Antenatal care in the first trimester

Chart title: Antenatal care in the first trimester for all women giving birth, by State/territory of birth and all Australia, 2011 to 2019.

This chart shows the proportion of women giving birth who received antenatal care in the first trimester (before 14 weeks gestation), by state/territory of birth, 2011 to 2019.  Data can be viewed for each state/territory of birth, and for all Australia. The proportion for all Australian mothers increased from 65.7% in 2011 to 76.6 in 2019.

Another smoking antenatal care indicator can be selected showing the proportion of women giving birth who had their first antenatal visit within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The proportion has increased from 37.5% in 2011 to 55.7% in 2019.

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 of gestation) is associated with better maternal health in pregnancy, fewer interventions in late pregnancy and positive child health outcomes (AIHW 2021; DoH 2020). The Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines (DoH 2020) recommend that a woman has her first antenatal visit within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. 

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 2020).

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.

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2021. Australia’s mothers and babies. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 30 September 2021

DoH (Australian Government Department of Health) 2020. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care 2020 Edition. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health.

WHO (World Health Organization) 2016. WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience. Geneva: WHO.