Goal 2: Antenatal care—5 plus visits

This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women attending at least 5 antenatal visits during pregnancy. The goal for this indicator is 90% by 2023.

Why is it important?

Antenatal care relates to the health care provided by skilled birth attendants for reasons related to pregnancy. It provides opportunities to address health risks and support healthy behaviours throughout pregnancy and into the early years of childhood.

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 Indigenous women attending 5 or more antenatal visits generally increased between 2007 and 2012 (from 77% to 85%), remained stable at around 85% between 2012 and 2014, and then increased to almost 87% in 2015 and to almost 88% in 2016. The age-standardised rates for 2013 to 2016 were similar to the required trajectory points to meet the goal, after taking into account the level of variation in the data that would be expected from year to year.

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 2016. 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. In 2016, for the 7 jurisdictions combined:

  • 87% of Indigenous mothers who gave birth attended 5 or more antenatal visits
  • Indigenous mothers were less likely than non-Indigenous mothers to attend 5 or more antenatal visits—87% compared with 94%, based on age-standardised rates.