Clinical Practice Guidelines Antenatal care - Module I

6. Antenatal visits

Page last updated: 02 April 2013

“The key issue is not whether there is more or less antenatal care; rather it is that antenatal care should include only those activities supported by reasonable evidence of effectiveness and safety. The frequency of visits and the content of visits can then be planned accordingly.” (Dowswell et al 2010)

While antenatal visits are well established as a means of improving perinatal outcomes, the number and timing of visits has been less studied (NICE 2008). Systematic reviews and observational studies tend to show an association between number of antenatal visits and/or gestational age at first antenatal visit and pregnancy outcomes (Dowswell et al 2010), although there are many differences in sociodemographic and risk profiles of women attending for antenatal care that may contribute to these findings (Hueston et al 2003).