Person and place in perinatal outcomes: how the interaction between rural residence and Aboriginal heritage alters birth outcomes
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The provision of intrapartum health care in rural and remote Canadian communities is declining, due to a shortage of family physicians, obstetricians, nurses and midwives, and due to the centralization of such services to larger communities. A cascade of negative consequences for mother, child and community ensues when pregnant women travel to the hospitals of larger communities to give birth. Women stratified as “low-risk” for a complicated delivery stand to avoid a great deal of these consequences if they are able to deliver in their home communities. The purpose of this study is to retrospectively ascertain the number of women over a two-year period who qualified as “low-risk” in a remote Manitoban First Nations community, Norway House. To achieve this, a retrospective chart audit of antenatal records of parturient women seen for prenatal care in Norway House and subsequently referred to Winnipeg or Thompson for labour and delivery is performed. By gathering this data, which we expect will demonstrate the feasibility of providing safe birth care in the community, we hope to support the implementation of policies that return birth to rural communities.