Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Maternal Health – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Maternal Health.

Rural–Urban Disparities in Adverse Maternal Outcomes in the United States, 2016–2019
Analyzes maternal mortality and admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) in rural and urban areas in the U.S. between 2016 and 2019. Utilizes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) to examine rural versus urban maternal health disparities.
Author(s): Katharine A. Harrington, Natalie A. Cameron, Kasen Culler, William A. Grobman, Sadiya S. Khan
Citation: American Journal of Public Health, 113(2)
Date: 01/2023
Type: Document
view details
Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Rural Obstetric Training for Family Physicians
Reports findings from a mixed-methods study on the availability and characteristics of obstetric (OB) training in rural family medicine residency programs, as well as the barriers to and facilitators of rural OB training.
Author(s): Erin Fredrickson, David V. Evans, Sara Woolcock, et al.
Citation: Family Medicine, 55(6), 381-388
Date: 2023
Type: Document
view details
Closure of Labor & Delivery Units in Rural Counties Is Associated with Reduced Adequacy of Prenatal Care, Even When Prenatal Care Remains Available
Examines adequacy of prenatal care following the closure of labor and delivery units in rural Iowa counties using birth certificate information from 47 rural counties between 2017 and 2019. Compares rural counties with a closure to those without a closure. Examines the difference in impact for Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients, age, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, and more.
Author(s): Stephanie M. Radke, Laurel Smiens, Kelly K. Ryckman, Thomas S. Gruca
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 39(4), 746-755
Date: 2023
Type: Document
view details
Exploring Remaining Needs and Opportunities for Improvement in Rural Communities: A Focus on Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Services
Provides an overview of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. Presents findings from interviews with rural human services providers across 8 sites with MIECHV-funded programs. Describes the experiences of rural practitioners as they deliver home visiting services in their communities. Offers lessons learned and practitioner recommendations to help inform policy and service delivery moving forward.
Author(s): Emily Brimsek, James Murdoch, Neel Chakraborti
Date: 12/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: 2M Research, Administration for Children and Families
view details
"It Was Just Really Hard to Be Pregnant in a Smaller Town …": Pregnant and Parenting Teenagers' Perspectives of Social Support in Their Rural Communities
Examines the levels of support available for pregnant and parenting teenagers in rural communities. Provides information from 26 interviews with current and former pregnant/parenting teenagers who report on the availability of emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal social supports.
Author(s): Lauren Baney, Alison Greene, Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin, et al.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(24), 16906
Date: 12/2022
Type: Document
view details
A Comparison of Evidence-Based Supports for Maternal and Infant Health in 133 Rural US Counties with and without Hospital-Based Obstetric Care
An infographic that provides information on available maternal and infant supports in rural areas. Includes data from 133 surveyed hospital administrators regarding access to breastfeeding groups, doula care, childbirth education classes, and more.
Author(s): Phoebe L. Chastain, Mariana S. Tuttle, Alyssa H. Fritz, Bridget Basile Ibrahim, Katy B. Kozhimannil
Date: 12/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
view details
Doula Care and Maternal Health: An Evidence Review
Examines the role of doula care in maternal health as well as impacts, challenges, access, disparities, reimbursement, and policy efforts related to maternity/doula care. Includes a county-level U.S. map of maternity care deserts and discussion of rural-specific maternity programs.
Author(s): Kathleen Knocke, Andre Chappel, Sarah Sugar, Nancy De Lew, Benjamin D. Sommers
Date: 12/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
view details
Racial Disparities in Maternal and Infant Health: Current Status and Efforts to Address Them
Issue brief examining racial disparities in access to maternal and infant healthcare, noting disparities in rural communities. Presents data from various sources on birth risks and outcomes, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, and other maternal health topics by race/ethnicity, including American Indian and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations.
Author(s): Latoya Hill, Samantha Artiga, Usha Ranji
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: KFF
view details
Rural Health Research Recap: Maternal Health Disparities: An Intersection of Race and Rurality
Summarizes recent research from Rural Health Research Centers examining the loss of hospital-based obstetric services and racial/ethnic disparities surrounding maternal and infant health. Features statistics on percent of counties which lost obstetric services from 2014-2018 with breakdowns by 4 levels of population density, annual births at hospitals providing obstetric services from 2010-2018 by rurality, percent of rural counties without obstetric services in 2019, and rates of preterm birth by race/ethnicity and rurality from 2012-2018.
Author(s): Per Ostmo, Jessica Rosencrans
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Research Gateway
view details
Maternal Health: Availability of Hospital-Based Obstetric Care in Rural Areas
Explores the availability of hospital-based obstetric services in rural areas. Summarizes stakeholder perspectives on the factors affecting the availability of these services and on the efforts federal agencies, states, and others could take to increase the access to obstetric care. Highlights six programs identified by researchers and provider associations as effective at increasing obstetric care in rural areas.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 10/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
view details

Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 5/17/2024