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Rural areas nationwide are losing prenatal and labor and delivery services, and Minnesota is part of that trend

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Nationally, rural areas are losing prenatal and labor and delivery services, and Minnesota is part of that trend. But researchers are just starting to look at what this means for the health of mothers and their babies. 

There are a lot of gaps in our understanding of what it means to be pregnant and giving birth in rural Minnesota, though initial published research suggests that the outcomes for moms and babies are worse when prenatal and labor and delivery services are lost. 

MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with three guests to understand why this is happening.

Guest:

Catharine Richert —  MPR News reporter

Katy Kozhimannil —  Associate professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, director of the university's Rural Health Research Center

John S. Cullen —  Family physician in Valdez, Alaska and president the American Academy of Family Physicians

To listen to the full discussion you can use the audio player above.