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.

Main points

In 2023:

  • There were 50,530 pregnancies booked for maternity care, a slight increase on the 50,407 pregnancies booked in 2022.
  • Four NHS Boards provided antenatal care for almost two thirds of pregnancies, and these were in order of frequency NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Grampian.
Image caption Number of pregnancies booked, by NHS Board of residence
  • Over the last four years the number of pregnancies booked has generally fallen except in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde where the number has increased in each of the last four years.
  • The percentage of pregnancies booked by 12 weeks varied across mainland NHS Boards from 95.5% in NHS Highland to 87.2% in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
  • Pregnant women from the most deprived areas were less likely to access antenatal care by 12 weeks (86.5%) compared with those from the least deprived areas (94.9%) and this gap has widened.
  • Pregnant women continue to be more likely to live in deprived areas than the general population.
  • There were 5,502 pregnancies booked where women reported smoking (11%) and a further 6,144 where women reported being a former smoker (12.3%).
  • The percentage of pregnancies where women reported smoking was roughly eight and a half times higher for those living in the most compared to least 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.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be March 2025.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Celina Davis at phs.maternitystats@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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