Children & Youth
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2019


Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2019

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.

How is our county performing?

In 2019, 81% of Hispanic women and 84% of African American women in Berks County received early prenatal care, compared with 85% of white women and 100% of Asian women. The rates for both Hispanic and African American women were up by 34 and 39 percentage points, respectively, since 2007. For white women, the rate was up 16 percentage points since 2007.

Rates in Berks County were significantly higher for African American, Hispanic, and Asian women compared to state and national rates, and slightly higher for white women.

Among neighboring counties, Chester, Lancaster, Lehigh and Montgomery counties had lower rates of early prenatal care among Hispanic and African American women than Berks County. Relatively few African American and Hispanic women gave birth in Schuylkill and Lebanon counties during this period, which made accurate comparisons difficult.

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. 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 by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2019
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States79%66%70%78%
Pennsylvania74%64%67%78%
Berks County100%84%81%85%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County86%70%74%81%
Lancaster County85%73%77%67%
Lebanon County100%100%76%77%
Lehigh County100%79%80%84%
Montgomery County81%68%64%84%
Schuylkill County100%85%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. Data may not be available for every group.




Number of Births with Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2019
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States220,451417,321623,6722,177,926
Pennsylvania5,18615,11811,22080,616
Berks County934641,3373,301
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County3712874523,500
Lancaster County1573917604,082
Lebanon County13242241,133
Lehigh County1594871,3552,812
Montgomery County7087174425,363
Schuylkill County1157905

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.




Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity, 2007
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States
Pennsylvania58%45%47%69%
Berks County86%45%47%68%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County74%60%49%76%
Lancaster County85%57%62%65%
Lebanon County100%69%69%
Lehigh County68%47%46%66%
Montgomery County65%48%42%72%
Schuylkill County100%78%

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, 2007
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
United States
Pennsylvania3,65211,7956,49281,324
Berks County742526452,960
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County2842183343,938
Lancaster County1163145074,287
Lebanon County141241,098
Lehigh County1082996032,301
Montgomery County5654182865,311
Schuylkill County101,094

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 TREND | BERKS COUNTY
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 Decreasing
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