Vermont's children and young people achieve their potential, including: pregnant women and young people thrive; children are ready for school; children succeed in school; youths choose healthy behaviors; youths successfully transition to adulthood and 8 more...less...

Pregnant women and young people thrive

Act 186 - MCH

Vermon's children and young people achieve their potential

All Vermonters have access to healthcare and physical, mental, and substance use prevention services

Equitable Access: Vermonters have access to programs, services, and supports in healthcare, childcare, nutrition, and transportation

VERMONT'S CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL

VERMONT'S CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL

VERMONT'S CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL

% of women who receive first trimester prenatal care

84%2020

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Story Behind the Curve

Last Updated: September 2022

Author: Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health


This measure looks at the percentage of pregnant people who began prenatal care during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Though there are differences between geographic areas around the state (as seen in these indicators about Vermont births), the statewide percentage has remained relatively steady over the years.

This measure is influenced by many factors, including medical provider capacity and practice, access to appointment times, access to transportation, and the social context of pregnant people.

Promotion of a healthy pregnancy  and identification of risk factors like substance use including tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis and mental health concerns should occur early in pregnancy to be optimally effective. Early prenatal care is also an essential part of helping a pregnant person prepare to become a parent and connect to important resources such as home visiting and lactation education.

If a pregnant person needs help finding a health care provider or local supports, the Local Health Office, WIC and Help Me Grow can provide assistance. 

What Works

The Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP) have sustained and expanded the Vermont Perinatal Quality Collaborative (VT-PQC). The VT-PQC aims to improve the quality of care provided to perinatal people and infants enrolled in Medicaid. The VT-PQC also endeavors to improve access and care coordination in the clinical and community setting, as well as to establish prenatal care standards and recommendations by standardizing quality assessment, benchmarking, and reporting.

Strategy

The VT-PQC collaborative is working to strengthen a Vermont wide network of obstetric providers and hospitals, community partners, home visitors and the VDH Maternal Child Health nurses in the local offices of health.

Why Is This Important?

Prenatal care is a key component of a healthy pregnancy. Regular prenatal care helps to identify and treat complications and promote healthy behaviors. Outcome data suggest that babies born to mothers who do not receive prenatal care are 3 times more likely to be of low birth weight, and 5 times more likely to die, compared with babies born to mothers who receive prenatal care.  In addition to medical care, prenatal care includes counseling and education.

Notes on Methodology

This measure looks at the percentage of pregnant people who began prenatal care during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

The Vermont vital statistics system monitors the following vital events: births, deaths, marriages and civil unions, divorces and dissolutions, fetal deaths, and abortions.

This data comes from the birth certificate, and the percentage is based on the number of total live births of residents of Vermont as documented on the birth certificate.  

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