Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Shanta Dube

Second Advisor

Merrilee Gober


OBJECTIVE: The present study characterizes the population of women residing in the state of Georgia who did not receive prenatal care before giving birth to a live infant between 2015-2016. In addition, the association between mother’s place of residence (rural/non-rural) and pre-term delivery was also examined.

METHODS: Natality data were obtained from Georgia Department of Public Health and included a total of 7,062 women who did not receive prenatal care and gave live birth in Georgia from 2015-2016. Descriptive analyses used to characterize mothers not receiving prenatal care included: mother’s age, race, ethnicity, education level, county of residence in Georgia, parity, funding source for her birth. Multivariable logistic regression examined the association between place of residence in Georgia with pre-term delivery, controlling for sociodemographic variables.

RESULTS: 2.91% of all births in Georgia from 2015 to 2016 were from mothers who received no prenatal care. For the infants of these births, 21.53% were born preterm, 12.12% born low birth weight and 5.34% born very low birth weight. Most of the mothers were African American, had less than 2 previous pregnancies, had a high school diploma or GED, and used Medicaid as the funding source for the delivery of their infant. Although[SRD1] rates of preterm birth were the same for rural and non-rural mothers who did not receive prenatal care (OR = 1.163, 0.985-1.372, p= .0754), five significant predictors for preterm birth were identified and included.

CONCLUSION: Continued monitoring of women not receiving prenatal care is needed. The findings from this study can assist the state of Georgia to tailor healthcare outreach efforts and formulate population-specific intervention strategies that aim to improve access and allocation of prenatal care resources throughout the state of Georgia.