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The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

Rumford Hospital to end maternity services at the end of March

Rumford Hospital will close its maternity unit at the end of March.

In a press release, hospital officials cite a declining birth rate and a severe and persistent shortage of obstetricians willing to practice in the area as reasons for the decision.

According to a hospital spokesperson, 54 babies were born at Rumford Hospital last year, roughly half the number born in 2017.

They say maternity patients can travel to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston to deliver babies, which is roughly an hour away.

Officials says the closure of the maternity unit, which has been in existence for nearly 100 years, won't result in any job losses.

Rumford is the latest Maine hospital to discontinue maternity care. Last year, St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston closed its unit and shifted staff and services to CMMC.