Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ask an OB: Rural Maternity Care

"Ask an OB" is our blog series with Dr. Maude "Molly" Gurein, MC, FACOG.  If you have a question you'd like to ask her, please share it with us here

Midwives like to talk about how they serve the rural population of MI, those folks that are 200 miles from the nearest hospital.  Is this an issue that OBs are discussing?  Is there a shortage of OB access for rural MI?  If so, what are some potential solutions that are safe? 

Yes there is a shortage, the causes and solutions are complex. Until we change the whole structure of how we provide medical care in our country, this will remain an issue. Are untrained providers, with no access to immediate emergency care “better than nothing”? That’s a tough one. 

I wonder what our readers think about this...


  1. If these untrained or undertrained providers were aware of and accepted their limits, then yes, they would be better than nothing. But these are not. They are willfully ignorant and consistently deceive the women they serve that they face no risk and that their lack of skill is actually an advantage.

  2. I don't understand on what planet is OOH birth with a midwife safe when there is no OB unit for hundreds of miles around. No. Just stupid. Maybe a small birth center in a hospital staffed by CNMs and family practice docs with a surgeon and CRNA on call. With a rehab unit.... to keep the lights on...maybe that would be cost-effective. But homebirth alone, and no back up facility for miles. It's just plain dumb. Stupid. Reckless. Insane.