Antenatal care is the form of medical supervision, providing services to pregnant women
Eight hundred and ninety eight studies were initially identified. During screening, 23 studies were found to be relevant for data extraction. Of these, only twelve studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. In five of the twelve studies included in the analysis, antenatal care service utilization had a significant association with neonatal mortality. The pooled risk ratio by the random-effects model was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.43, 0.86) for neonates born to women who received at least one antenatal care visit by a skilled provider as compared to neonates born to women who did not receive antenatal care.
This review indicates that utilization of at least one antenatal care visit by a skilled provider during pregnancy reduces the risk of neonatal mortality by 39% in sub-Saharan African countries. Thus, in order to accelerate progress towards the reduction of newborn deaths, all pregnant women should receive antenatal care during pregnancy.