This study aimed to evaluate public and private prenatal care for women in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Women who gave birth at the two local maternity hospitals from January 1 to December 31, 2010, answered a standardized questionnaire. The interview sites in the public sector were primary health care units with and without the Family Health Strategy (FHS) and outpatient clinics; the private sector included clinics operated by health plans and private physicians' offices. The chi-square test was used to compare proportions. The response rate was 97.2% (2,395 out of 2,464). Among the 23 target variables and indicators, seven showed a clear advantage for mothers who had received prenatal care under the FHS and six for health plan clinics and private offices. Four variables showed virtually universal coverage at all five study sites. Prenatal care showed better coverage for pregnant women treated in the private sector. Pregnant women treated under the FHS showed similar coverage to that in the private sector.