Rural Maternity Services: “We’re just not paying enough attention to them”



The CRHR has long been passionate about providing evidence to support needs-based planning for rural maternity care. This issue has recently caught the attention of the media, as well. Recently, our very own Dr. Jude Kornelsen was featured in a CBC investigation into the lack of birthing opportunities for women in rural communities:

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Since 2000, more than 20 communities have lost maternity care services in BC. While Dr. Kornelsen notes that nobody is intentionally shutting down these services, she suggests “we’re simply not paying enough attention to them.” Many rural women are required to travel long distances to birth in communities away from their families and support systems. The cost of traveling to birth in another community is not only financial, but has implications on health and well-being. Traveling long distances to birth has been correlated with higher infant mortality rates, higher rates of preterm birth, and lower birth weight.

Link to CBC article: Pregnant women in rural B.C. urged to leave town to deliver

Here at the CRHR, the Building Blocks Project has been busy working to better understand how we can support local birthing in rural communities on Northern Vancouver Island by working alongside health care providers, community members, and health authorities to create safe and sustainable solutions for women and their families in BC. To learn more, check out our video Where was I born Mama? and follow along with our blog posts.

** link these to specific pages below

(1) The North Island Project

(2) CRHR Documentary: Where Was I Born Mama?

(3) The North Island Project: Updates From the Field