Maternity care harder to come by in rural areas of Wisconsin

Women who live in rural parts of Wisconsin are having a harder time accessing maternity care.

The American Medical Association says 20 of the state’s 72 counties don’t have an OBGYN.

For some women, that means traveling long distances to get to a hospital. And a few others have even had to give birth in their cars.

Mayo Clinic Health System says they have many family medicine doctors who are able to provide some OBGYN care in rural areas as well.

They also say they’re taking proactive steps as these women get close to their due dates.

“If somebody lives a distance away, we also try to make arrangements for them to be electively induced if we had to, just because that would limit the possibility of them going into labor and having a difficult time coming up to the nearest hospital,” said the chair of Mayo Clinic Health System’s OBGYN Dept. Dr. Costa Sousou.

Mayo also recently started what they called OB Nest. It allows women who live in rural areas to have some of their visits remotely.

Patients are allowed to check their blood pressure and their baby’s heartbeat and share that with their OB provider.

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