THURSDAY, May 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overall, 77.1 percent of women who gave birth in 2016 initiated prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, according to a report published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 30 National Vital Statistics Report.

Michelle J.K. Osterman and Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., used data from the 2016 national birth file to describe prenatal care utilization in the United States.

The researchers found that 77.1 percent of women who gave birth in 2016 initiated prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy; 4.6 and 1.6 percent, respectively, began prenatal care in the third trimester and received no care. More than 75 percent of women received at least adequate prenatal care and 15.0 percent received inadequate prenatal care. Younger women, those with less education, and those with a fourth or higher-order birth, as well as non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander women were the least likely to initiate care in the first trimester and to have at least adequate prenatal care. There was state-level variation in the percentages of prenatal care beginning in the first trimester and adequate prenatal care.

“The Healthy People 2020 goal is for 77.9 percent of pregnant women to receive care in the first trimester of pregnancy, a target only about 1 percent higher than the 2016 national level of 77.1 percent,” the authors write.

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