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Health Indicator Report of First Trimester Prenatal Care

Women who receive early and consistent prenatal care (PNC) increase their likelihood of giving birth to a healthy child. Health care providers recommend that women begin prenatal care in the first trimester of their pregnancy.

Data Source

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Beginning in 2014, the calculation of onset of prenatal care (PNC) requires several pieces of information from the birth record. If any of those is missing or invalid, PNC onset cannot be calculated.


Number of live births to pregnant women who received prenatal care in the first trimester as a percentage of the total number of live births.


Number of live births to pregnant women who received prenatal care in the first trimester


Number of live births

Healthy People Objective: Prenatal care beginning in first trimester

U.S. Target: 77.9 percent
State Target: 79.4 percent

Other Objectives

'''Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-3''': Increase the proportion of pregnant women who receive prenatal care beginning in first trimester to 79.4% for the total population, 90.7% among Whites, 67.4% among Blacks, 72.1% among Hispanics, and 90.8% among Asians.

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of mothers receiving first trimester prenatal care (PNC) had been about 75% for over a decade before increasing slightly between 2007 and 2014 to 79%. A change in data collection methods in 2014-2015 resulted in sharp decline to 73.6% in 2015 and 72.1% in 2016. There is a significant difference in onset of PNC by race/ethnicity with nearly 80% of White and Asian mothers receiving early PNC compared to 65% of Hispanic and less than 60% of Black mothers. The percentage of births with first trimester PNC is also significantly higher among US-born mothers (75%) than among the foreign-born (68%), overall and for each race/ethnicity. First trimester PNC is positively correlated with age and education.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

2016 was the first year since 2002 that all states reported onset of prenatal care the same way. New Jersey's rate of 72.1% is slightly lower than the national rate of 74.9%. (Note that these two rates include records with unknown PNC onset in the denominator. Some National Center for Health Statistics [ reports] omit unknowns from the denominator.)

What Is Being Done?

The [ Division of Family Health Services] in the New Jersey Department of Health administers programs to enhance the health, safety and well-being of families and communities in New Jersey. Several programs are aimed at improving birth outcomes.
Page Content Updated On 04/18/2018, Published on 04/18/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 21 August 2018 10:16:12 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 23 May 2018 05:01:08 EDT