Little research into non-western women's prenatal care utilisation in industrialised western countries has taken generational differences into account. In this study we examined non-western women's prenatal care utilisation and its explanatory factors according to generational status.Data from 3300 women participating in a prospective cohort of primary midwifery care clients (i.e. women with no complications or no increased risk for complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium who receive maternity care by autonomous midwives) in the Netherlands (the DELIVER study) was used. Gestational age at entry and the total number of prenatal visits were aggregated into an index. The extent to which potential factors explained non-western women's prenatal care utilisation was assessed by means of blockwise logistic regression analyses and percentage changes in odds ratios.The unadjusted odds of first and second-generation non-western women making inadequate use of prenatal care were 3.26 and 1.96 times greater than for native Dutch women. For the first generation, sociocultural factors explained 43% of inadequate prenatal care utilisation, socioeconomic factors explained 33% and demographic and pregnancy factors explained 29%. For the second generation, sociocultural factors explained 66% of inadequate prenatal care utilisation.Irrespective of generation, strategies to improve utilisation should focus on those with the following sociocultural characteristics (not speaking Dutch at home, no partner or a first-generation non-Dutch partner). For the first generation, strategies should also focus on those with the following demographic, pregnancy and socioeconomic characteristics (aged ≤ 19 or ≥ 36, unplanned pregnancies, poor obstetric histories (extra-uterine pregnancy, molar pregnancy or abortion), a low educational level, below average net household income and no supplementary insurance.