Late Antenatal Care 



Risk factors associated with late entry to antenatal care visits.  

Maria Victoria Guevarra, Joanne M. Stubbs, Hassan Assareh, Helen M. Achat 

Antenatal care enables early detection and treatment of adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Fewer antenatal visits and delayed entry to Antenatal care, hinders timely and important health advice and education and benefit from screening tests.  

In Australia, the states and territories have varying definitions. The 2012 Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines on Antenatal Care recommend the first visit be within the first 10 weeks of gestation.  


Antenatal care is a planned visit between a pregnant woman and a midwife or doctor to assess and improve the wellbeing of the mother and baby throughout pregnancy. Antenatal care is associated with positive maternal and child health outcomes – the likelihood of receiving effective health interventions is increased through attending antenatal care. 

Early antenatal care promotes early detection of complications that may arise in both the unborn baby and mother with the aim of preventing and treating health problems and have proper management of delivery of the baby. Early visits to a doctor include a physical exam, weight check and providing a urine sample. The doctor can also do blood tests, imaging tests and discuss both the mother’s health and the unborn baby’s health.   

Situations that can potentially lead to preterm birth can be better treated if early antenatal care is sought.  

The Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines (Department of Health and Aged Care 2020) recommend that first-time mothers with an uncomplicated pregnancy have 10 antenatal care visits during pregnancy (7 visits for subsequent uncomplicated pregnancies) 


Accepting the pregnancy and acknowledging the importance of Antenatal care is the first step mums can take. 

Increased education and empowerment of women is crucial to the achievement of prenatal care even those belonging to lower socioeconomic situations. 

Useful Links 

Pregnancy Birth and Baby 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 

Australian Government – Health Department 

Confirmation Content

Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].