Prenatal Care and Prematurity: Is There an Association in Uncomplicated Pregnancies?

Authors

  • Thomas C. Hulsey M.S.P.H., Sc.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Thomas Hulsey, Celeste Patrick, and Myla Ebeling are from the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and Greg Alexander is from the Maternal and Child Health Major, Division of Human Development and Nutrition at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Celeste H. Patrick M.D.,

    1. Thomas Hulsey, Celeste Patrick, and Myla Ebeling are from the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and Greg Alexander is from the Maternal and Child Health Major, Division of Human Development and Nutrition at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Greg R. Alexander M.P.H., Sc.D.,

    1. Thomas Hulsey, Celeste Patrick, and Myla Ebeling are from the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and Greg Alexander is from the Maternal and Child Health Major, Division of Human Development and Nutrition at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Myla Ebeling

    1. Thomas Hulsey, Celeste Patrick, and Myla Ebeling are from the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and Greg Alexander is from the Maternal and Child Health Major, Division of Human Development and Nutrition at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Thomas C. Hulsey, M.S.P.H., Sc.D., Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: A retrospective investigation examined patterns of use of prenatal care and pregnancy outcomes (low birthweight and preterm births) in 6176 pregnancies without antepartum medical complications. Prenatal care use patterns differed significantly by mother's age, marital status, race, education, method of payment, and gravidity. By controlling for these differences through a logistic regression procedure, results showed that prenatal care was associated with significant reductions in the number of infants who were delivered preterm or had low birthweight. Fewer very low-birthweight (<1500 g) infants were among the preterm infants delivered to mothers with prenatal care compared with women who received no prenatal care. These data suggest that significant improvements in pregnancy outcomes are seen among women who use prenatal care, and these benefits occur in the absence of antepartum complications.

Ancillary