Antenatal Care

Antenatal care is important in identifying and managing issues likely to impact on pregnancy and birth outcomes. It also provides opportunities to learn about pregnancy, birth and early infancy.

Using extracted hospital antenatal data we compared the timing of the first hospital antenatal care visit by mothers of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal infants.

We found that mothers of Aboriginal infants presented slightly later to hospital based antenatal care than mothers of non-Aboriginal infants. Mothers of Aboriginal infants presented on average at 15.6 weeks gestation compared to mothers of non-Aboriginal infants who presented on average at 14.1 weeks gestation.

Three factors were found to be associated with later antenatal care. These included:

  • living in a disadvantaged suburb;
  • maternal unemployment;  and
  • maternal smoking.

The development of new services for mothers in the region will include new pathways to identify women in the early stages of pregnancy and ensure more ready access to antenatal care and hospital services.