Deficiency of folic acid increases the risk for neural tube defects among newborn children and megaloblastic anaemia in the mother. The aim of this study was to make a survey of how midwives working in maternity health care, family planning guidance, and specialist prenatal care in a Swedish county inform women of childbearing age about folic acid. The questionnaire study showed that 79% of the midwives informed the women about folic acid. Usually, the women received information first when they asked for it and midwifes were less prone to inform young women about folic acid. 87% of the midwives felt that they did not know enough about folic acid. CONCLUSIONS: Midwives play an important role in information about the need of folic acid intake for women in childbearing age. Changes in local routines, guidelines and further education of midwifes would subsequently provide information about the importance of folic acid to women in childbearing age.
Drawing upon a comparative, qualitative study of the experiences of rural women accessing maternity care in two Canadian provinces, we demonstrate that availability of services, having economic and informational resources to access the services offered, and the appropriateness of those services in terms of gender, continuity of care, confidentiality, quality of care, and cultural fit are key to an accurate understanding of health care access. We explore the implications of living rurally on each of these dimensions, thereby revealing both gaps in and solutions to rural maternity care access that narrower, proximity-based definitions miss.