Children & Youth
Early Prenatal Care

Early Prenatal Care

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.

Why is this important?

Early, high-quality prenatal care is critical to reducing risks for complications of pregnancy or birth and improving birth outcomes.

How is our county performing?

In 2019, 85% of women in Berks County received early prenatal care, a higher percentage than in Pennsylvania or the nation, at 75% and 76%, respectively. The county rate rose 19 percentage points since 2007, a larger increase than the state level (11 percentage points).

The percentage of women who received early prenatal care in Berks County in 2019 was higher than in Lancaster (68%), Lebanon (78%) and Schuylkill (75%) counties. Berks was fairly similar to Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery (80%, 84% and 82%, respectively). The percentage increase in Berks from 2007 to 2019 was larger than most of the surrounding counties. Unlike Berks, Schuylkill's prenatal care rate declined from 2007 to 2019 by 3 percentage points.

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. Comparable national data is not available before 2014.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Early Prenatal Care
United States71%72%75%75%76%76%
Berks County66%67%67%70%73%74%75%79%79%82%84%83%85%
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County74%74%74%74%73%74%75%76%76%80%80%81%80%
Lancaster County65%63%64%60%61%61%61%67%65%67%68%66%68%
Lebanon County70%66%70%69%70%70%71%76%78%78%75%78%78%
Lehigh County63%68%70%73%73%72%71%77%63%81%80%79%84%
Montgomery County69%72%72%72%72%75%74%76%77%81%79%82%82%
Schuylkill County78%79%85%82%80%82%80%80%74%77%76%76%75%

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.

Number of Births with Early Prenatal Care
United States2,824,6072,854,0652,956,7752,903,7592,864,3442,842,295
Berks County3,2863,3203,2833,2593,4323,4903,4993,7813,6653,8193,8403,7113,872
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4,4404,4084,2664,0013,9883,9603,9774,0934,0924,1474,1724,2474,158
Lancaster County4,7174,4954,5374,0614,1884,2034,2154,6974,6654,6164,8684,5604,640
Lebanon County1,1121,0141,0461,0181,0841,0851,0431,1581,1571,1501,1171,1421,170
Lehigh County2,7082,8382,8872,9052,8772,8632,8613,0972,5493,3193,3273,3183,468
Montgomery County6,2946,7386,5936,4856,4086,6406,4036,6666,7166,9056,8106,8766,788
Schuylkill County1,0941,1751,1481,0641,0991,0361,0171,026923983932906916

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Notes: Number of births for which mothers received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing