Percent of births premature and delayed prenatal care in New Hampshire

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Why This Indicator Matters

Empirical research of delayed prenatal care—or births where the first prenatal visit was less than 90 days before the birth—has failed to connect delayed prenatal care to poor newborn outcomes (Hueston et al., 2003; Schillaci et al., 2010), especially once adjusted for confounding factors like age, race-ethnicity, marital status, education, and insurance coverage (Ayoola et al., 2010). Further, when studied more generally, prenatal care is not linked to infant health outcomes (Reichman, 2009) nor to a robust set of child outcomes at age 5 (Noonan et al., 2013). However, delayed prenatal care is associated with a higher risk of preterm birth (Debiec et al., 2008).

Ayoola, Adejoke B., Mary D. Nettleman, and Manfred Stommel (2010). “Time from Pregnancy Recognition to Prenatal Care and Associated Newborn Outcomes.” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 39: 550–556.

Debiec, Katherine E., Kathleen J. Paul, Caroline M. Mitchell, and Jane E. Hitti (2018). “Inadequate Prenatal Care and Risk of Preterm Delivery Among Adolescents: A Retrospective Study Over 10 Years.” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 203: 122.e1–122.e6.

Hueston, William J., Gregory E. Gilbert, Lucy Davis, and Vanessa Sturgill (2003). “Delayed Prenatal Care and the Risk of Low Birth Weight Delivery.” Journal of Community Health 28(3): 199–208.

Noonan, Kelly, Hope Corman, Ofira Schwartz-Soicher, and Nancy E. Reichman (2013). “Effects of Prenatal Care on Child Health at Age 5.” Maternal and Child Health Journal 17(2): 189–199. 

Reichman, Nancy E., Hope Corman, Kelly Noonan, Dhaval Dave (2009). “Infant Health Production Functions: What a Difference the Data Make.” Health Economics 18(7): 761–782. 

Schillachi, Michael A., Howard Waitzkin, E. Ann Carson, and Sandra J. Romain (2010). “Prenatal Care Utilization for Mothers from Low-Income Areas of New Mexico, 1989–1999.” PLOS One 5(9): e12809.
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Definitions: The number number of premature births, births that occurred before 37 weeks gestation, by county and the percent of births with delayed prenatal care, where the mother’s first prenatal visit was less than 90 days before birth in 2017.

Data Source: New Hampshire Department of State, Division of Vital Records (2018)

Footnotes: 95% confidence interval