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This report shows the percentage of pregnant Vermont residents receiving prenatal care during their first trimester statewide and at the county-level by year. Pregnant women who access first trimester care (initial 13 weeks of pregnancy) have lower risk of complications.  Early and regular prenatal care is an evidence-based strategy to improve health outcomes of pregnancy for mothers and infants. Factors contributing to pregnant women enrolling in prenatal care include health insurance coverage, availability of providers, and ongoing education of patients and providers about importance.  

Early prenatal care data used in this report are from the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) Vital Statistics System. Vermont’s vital records (data concerning births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, civil unions, divorces, and dissolutions) are collected according to state and federal laws and stored in VDH’s Vital Statistics System. When a birth occurs in the state, the physician, midwife, or other birth attendant is required by law to complete a birth certificate and file it with the town clerk in the town of birth within 5 days. For hospital births, medical records staff usually complete the birth certificate. The completed birth certificate is recorded and filed in the town where the birth took place, and a certified copy is sent to VDH for incorporation in the state’s Vital Statistics System. Data are then sent to the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), the Federal compilation of each state’s vital records data across the county, where public access is provided to statistical information from birth certificates.

Birth data in this report are Vermont resident births, regardless of whether the birth occurred in or outside of Vermont. Prenatal care during the first trimester (or early prenatal care) is defined as health care a pregnant woman receives for her unborn child or children during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. State-level data were aggregated by year while county-level data were averaged by discrete three-year periods to account for data that may fluctuate greatly from year to year, thus maximizing reliability.

Values between 1 and 10 (inclusive) were suppressed/removed for a given geography and replaced with the value ‘-999.’ Secondary suppression occurred in instances where a data element could be used to calculate a related value that was suppressed (e.g., when a numerator was suppressed for a given percentage, the denominator was also suppressed to prevent reverse calculation of the numerator). The suppression rules were enforced to prevent the identification of individuals in an effort to preserve privacy and confidentiality.

Early prenatal care percentages were calculated using the following formula:

([Early Prenatal Care Count for the Year] / [Live Birth Count with Early Prenatal Care Data for the Year]) * 100

Average early prenatal care percentages were calculated using the following formula:

([Average Early Prenatal Care Count during the Three-Year Period] / [Average Live Birth Count with Early Prenatal Care Data during the Three-Year Period]) * 100

Average counts and percentages used for the county-level data must be interpreted with caution in some instances due to the small sample sizes.