There are over 18,000 Inuit in the Northwest Territories. As a group they have the highest birth rate, the lowest cesarean section rate and one of the highest perinatal death rates in Canada. We reviewed the obstetric experience of 512 Inuit women who either gave birth at Stanton Yellowknife Hospital or were referred from Yellowknife and gave birth at a southern facility between January 1981 and December 1985. Our experience is consistent with that documented in earlier reviews, which concluded that Inuit women tend to have efficient uterine action, to endure labour well and to rarely have dystocia. During the periods covered by these reviews delivery was frequently in the settlements; now hospital delivery is the norm. Substantial improvements in perinatal outcome are evident, but there remains a considerable gap between the northern and southern experience. Those attempting further progress must recognize that the need for obstetric care away from the home community is not fully appreciated by Inuit women, their families or their communities.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2631.