This study aims to describe prenatal care provided to pregnant users of the public or private health services in Brazil, using survey data from Birth in Brazil, research conducted from 2011 to 2012. Data was obtained through interviews with postpartum women during hospitalization and information from hand-held prenatal notes. The results show high coverage of prenatal care (98.7%), with 75.8% of women initiating prenatal care before 16 weeks of gestation and 73.1% having six or more number of appointments. Prenatal care was conducted mainly in primary health care units (89.6%), public (74.6%), by the same professional (88.4%), mostly physicians (75.6%), and 96% received their hand-held prenatal notes. A quarter of women were considered at risk of complications. Of the total respondents, only 58.7% were advised about which maternity care service to give birth, and 16.2% reported searching more than one health service for admission in labour and birth. Challenges remain for improving the quality of prenatal care, with the provision of effective procedures for reducing unfavourable outcomes.
Prenatal Care; Maternal and Child Health; Maternal-Child Health Services