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 is associated with positive maternal and child health outcomes – the likelihood of receiving effective health interventions is increased through attending antenatal care. It does not include visits where the sole purpose is to confirm the pregnancy.
Duration of pregnancy at first antenatal visit
The proportion of women receiving antenatal care in the first trimester (before 14 weeks’ gestational age) is the most widely reported indicator. Regular antenatal care in the first trimester is associated with better maternal health in pregnancy, fewer interventions in late pregnancy and positive child health outcomes.
The Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines (Department of Health and Aged Care 2020) recommend that a woman has her first antenatal visit within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. In 2020, 59% of women attended antenatal care within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
The data visualisation below presents data on the duration of pregnancy at the first antenatal care visit of women who gave birth, by selected maternal characteristics for 2020. Click the trend button to see how data has changed over a 9-year period.