Appropriate antenatal care is important in identifying and mitigating the risk factors in pregnancy but many mothers in developing countries do not receive such care. The failure to receive appropriate antenatal care during pregnancy can lead to undesirable pregnancy outcomes such as maternal morbidity, low birth weight or even maternal and perinatal mortality. Information on 5,104 births born between 1988 and 1993 in Kenya was analysed to identify the characteristics of those mothers not receiving appropriate antenatal care. Although 95% of Kenyan mothers receive antenatal care, these are characterised by few visits timed late into pregnancy. In particular, where the pregnancy was mistimed or unwanted, the mother is less likely to receive appropriate care during pregnancy. The average number of antenatal care visits was 4 which is much lower than the recommended 12 visits. On average, the first visit to an antenatal clinic took place in the fifth month.
Brief notes on the methods, findings and policy implications, and the full reference to the published paper are given.
University of Southampton. Desirability of Pregnancy and Uptake of Antenatal Care in Kenya. (2005) Opportunities and Choices Factsheet, 12 pp.