About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reports on a range of information about women booking for antenatal care in Scotland, such as total numbers, smoking status, and how early or late in their pregnancy they access this care. It is important to note that some women may experience more than one pregnancy in a 12-month period. The data presented in this report therefore relates to the number of pregnancies booked for maternity care rather than the number of women attending booking appointments.
- There were 50,407 pregnancies booked for maternity care. This was 4% lower than the number of pregnancies booked in 2021.
- The percentage of pregnancies where women reported smoking was nine times higher for those living in the most deprived areas compared to least deprived areas.
- There were 5,913 pregnancies booked where women reported smoking (11.9%) and a further 6,634 where women reported being a former smoker (13.3%). Women of white ethnicity were more likely to report current smoking than ethnic minority women.
- Almost two thirds of pregnancies booked were for women living in four NHS Board areas, in order of frequency: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian, NHS Lanarkshire, and NHS Grampian.
- Pregnancy booking rates decreased in 9 of the 14 NHS Board areas each year between 2020 and 2022. Only in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did the rate of pregnancies booked increase in each of these years.
- Booked pregnancy rates generally increase with increasing deprivation, with roughly a quarter of pregnancies booked for women living in the 20% most deprived areas.
- 92.8% of pregnancies were booked by 12 weeks gestation, with 61.8% of those before 10 weeks. Pregnancies in women aged under 20, ethnic minority women and those living in the most deprived areas were less likely to be booked by 12 weeks than those of older, white ethnicity or women from less deprived areas.
The data presented are obtained from the Antenatal Booking Collection (ABC) dataset. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PHS worked with NHS Boards to set up this national data return providing information on women booking for antenatal care. ABC is based on data recorded by midwives in local clinical information systems when a woman ‘books’ for maternity care. The booking appointment is the first planned and structured contact a midwife has with a pregnant woman, to assess her history and needs so that local maternity services can provide further care such as an early pregnancy scan and antenatal screening tests. The booking appointment can also give women further information about how they can keep themselves and their baby healthy during pregnancy, and to help them plan labour and birth.
The next release of this publication will be March 2024.
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