Female—number of antenatal care visits, total N[N]

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Data Element
Short name:Antenatal care visits
Synonymous names:Number of antenatal care visits
METeOR identifier:669982
Registration status:Health, Superseded 12/12/2018
ACT Health, Final 14/08/2018

The total number of antenatal care visits attended by a pregnant female.


The number of antenatal care visits is an indicator of access and use of health care during pregnancy. The antenatal period presents opportunities for reaching pregnant women with interventions that may be vital to their health and wellbeing and that of their infants. Receiving antenatal care at least four times, as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), increases the likelihood of receiving effective maternal health interventions during antenatal visits (WHO 2015).

Data Element Concept:Female—number of antenatal care visits

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Total
Data type:Number
Maximum character length:2
Supplementary values:
99Not stated/inadequately described

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:

Antenatal care visits are attributed to the pregnant woman.

In rural and remote locations where a midwife or doctor is not employed, registered Aboriginal health workers and registered nurses may perform this role within the scope of their training and skill licence.

Include all pregnancy-related appointments with medical officers where the medical officer has entered documentation related to that visit on the antenatal record.

An antenatal care visit does not include a visit where the sole purpose of contact is to confirm the pregnancy, or those contacts that occurred during the pregnancy that related solely to non-pregnancy related issues.

An antenatal care visit does not include a visit where the sole purpose of contact is to perform image screening, diagnostic testing or the collection of blood or tissue for pathology testing. Exception to this rule is made when the health professional performing the procedure or test is a doctor or midwife and the appointment directly relates to this pregnancy and the health and wellbeing of the fetus.

Collection methods:

Collect the total number of antenatal care visits for which there is documentation included in the health record of pregnancy and/or birth. To be collected once, after the onset of labour. Include all medical specialist appointments or medical specialist clinic appointments where the provider of the service event has documented the visit on the health record.

Multiple visits on the same day should be recorded as one visit.


The scope and definition of antenatal care visits was developed through consultation with stakeholders from midwifery, obstetric, perinatal data managers and other interested parties in 2010.

Antenatal care visits for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy should include advice, education, reassurance, support and treatment for minor problems of pregnancy, as well as effective screening throughout the pregnancy, to identify problems as they arise, with referral as appropriate (Breeze & Kean 2009).

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Reference documents:

Breeze A & Kean L 2009. Routine antenatal management at the booking clinic. Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine 20(1):1–6.

Clinical Practice Improvement Unit (CPIU) 2006. 3Centre consensus guidelines on antenatal care. Melbourne: 3Centres Collaboration.

WHO (World Health Organization) 2015. World health statistics 2015: indicator compendium. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 12 May 2017, http://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Has been superseded by Female—number of antenatal care visits, total N[N] Health, Superseded 20/11/2019

Supersedes Female—number of antenatal care visits, total N[N] Health, Superseded 02/08/2017, Tasmanian Health, Archived 03/07/2020

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:

Perinatal NMDS 2018-19 Health, Superseded 12/12/2018
ACT Health, Final 14/08/2018

DSS specific attributes +