Notes on the data: Mothers and babies

Women who gave birth and did not attend antenatal care within the first 10 weeks, 2017 to 2019


Policy context:  Antenatal care is associated with positive child and maternal health outcomes, with regular antenatal care visits in the first trimester (before 14 weeks’ gestational age), leading to fewer interventions in late pregnancy and positive outcomes for child health [1]. The Australian Antenatal Guidelines recommend that the first antenatal visit occur within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and that first-time mothers with an uncomplicated pregnancy attend 10 visits [2]. Although almost all mothers (99.9%) who gave birth in 2015 had at least one antenatal visit, fewer than half (47%) of mothers did so in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and 10% did not start antenatal care until after 20 weeks’ gestation [1].


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s health 2018. Australia’s health series no. 16, 4.12 Antenatal risk factors.
  2. AHMAC 2012. Quoted in AIHW, Australia’s health 2018, 4.12 Antenatal risk factors.

Notes:  Note that as the data are aggregated over three years, they may include women who gave birth more than once during the time period.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  Women who did not have an antenatal visit in the first ten weeks of pregnancy (data over 3 years)


Denominator:  Number of women who gave birth (data over 3 years)


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, on behalf of the States and Territories.


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