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Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Jul;90(1):71-7.

Patterns of prenatal care initiation in Georgia, 1980-1992.

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Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



To determine whether characteristics in a woman's first pregnancy were associated with the trimester in which she initiated prenatal care in her second pregnancy.


Data for white and black women whose first and second pregnancies resulted in singleton live births between 1980 and 1992 were obtained from Georgia birth certificates (n = 177,041). Adjusted relative risks (RRs) for early prenatal care in the second pregnancy were computed by logistic regression models that included trimester of prenatal care initiation, infant outcomes, or maternal conditions in the woman's first pregnancy as the exposure and controlled for maternal age, education, child's year of birth, interval between first and second pregnancy, presence of father's name on the birth certificate, and the interaction between prenatal care and education. Models were stratified by race.


Women of both races who initiated prenatal care in the first trimester of their first pregnancies were more likely than those with delayed care to initiate prenatal care in the first trimester of their second pregnancies (RR = 1.25 and 1.63 for white and black women educated beyond high school, respectively). Both white and black women who delivered a baby with very low birth weight (RR = 1.06 and 1.15, respectively) or who suffered an infant death (RR = 1.09 and 1.31, respectively) in their first pregnancies were more likely than those who did not experience these events to begin prenatal care in the first trimester of their second pregnancies.


Women with some potentially preventable adverse infant outcomes tend to obtain earlier care in their next pregnancy. Unfortunately, women who delayed prenatal care in their first pregnancy frequently delay prenatal care in their next.

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