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Prenatal Care

Women who receive prenatal care early in their pregnancies and continue with regular care throughout their pregnancies have better outcomes.[1][2] Prenatal care helps to decrease perinatal morbidity and mortality by identifying and dealing with potential risks, treating medical conditions and addressing potentially harmful behaviours.[2] We have already seen how poverty creates many barriers to accessing health care, and this is true for prenatal care as well.[3] There is a clear link between prenatal care and socioeconomic status, even in Canada where these services are covered by Medicare.[4]


1. American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Guidelines for perinatal care, 5th Edition. 2002

2. Heaman, MI, Gupton, AL, Moffatt, MEK. Prevalence and predictors of inadequate prenatal care: A comparison of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women in Manitoba. JOGC 2005;27:237-46.

3. National Council of Welfare. Healthy parents, healthy babies. 1997. Available at: Accessed July 2005.

4. Kramer, MS, Seguin, L, Lydon, J, Goulet, L. Socioeconomic disparities in pregnancy outcome: Why do the poor fair so poorly? Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2000;14:194-210.

All references for this section