Timing and Adequacy of Prenatal Care in the United States, 2016

Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2018 May;67(3):1-14.


This report describes prenatal care utilization in the United States for 2016, based on the trimester of pregnancy in which prenatal care began and the Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization (APNCU) Index, by selected maternal characteristics. Data are from the 2016 national birth file and are based on 100% of births registered to residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. All data are based on the 2003 revision of the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth. The APNCU is based on the month prenatal care began and the number of visits adjusted for gestational age; categories are inadequate, intermediate, adequate, and adequate plus. Overall, 77.1% of women who gave birth in 2016 initiated prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy; 4.6% began prenatal care in the third trimester, and 1.6% of women received no care at all. According to the APNCU, more than 75% of women received at least adequate prenatal care, and 15.0% of women received inadequate prenatal care. Younger women, women with less education, women having a fourth or higher-order birth, and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander women were the least likely to begin care in the first trimester of pregnancy and to have at least adequate prenatal care. The percentages of prenatal care beginning in the first trimester and adequate prenatal care varied by state.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Delivery, Obstetric / economics
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult