Questions for Michelle Osterman, Statistician, and Lead Author of “Timing and Adequacy of Prenatal Care in the United States, 2016”
Q: What do you feel was the most significant finding in your analysis?
MO: Overall more than 3 out of 4 women are receiving prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, but this varies by race and Hispanic origin.
Q: Did you find anything surprising about the findings?
MO: The wide variation in first trimester prenatal care between race and Hispanic origin groups among different sources of payment for the delivery (Supplemental Tables 1 and 2).
Q: How has the percentage of mothers who received adequate prenatal care changed over the years?
MO: Trends were not analyzed in this report because 2016 is the first year for which national data on prenatal care is available. Provisional 2017 data show that the percentage of women receiving prenatal care in the first trimester increased to 77.3%
Q: Do you have any insight as to why some groups of women seem to be less likely to have at least adequate prenatal care and/or start their care in the first trimester?
MO: Differences in utilization and initiation may be due to differences in access and resources.
Q: What is the take-home message from your report?
MO: Healthy People 2020, a set of national health objectives for the country, includes a goal for prenatal care. The goal for 2020 is for 77.9% of pregnant women to receive prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy, a target only about 1% higher than the national level of 77.1% we are reporting in this analysis. This target may be achievable for the United States as a whole, but may be less achievable for certain subgroups.