The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in 2015 around 830 women died every day from problems in pregnancy and childbirth. Only 5 of the women who died lived in high income countries, the rest of the women lived in low income countries.
The WHO recommends that pregnant women should all receive four antenatal visits to spot and treat problems and give immunizations. Although antenatal care is important for improving the health of the mother and baby, many women do not receive four visits.
There are many ways of changing health systems to help women access antenatal care such as new health policies, educating health workers and health service re-organisation3. Community interventions to help people change their behavior can also play a part. Examples of these interventions are: media campaigns reaching many people, enabling communities to take control of their own health, informative-education-communication interventions or financial incentives. A review looking at these interventions found that one intervention helps improve the number of women receiving antenatal care. However interventions used together may reduce baby deaths in pregnancy and early life, lower numbers of low birth weight babies born and improve numbers of women receiving antenatal care.
Traditional prenatal care in high income countries generally consists of:
monthly visits during the first two trimesters (from week 1–28)