Indicator List for Pregnancy & Birth

Young pregnant woman

A healthy pregnancy and healthy status at birth set the stage for subsequent child development and well-being.

Indicator List for Pregnancy & Birth

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Breastfeeding

There has been substantial progress in recent years in getting mothers to breastfeed their infants, and the latest available national data met Healthy People 2010 goals. 

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Late or No Prenatal Care

Although there were substantial declines on this measure in the 1990s for all races, black, Hispanic, and Native American mothers are more than twice as likely as white mothers to receive either late or no prenatal care.

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Mothers Who Smoke While Pregnant

The proportion of women who report smoking during pregnancy has dropped substantially since the 1990s: from almost 20 percent in 1989 to nine percent in 2011. However, wide disparities exist by race/ethnicity, and by maternal education.

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Preterm Births

Infants born preterm are at increased risk for a number of health problems. The percentage of births that were preterm (occurring at least three weeks before an infant’s due date — earlier than the 37th week of pregnancy), and especially late preterm births, increased markedly between 1990 and 2006, but have since decreased.

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Teen Pregnancy

Pregnancy rates among adolescent females fell steadily between 1990 and 2005, and, while there was a slight rise in 2006 and 2007, data from 2009 indicate a return to the earlier trend. The U.S. rate of teen pregnancy is now at an historic low.

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Unintended Births

Between 2006 and 2010, more than one-third (37 percent) of all births in the United States were unintended, according to mothers’ reports.  Of these, nearly two-thirds of unintended births were mistimed, rather than unwanted.