Antenatal care in the first trimester

Clinical commentary

Antenatal care is a system of regular assessments by a midwife or doctor throughout the course of the pregnancy that provides the opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles, screen for and—if necessary—treat health problems to benefit both mother and baby (WHO 2016). Commencing regular 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 2019; DoH 2018).

The first contact with a woman in the antenatal period may be when she attends primary care usually a general practitioner (GP), to confirm the pregnancy. Women will either start antenatal care at that point or be referred to a maternity care provider or service; for example, a midwife, obstetrician, GP, or Aboriginal health service (DoH 2018).

Indicator specifications and data

Excel source data tables are available from the Data tab.

For more information refer to Specifications and notes for analysis in the technical notes.


  • AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2019. Australia’s mothers and babies 2017–in brief. Perinatal statistics series no. 35 Cat. No. PER 100. Canberra: AIHW.
  • DoH (Department of Health) 2018. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health.
  • WHO (World Health Organization) 2016. WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience. Geneva: WHO.