3.01 Antenatal care

This measure reports on Indigenous women who received antenatal care.

Why is it important?

This measure reports the total number of antenatal visits, duration of pregnancy at first antenatal visit and types of antenatal services used. Antenatal care is especially important for Indigenous women because they are at higher risk of giving birth to pre‑term and low birthweight babies and have greater exposure to other risk factors and complications such as anaemia, poor nutritional status, chronic illness, hypertension, diabetes, genital and urinary tract infections, smoking and high levels of psychosocial stressors (AHMAC 2017; de Costa & Wenitong 2009). The World Health Organization recommends receiving antenatal care at least 4 times during pregnancy. The Australian Antenatal Guidelines (AHMAC 2012) recommend that the first antenatal visit occur within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and that first‑time mothers with an uncomplicated pregnancy attend 10 visits (7 visits for subsequent uncomplicated pregnancies).

Related measures

Data sources

  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
  • National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
  • National Perinatal Data Collection


  • AHMAC (Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council) 2012. Clinical practice guidelines: antenatal care—module 1. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
  • AHMAC 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report. Canberra: AHMAC.
  • de Costa CM & Wenitong M 2009. Could the baby bonus be a bonus for babies? Medical Journal of Australia 190:242–3.