In Praise and Search of Midwifery Well-suited to Rural Women

Dr. Rebecca Sutherns, PhD

In order to investigate rural maternity care from the perspective of women, narrative interviews were conducted with 36 mothers and 36 health care workers in three small community case study sites in south central Ontario in 2000. Based on the resulting data, this article suggests numerous ways that living rurally affects maternal health. It goes on to explore ways in which midwifery is particularly well-suited to addressing the needs of women living in rural places and identifies sites of resistance to rural midwifery. The research findings indicate that a commitment to the sustained provision of rural midwifery services is well worth the effort and investment required, and this article discusses implications of such a commitment for both practitioners and policy makers.

perinatal care, rural health, rural health services, rural communities, midwifery, health planning

This article has been peer-reviewed.


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