Differences between Italian and foreign women in the use of antenatal care

Francesca Lariccia, Eleonora Mussino, Antonella Pinnelli, Sabrina Prati


The number of foreigners inItalyhas been steadily growing over the last decades. This trend is accompanied by a parallel increase of the number of new-borns who have foreign parents. The aim of the present study is to compare the access and the adequacy of antenatal care for both Italian and foreign women, by controlling for demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Our source is the Certificates of Healthcare at Delivery (2003). Three appropriate indicators of frequency and adequacy of antenatal care have been constructed: 1) time of first visit; 2) number of visits and 3) number of scans. The factors which influence Italian and foreign womens’ access to antenatal care have been identified by using multinomial logistic regression models, in which time of the first visit is the dependent variable. Regarding healthcare received during the pregnancy, we show that strong inequalities in terms of both promptness and level of care persist between Italian and foreign women. Foreign women, particularly those without residency,- experience a delay in their first interaction with antenatal care services. The results of the present study prompt us to question the effectiveness of the policies for providing information to foreign women.

Francesca LARICCIA, Researcher, ISTAT, Rome, Italy. E-mail:

Eleonora MUSSINO, Researcher, ISTAT, Rome, Italy. E-mail:

Antonella PINNELLI, Professor of Demography, Sapienza University of Rome. E-mail:

Sabrina PRATI, Researcher, ISTAT, Rome, Italy. E-mail:


Italy; Antenatal care; Inequality; Foreign Women; Multinomial logistic regression

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54