- Heather Close reports that women in rural communities are more likely to live farther away from delivery hospitals, resulting in adverse outcomes.
- What role can you play in supporting rural maternal healthcare?
- Learn what abortion bans mean for rural areas.
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Wyoming is one of many states where women and families are finding obstetric care harder to find. "More than 15% of Wyoming women had no birthing hospital within 30 minutes of home in 2022, compared to 9.7% of women nationally, a report by the March of Dimes shows," Katie Klingsporn of WyoFile reports. "Such distance from care comes with real risks. Women who live farther from delivery hospitals are more likely to experience adverse medical outcomes. . . . In rural areas of Wyoming, 22.4% of women live over 30 minutes from a birthing hospital compared to 5.2% of women living in urban areas, according to the March of Dimes."
Nestled in west central Wyoming, Fremont County is "not unique, but with one obstetric practice, one midwife and one birthing hospital serving the general population of Fremont County — a New Hampshire-sized area that's home to nearly 40,000 people — the situation here offers a window into the challenges, and consequences, of limited maternal health services," Klingsporn writes. And while Fremont County has a 24/7 delivery center in SageWest Hospital in Lander, women who labor and deliver there will most likely be treated by a traveling doctor, who is also a stranger.
Read the full article about OB-GYN deserts by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.