More Does Not Mean Better: Prenatal Visits and Pregnancy Outcome in the Hispanic Population


Address correspondence to Gay L Goss, Ph.D., N.P., C.N.S., 7320 Beltis Dr., Modesto, CA 95356.


Abstract Early and consistent prenatal care (PNC) is thought to play an important role in the reduction of low birthweight (LBW) in the United States. It has been reported that LBW and delayed PNC are common to the Hispanic woman. In California, this cultural group comprises approximately 26% of the population, and much debate concerning health care reform has been targeted at this problem. A comparative study was conducted in California to examine the number of prenatal visits and the outcomes of Mexico-born Hispanics and U.S.-born Hispanics. Obstetric and medical record review for 783 women was done. The results show that more prenatal visits did not improve the outcome during pregnancy, labor, or the postpartum period. Because a large portion of PNC is now delivered by the advanced practice nurse, implications for practice include exploring alternatives for the delivery of culturally relevant care, addressing the barriers to caring for this population, and finding alternative models of care that have the potential to produce positive outcomes.