First antenatal visit (PI13)

This indicator is the proportion of female Indigenous regular clients who gave birth within the previous 12 months who had their first antenatal care visit within the following periods:

  • before 13 weeks
  • 13–19 weeks
  • 20 or more weeks
  • not recorded or no visit.

It is collected for age groups:

  • less than 20
  • 20–34
  • 35 and over.

Why antenatal care is important

Antenatal care is a planned visit between a pregnant woman and a midwife or doctor to assess and improve the wellbeing of the mother and baby throughout pregnancy. It does not include visits where the sole purpose is to confirm the pregnancy.

Antenatal care provides an opportunity to find, treat, and provide advice on chronic or pre-existing conditions that might cause pregnancy-related complications, such as hypertension, diabetes, mental health problems, sexually transmitted infections, tobacco and alcohol misuse, inadequate nutrition, and unhealthy weight.

Regular antenatal care, and especially that starting in the first trimester, is associated with less pregnancy-related complications and with positive maternal and child health outcomes.

Indigenous mothers are less likely than non-Indigenous mothers to have their first antenatal care visit in the first trimester (AIHW 2020). However, the proportion of Indigenous mothers attending an antenatal visit in the first trimester has increased.

At June 2020, 41% of female Indigenous regular clients who gave birth in the previous 12 months had their first antenatal visit in the first trimester (before 13 weeks gestational age). The definition of first trimester in the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) collection is different to that collected in the National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC), which considers the first trimester as before 14 weeks gestational age.

Timing of first antenatal visit, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of female Indigenous regular clients who gave birth in the last year by the timing of their first antenatal visit (gestational age not recorded, no visit recorded, before 13 weeks, 13–19 weeks, 20 or more weeks) and reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, June 2020).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Having the first antenatal visit in the first trimester was highest in

  • South Australia (51%)
  • Inner regional areas (50%)
  • organisations other than Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (non-ACCHOs) (46%).

It was lowest in:

  • Queensland (36%)
  • Major cities (33%)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) (40%).

This, however, is affected by the completeness of the recording of antenatal visits in each jurisdiction (see Technical notes for more information).

Timing of first antenatal visit, by either state/territory, remoteness or organisation type, reporting period

Two Tableau visualisations are presented here. The first shows the percentage of female Indigenous regular clients who gave birth in the last year by the timing of their first antenatal visit (select for gestational age not recorded, no visit recorded, before 13 weeks, 13–19 weeks, or 20 or more weeks) for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Total)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Total)
  • organisation type (ACCHO, non-ACCHO, Total).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, or June 2020 can be selected.

The second visualisation shows the selected information from the first visualisation by age group (<20, 20–34, 35+).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Reference

AIHW 2020. Australia’s mothers and babies—data visualisations. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW.