Prenatal care in the United States, 1980-94
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.
Clear All
Filetype[PDF-158.56 KB]


  • Description:
    OBJECTIVES: This report examines trends in timing of prenatal care in the United States from 1980 to 1994. Demographic characteristics examined include age, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, place of birth of mother, educational attainment of mother, and live-birth order. Social characteristics discussed include barriers to care and pregnancy wantedness. METHODS: The source of data for trends and demographic analysis is the certificate of live birth filed for each child born in the United States. Data for social characteristics are from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey (NMIHS). Data from the NMIHS are based on 9,953 responses. RESULTS: Very few groups of women have yet to achieve the goal of 90 percent initiating prenatal care in the first trimester as set by Healthy People 2000. In 1994, 80 percent of all mothers initiated care in the first trimester. Cuban mothers were the only mothers to reach the objective of 90 percent with Japanese mothers close behind at 89 percent. Mothers with the lowest percent initiating early prenatal care were non-Hispanic black (68 percent), Puerto Rican (67 percent), and American Indian mother (65 percent). Mothers who have problems getting prenatal care due to financial, scheduling, transportation, or other problems have lower rates of initiating early care. Mothers who wanted to be pregnant when they did were more inclined to initiate early care than mothers who did not want to become pregnant or whose pregnancies were mistimed. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal care use in the United States did not improve in the 1980's but has been improving since 1990. Variations in use by demographic characteristics persist. There are wide gaps between mothers with easier access to prenatal care and those who encounter barriers to care. Mothers who want to become pregnant also tend to seek help in understanding their pregnancy and its risks earlier than those who did not intend to get pregnant or cared to become pregnant at another time.
  • Content Notes:
    "By Caroline T. Lewis, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Service Administration; T. J. Mathews, and Robert L. Heuser, Division of Vital Statistics." Includes bibliographical references (p. 7)
  • Pubmed ID:
  • Document Type:
  • Place as Subject:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at