Racial Equity
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity

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Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2018

What does this measure?

The number of births to women who initiated prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy (before 13 weeks gestation), expressed as a percentage of all live births within each racial and ethnic group.

Why is this important?

Early, high-quality prenatal care is critical to reducing risks for complications of pregnancy or birth and improving birth outcomes. As in other health care settings, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in prenatal care access and use. Research has identified socioeconomic status as the largest factor driving disparities, which has its roots in historical discrimination, segregation and lack of equitable access to resources.

How is the region doing?

In 2018 in the MetroWest region, rates of early prenatal care were 74% for African American births, 82% for Hispanic births, 86% for Asian births and 88% for white births. These rates were all between 2 and 5 percentage points higher than the state rates for 2018, which showed similar racial and ethnic disparities. Since 2012, there were no changes or slight improvements in the rates for all groups in MetroWest.

Norfolk County had a substantially higher prenatal care rate for Hispanic births (96%) than Middlesex or Worcester (both at 80%). Compared to the region as a whole, the prenatal care rate for Black mothers was slightly higher in Norfolk (80%). The rates for white and Asian mothers were highest in Norfolk (92% and 89% respectively). Data for this indicator was not available for individual communities in the region.

Why do these disparities exist?

Researchers have uncovered a number of factors contributing to generally lower rates of early prenatal care among mothers of color. These include: socioeconomic characteristics like education and family income; maternal health and characteristics of pregnancies (such as maternal age and number of previous pregnancies); types of insurance coverage - whether women are covered by Medicaid, private insurance, or have no coverage; and the location of prenatal care facilities - in physicians' offices and public health clinics. One study found socioeconomic differences was responsible for roughly half the gap -- pregnant women with lower incomes and levels of formal education often do not have the resources necessary to obtain care early and often - but that public programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children increased access to care.

Notes about the data

The rate excludes the number of live births for which the date of entry into prenatal care is unknown. In addition to considering when prenatal care began, it is also important to understand the quality and continuity of care received throughout the pregnancy.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2018
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States78%65%71%78%
Massachusetts84%71%76%84%
Region86%74%82%88%
Middlesex85%71%80%87%
Norfolk89%80%96%92%
Worcester88%75%80%85%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Notes: Percent of live births for which mothers received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy. Data may not be available for every group.




Number of Births with Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2018
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States220,677411,160628,1892,206,118
Massachusetts5,5677,07810,52044,120
Region4,1072,4553,43720,642
Middlesex2,5321,1391,81410,394
Norfolk1,0405714204,613
Worcester5357451,2035,635

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Notes: Number of births for which mothers received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy. Data may not be available for every group.




INDICATORS
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Single-Parent Families
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Disengaged Youth
Reports of Domestic Violence
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments
Households Without Vehicles
Means of Transportation to Work
Average Travel Time to Work
Households With Internet Access
Voter Participation Rate
Average Charitable Contribution
Protected Land
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate
Crimes Against People
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Total Population
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Foreign-Born Population
Language Diversity
Population by Age
Change in Population by Age/Gender
Seniors Living Alone
People with Disabilities
Change in Total Jobs by Sector
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Average Salary by Sector
High-Tech Jobs
Female to Male Earnings Ratio
Prekindergarten Participation
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group
Chronically Absent Students
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Living Wage
80/20 Income Ratio
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity
Homeownership Rates
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Rent
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity
Homelessness
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity


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