Antenatal care is planned visits with a doctor or midwife during pregnancy. The goal is to assess and improve the health of the mother and baby during the course of the pregnancy and to improve future health outcomes.
Regular antenatal care in the first trimester (before 14 weeks gestational age) is associated with better maternal health in pregnancy, fewer interventions in late pregnancy and positive child health outcomes (AIHW 2020b, Department of Health 2018).
In 2020, of Indigenous women who gave birth (crude):
- 71% (10,027) attended their first antenatal care visit in the first trimester of pregnancy
- 8% (129) received no antenatal care during their pregnancy.
After accounting for differences between women of different ages (age-standardised):
- Indigenous women accessed care later in pregnancy than non-Indigenous women.
- The proportion of Indigenous women who accessed 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy was slightly lower when compared to non-Indigenous women (88% and 95%, respectively).
For more information on antenatal care see Antenatal care.