CenteringPregnancy® is group-based prenatal care that brings patients who are due at the same time out of exam rooms and into a comfortable setting. Each Centering group is led by a certified nurse-midwife. Having the same midwife throughout pregnancy provides patients with continuity of care & a strong relationship with their provider. All patients who participate in Centering will also have some individual office visits near the end of pregnancy that will allow them to meet the other providers in the practice.
How It Works
CenteringPregnancy® participants have their initial intake into their obstetric care in the usual manner with history and physical examination occurring within the office space. Thereafter, approximately 6-10 patients with similar due dates meet together throughout the pregnancy. Partners and other support people are welcome to attend the group.
- Better health outcomes
- More time with your midwife
- Support & friendship
- Learning & fun
About the Sessions
While traditional childbirth education classes don’t start until about two months before the baby’s due date, Centering sessions start early in the pregnancy. The two-hour meetings are initially held every four weeks and increase to every two weeks as the pregnancy progresses. Patients learn how to record their own vitals (weight and blood pressure); and at each session they discuss and learn about important subjects such as nutrition and exercise, coping with labor, and infant feeding and care.
In CenteringPregnancy® prenatal groups, participants:
- Know when all their appointments are scheduled, and never wait to be seen.
- Spend quality time with their midwife.
- Enjoy snacks and refreshments.
- Discuss health concerns and expectations in a supportive setting.
Will I still get the ultrasounds and lab tests that I expect in prenatal care?
Yes, you will still get all of the same prenatal care in CenteringPregnancy® that you would get one-on-one with your provider. The labs, prescriptions and ultrasounds will be ordered for you as appropriate by your Centering midwife.
Can my partner or other support person come to my CenteringPregnancy® groups with me?
Having support people come with you is optional. Participants are free to attend group with or without a support person. Some sessions may be of more interest for your support people; for exampls, preparing for the birth. Support people sit in the circle with the group and fully participate in the activities and discussions.
Why is Centering recommended?
Centering group visits offer unhurried time with your provider. Centering midwives and patients spend about 18 hours together in group visits. This is about ten times more time than with traditional individual visits. It is fun for the patients and Centering providers to get to know each other better.
All of your time in the office is focused on you. You will know the dates and times for all of your visits so you can plan ahead. Most patients who have participated in this type of care tell us how supportive and reassuring it was to connect with others going through the same experiences during pregnancy.
You have the chance to get to know other parents, and perhaps develop a set of lifelong friends. Meeting with a group gives each person a chance to share their own experiences and receive advice from peers about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
Who can participate in CenteringPregnancy®?
Nearly all pregnant patients are appropriate for CenteringPregnancy® care. If specific health conditions emerge during the pregnancy, those conditions may be managed in group or may require extra visits to specialists. Ask your provider if Centering is right for you.
Two hours seems like a long time for a prenatal visit. What happens during the two hours?
At the start of a CenteringPregnancy® session, you will have a brief one on one assessment by the midwife, take part in self-care activities, fill out a Self-Assessment Sheet on a certain topic, enjoy snacks, and talk with the other participants. When the group “circles up” together, the group talks about topics of interest to pregnant patients. There is time to go over skills such as breathing and relaxing and holding and comforting baby. Groups are lively, interactive, focused on issues important to you and are FUN!
What is the cost of CenteringPregnancy®?
There is no extra charge to you for CenteringPregnancy®. Your cost share is the same as if you had exam room care and is determined by your insurance benefits.
How do I join?
To enroll in a group, talk to your provider or call 802-251-9965.