Goal 2: Antenatal care—5 plus visits

This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women attending at least 5 antenatal visits during pregnancy. The goal for this indicator is 90% 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. Regular antenatal care is associated with positive maternal and 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 toward this goal is on track. Data from 2007 to 2012 for 3 jurisdictions—namely Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory—were used to inform goal setting. For those jurisdictions combined, based on age-standardised rates:

  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women attending 5 or more antenatal visits increased over time from 77% in 2007 to 88% in 2016 and remained stable at around 88% until 2018.
  • From 2015 to 2018, the rates were above the trajectory points required to meet the goal. In 2018, the age-standardised rate was 88.0% and the trajectory point was 87.7%.

Since the goals were set, data for the remaining states and territories has become available. Data for these states and territories were excluded from the baseline for goal setting for reasons including changes in data collection methods over time, data were not currently collected at the time of goal setting or data were not comparable with the specifications required for the NPDC (AIHW 2020).

Data for 6 jurisdictions—namely New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory combined—are available from 2011 to 2018. Data for these 6 jurisdictions combined are on track to meet the Implementation Plan goal, with rates above the required trajectory points.

More recently, data have become available from Western Australia and Victoria, allowing rates to be measured at the national level. In 2018, nationally, based on age-standardised rates:

  • 87% of Indigenous mothers who gave birth attended 5 or more antenatal visits, compared with 95% of non-Indigenous mothers. 
  • The rate of Indigenous women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits varied by state/territory, from 91% in New South Wales to 77% in Western Australia.

Figure 2.1: Age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy

This figure shows the baseline data from 2007 to 2012, trajectory to the goal from 2013 to 2023. New data from 2013 to 2018 for the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory are also plotted. New data has been at or above the trajectory point required to meet the goal each year between 2013 and 2018.

Visualisation not available for printing

Figure 2.2: Proportion of women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy, by Indigenous status, 2018

This figure shows the age-standardised proportion of women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy, by Indigenous status and remoteness. Proportions among non-Indigenous mothers remained similar across remoteness categories, ranging between 93.5% and 95.6%. Indigenous rates were lowest in Remote areas (83.7%) and highest in Inner regional areas (89.9%).

Visualisation not available for printing

Figure 2.3: Proportion of women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy, by Indigenous status, 2007 to 2018

The figure shows that the age-standardised proportion of women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy by Indigenous status, over time. The non-Indigenous rate has remained stable between 2007 and 2018 (between 94.5% and 95.9%). The Indigenous rate has risen from 77.4% in 2007 to 88.0% in 2018.

Visualisation not available for printing

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.