Aims: To describe antenatal care attendance by mothers of Pacific infants recently delivered at Middlemore Hospital, South Auckland and to examine the demographic and psychosocial factors associated with late initiation of care and inadequate attendance. Methods: The data were gathered as part of the Pacific Islands Families: First Two Years of Life (PIF) Study in which 1365 birth mothers in the cohort (n=1376) were interviewed when their infants were six weeks old about their antenatal care attendance. Results: Almost all (99.1%) mothers attended antenatal care at least once. Over a quarter (26.6%) initiated their antenatal care late, and 10.7% attended fewer than the recommended number of times. Maternal factors significantly associated with late initiation of antenatal care were high parity, first pregnancy, not being employed prior to pregnancy and Cook Island Maori ethnicity. Factors associated with inadequate attendance were reaction to the pregnancy and being employed prior to pregnancy. Conclusions: A significant proportion of mothers of Pacific infants reported initiating antenatal care later than the first trimester and attending fewer antenatal visits than recommended. These findings indicate that the importance of antenatal care needs to be promoted among Pacific communities.
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