Another northern New Hampshire hospital has decided to close its maternity ward, leaving just one in Coos County that will deliver babies after April 1.
Officials at Weeks Medical Center say declining birth rates and escalating costs prompted the decision, which is expected to affect about 100 women in the first year and about 70 per year in the next few years.
The closure comes five years after Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook closed its birthing unit. The county’s only hospital with a maternity ward will be Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, with Littleton Regional Hospital in Grafton County the next closest option.
Local leaders and state officials worry that poor and pregnant women will be left stranded without convenient options for care, and that the health of both mothers and babies could suffer.