What is a maternity care desert?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2021 | Birth Injuries |

When you picture an expecting mother, you may think about excited preparation for a new baby and numerous visits to the doctor.

However, for many women, birth injuries can be a reality during this time. Maternal care deserts make it difficult for mothers to receive proper care before the birth of their child.

Logistical difficulties

According to Today News, these deserts often happen because women have a limited ability to seek prenatal care. Some may not have any place physically close to them that offers obstetrics services, while others may not be able to pay for those services.

Women living in these areas often struggle to prevent pregnancy-related issues such as hypertension or gestational diabetes because of this. Being able to diagnose these problems early on helps women have safer and healthier pregnancies.

Geographical complications

Not being able to drive to see a doctor during pregnancy can be dangerous for the health of both the mom and the baby. Maternity care deserts do not just occur in rural areas, but also in cities or suburbs.

Lack of transportation or access to midwives or medical professionals means mothers may choose to not visit a doctor’s office at all before giving birth. These deserts occur in the middle of a place where only checkup vans or other mobile health care units visit.

Additional issues

Maternal health care deserts not only include direct services like ultrasounds or screenings, but also can include a woman’s access to food or health insurance. Prenatal care can cover medications or preventative action as well.

Understanding what a maternity care desert is can be important for anyone worried about birth complications.


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