What are we measuring?
This measure represents the percentage of women in Fulton County who receive care from a doctor at least once during pregnancy to help ensure the health of the mother and baby. Prenatal visits to a doctor generally include a physical exam and weight checks. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, it may also include  blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams. Visits may also include discussions about the mother's health, the infant's health, and any questions about the pregnancy.  
Why are we measuring it?
Prenatal care can help prevent pregnancy complications and make women aware of important steps they can take to protect their infant and ensure a healthy pregnancy.  Smoking and alcohol use, for example, have been shown to increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Alcohol use can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause a variety of problems such as abnormal facial features, poor memory, intellectual disability, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones.  Prenatal care may also include taking vitamins such as folic acid and other vitamins that pregnant women and their developing fetus need.
How are we doing?
According to the CDC, Fulton County ranked below all of its national benchmark counties in terms of the percentage of live births for which the mother received some prenatal care.  The rate for the County has risen from a 2009 level of 91 percent but has remained fairly steady at around 95 percent for the last several years.  Among the benchmark counties, Allegheny, PA and Hennepin, MN has remained the top counties at approximately 99 percent.

* Excludes births for which information on prenatal care was not included on the birth certificate.