This program combines health assessments, education and support for pregnant
mothers in a unique group setting that completely replaces traditional
one-on-one prenatal visits.
Centering Pregnancy groups are comprised of eight or ten women with similar
due dates who meet regularly throughout their pregnancy, initially meeting
monthly, and eventually changing to every other week in the final stages
of pregnancy. At the beginning of each meeting, time is scheduled for
each expectant mother with individual exams conducted by the Midwife co-facilitator
to assess prenatal health, to take measurements and listen to the baby.
Expectants moms also learn to take their own vital signs including weight,
blood pressure and gestational age.
After personal assessments, the group meets in a circle for an hour to
discuss various topics as the Midwife facilitates conversation. Topics
discussed include nutrition, common pregnancy discomforts, tips to enhance
comfort, birth preparation, communication, family planning, breastfeeding,
stress management and parenting. As part of the Centering Pregnancy program,
a tour of the CVMC Center for Women and Children is given and a subsequent
reunion is planned after everyone delivers, providing a chance to meet
one another’s babies and share their birth stories.
Trish Hickling Beckman, RN, CNM MPH, NEA-BC, Director CVMC Maternity Services
says, “Compared to women who receive standard one-on-one prenatal
visits, research shows that women who participate in group prenatal care,
like that offered in Centering Pregnancy, creates a feeling of greater
empowerment and knowledge. Statistically they have healthier pregnancies
with better outcomes. Plus they feel better prepared for labor and confident
about bringing their baby home.“
CVMC Maternity Services starts a new Centering Pregnancy group each month
and is currently enrolling participants in its 16th Group. Classes are
also offered in Spanish. Community donations are accepted in support of
this program. Our wish list includes: baby blankets, baby hats, quilts,
diapers, and baby clothes. If you are interested in supporting women who
are committed to enhancing their baby’s health, please contact Trish
Beckman at 828/466-7196 to discuss opportunities for donations.