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 2021).
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. Data from 2007 to 2012 for 3 jurisdictions—namely Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory—were used to inform goal setting.
What do the data show?
Progress toward this goal is on track.
- For the 3 jurisdictions combined based on age-standardised rates in 2019, 89% of Indigenous Australian women attended 5 or more antenatal visits during pregnancy, which was above the trajectory point of 88% required to meet the goal.
Based on age-standardised data for the 3 jurisdictions combined:
- The proportion of Indigenous Australian women attending 5 or more antenatal visits increased over time from 77% in 2007 to 88% in 2016, then remained stable and in 2019 rose slightly to 89%.
- From 2015 to 2019, the rates were above the trajectory points required to meet the goal.
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 (for further information on data availability and specifications see the AIHW’s METeOR website).
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 2019. 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 2019, nationally, based on age-standardised rates:
- 89% of Indigenous mothers who gave birth attended 5 or more antenatal visits, compared with 94% of non-Indigenous mothers.
- The rate of Indigenous women who attended 5 or more antenatal visits varied by state/territory, from 90% in Queensland and New South Wales to 81% 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