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The quality of life for infants and children is often dependent on the adequacy of the prenatal care pregnant women receive From July through to December 1985, 15% of pregnant women in one Midwestern county were identified as having inadequate prenatal care The purposes of the study were to identify and analyse the reasons women in that county gave for not obtaining adequate prenatal care In addition, chi-square was used to determine the relationship between the reasons given and the three variables, age, time between knowledge of pregnancy and making an appointment for care, and source of payment A convenience sample (n = 44) was used in a study over a 5-month penod at three locations The Health Belief Model was the conceptual framework for this study Insufficient money to pay for care was the primary reason given for not obtaining adequate prenatal care (81%) Other reasons included motivational issues (45%) and access or lack of transportation (19%) There was a significant relationship (P= 0 05) with four reasons to the variable of age and with three reasons to both the variables of time and source of payment The following recommendations were identified as a result of this research the need for subsidized prenatal care and the need for a community-wide education campaign regarding the need for adequate prenatal care and the consequences of inadequate care Prenatal care is sometimes not available to all in the United States in spite of the relationship of infant mortality and the quality of life for infants and children to adequate prenatal care