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J Community Health. 2012 Aug;37(4):865-73. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9521-0.

Determinants of time of start of prenatal care and number of prenatal care visits during pregnancy among Nepalese women.

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School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014, Tampere, Finland.


This study is aimed at investigating the factors determining the timing of first prenatal care (PNC) visit and the number of PNC visits among a national representative sample of Nepali women. Data was drawn from the 2006 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey on women age 15-49 years old who had delivery within three years prior to the survey (N = 4,136). Multinomial logistic regression was used to study the association between socio-demographic variables and two outcome variables--the timing of first PNC and number of PNC visits. Most of the women (45%) started prenatal care after 3 months of pregnancy while 28% had no care. About 43% of women had 1-3 PNC visits, 29% had more than 3 visits. Age, education, parity and wealth were associated with both the timing of PNC and the number of PNC visits such that older women and those socioeconomically disadvantaged had late and fewer PNC visits compared to the younger ones and those with socioeconomic advantage, respectively. Women with higher parity and those in rural residencies were more likely to delay PNC, have fewer PNC or have no care at all. Majority of Nepali women do not attend prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy contrary to the WHO recommendation for women in developing countries. Programmes aimed at improving maternal health in general and participation in PNC in particular should target all Nepali women, especially those: in rural residencies, with no education, with high parity; older women and those from poor households.

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