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

Hospital officials cited a declining birth rate and a severe and persistent shortage of obstetricians willing to practice in the area as reasons for the decision.

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

Officials said 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.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.