In a pastoralist setting in Ethiopia, we assessed changes in attendance between the first and subsequent antenatal care (ANC) visits following the implementation of non-monetary incentives in a primary health care centre over a 3-year period from October 2009 to September 2012. Incentives included the provision of a bar of soap, a bucket, a mosquito net, sugar, cooking oil, a jerrycan and a delivery kit. The first ANC visits increased by 48% in the first year to 60% in the second. Subsequent visits did not show a similar pattern due to ruptures in incentive stocks. Incentives appear to increase ANC attendance; however, ruptures in stock should be avoided to sustain the effect.