Goal 1: Antenatal care—first trimester

This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers attending at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy. The goal for this indicator is 60% by 2023.

Why is it 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. 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 2020).

What data are available?

Data for this indicator were sourced from the National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC). Perinatal data are collected for each birth in each state and territory, most commonly by midwives.

What do the data show?

Progress towards the goal is on track. Rates from 2013 to 2018 were above the trajectory points required to meet the goal and from 2017 were above the goal rate for 2023 of 60%. The goal is measured using age-standardised rates, excluding New South Wales due to data availability when the goals were set.

  • In 2018, the age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women attending antenatal care in the first trimester was 61%.
  • The proportion in 2018 exceeded both the trajectory point of 56% required to meet the goal and the goal rate of 60% for 2023.
  • The proportion increased over time, from 41% in 2010 to 61% in 2018.

Data for New South Wales became available after the goals were set. In 2018, nationally, based on age-standardised rates:

  • The proportion of Indigenous mothers who received antenatal care in the first trimester was higher in Non-remote areas (66%) compared with Remote areas (62%).
  • 65% of Indigenous mothers had received antenatal care in the first trimester, compared with 73% of non-Indigenous mothers.
  • The proportion of Indigenous women who received antenatal care in the first trimester varied by state/territory, from 73% in New South Wales to 56% in Western Australia.

Figure 1.1: Age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who attended at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester

This figure shows the baseline data, from 2010 to 2012, the trajectory towards the goal, from 2013 to 2023. New data from 2013 to 2018 for the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women who received at least 1 antenatal care visit in the first trimester for all states excluding New South Wales are also plotted. New data has been above the required trajectory point each year from 2013 to 2018. In 2018, the new data point (61.4%) was already above the goal for 2023 (60%).

Figure 1.2: Proportion of women who attended at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester, by Indigenous status, 2018

This figure shows the age-standardised proportion of women who attended at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester by Indigenous status and remoteness for 2018. Nationally, and in all remoteness categories with available data, a higher proportion of non-Indigenous women attended an antenatal visit in the first trimester compared with Indigenous women.

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Figure 1.3: Proportion of women who attended at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester by Indigenous status, 2010 to 2018

This figure shows the proportion of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who attended at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester between 2010 and 2018. It shows that the proportion has increased each year between 2010 and 2018 among both Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, but it is increasing more rapidly among Indigenous women.

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References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2020. Australia's mothers and babies data visualisations. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 26 October 2020.