The level of maternity care available to the women of rural areas is sorely lacking. It is high time that a look is taken and changes brought about in the field. In this short piece, we recommend some of the modification maternity services should get:
• A rural hospital/centre that lacks a maternity ward should have trained staff who can deal with emergency births or unexpected outcomes. Both will ensure that the health of the baby and the mom are never endangered.
• The health care system should have a design that puts maternity services within acceptable and comfortable travel distance for all rural women. This is essential for safety.
• Every area should have appropriately trained:
o GP Obstetricians
o Nurses who are skilled in multiple segments
• To ensure that healthcare providers have the required training and practice, doctors and nurses in rural parts who do not see a lot of deliveries should be given a chance to work in bigger hospitals. It will make sure that their skills remain up to date.
• A last change that is much needed in rural maternity care is awareness. Every worker in the sector must collaborate with others to educate women and inform them about the services that can be used. By building awareness, they win half the fight.
· Why The Need For These Changes?
There is no doubt that the field of maternity needs a paradigm shift in rural areas. The question is why is it required. The answer lies with a few studies done in various countries. All reviews came up with one result – women did not prefer to have a homebirth because it increases the risk to the baby and reduces safety. Here are some conclusions from a few of the studies:
o A review from Australia showed that women did not want to have a home birth because rural sections were too remote.
o Research from England showed that for first-time mothers giving birth at home amplified risk to the infant.
These conclusions prove that alternatives to home births are needed. In the absence of proper hospitals and clinics, birth centres and trained midwives would be the best possible solution. Both of them are safer options because they provide needed medical care and will be easily accessible to a rural woman.