Learn about your baby, your body, childbirth and parenting.
Join other expectant moms to discuss pregnancy issues and solutions.
Track your baby's growth and your own pregnancy progress.
Group prenatal care is used in many settings across the United States, primarily through a program called CenteringPregnancy™. Group prenatal care allows you to meet with other women who share similar due dates and combines prenatal care with a discussion and support group.
We love group prenatal care because it means we have the opportunity to spend more time getting to know you before the birth of your baby. Many pregnant women enjoy sharing their experiences and ideas with others who are pregnant. We base our format for group prenatal care on the CenteringPregnancy™ model and then adapt it to fit our clients’ needs.
Group prenatal care allows women to:
- Gain power and confidence throughout pregnancy.
- Receive in-depth health education (beyond what is possible in a traditional model of care).
- Strengthen their community networks during their transition to motherhood.
- Be more knowledgeable as health care consumers.
Women who have participated in group prenatal care have been found to have:
- Higher levels of satisfaction with prenatal care.
- Lower numbers of inductions and medication use in labor.
- Higher levels of pregnancy knowledge.
- Fewer emergency room visits during the pregnancy.
Here’s How it Works
During your first visit with the nurse, she will review your history and get you started with your care by ordering lab tests or ultrasounds as needed.
At the next appointment, you will meet with the nurse-midwife for 45 minutes. Your physical exam will be completed and any specific concerns you may have will be addressed.
Group prenatal care will begin at about 16-20 weeks. You and 8-10 other women, all due around the same time, will meet at our office. After checking in at the front desk, you will go to the meeting room immediately (no waiting for your appointment!).
When you arrive, a nurse will greet you. There will be time to weigh yourself, take your blood pressure and record this information on your record. You’ll have time to socialize with the other women and read about various health topics.
The midwife will measure your abdomen and listen to the baby’s heartbeat in a semi-private corner of the room. Any personal concerns will then be addressed.
Once everyone is assembled, the group session will begin. It will last about an hour. The nurse-midwife and nurse will sit with you and guide a conversation on a variety of topics about pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting.
Your entire session will last two hours. The schedule for visits is arranged before the first class. This allows you to have all of your prenatal visits booked well in advance.
In general, your group will meet every month for a few months and then every two weeks until the end of your pregnancy. Your midwife, nurse and group of women will be the same throughout your pregnancy. As you can imagine, some groups of women choose to continue to get together on their own after the babies are born.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do women feel uncomfortable being examined in the same room as the group meeting?
A. The physical components of the prenatal exam (measuring the belly, listening to the baby) are conducted in a screened-off separate space away from the main group. Others are busy weighing themselves, looking over resource information, preparing for the group session and getting settled in. Because each woman values her own time with the midwife, other women respect your individual time as well.
Q. What if I need a private exam?
A. You can discuss this with the midwife. If needed, you can be examined in a private room after class.
Q. Can my partner come to the sessions?
A. Yes, we welcome your partner at these sessions. Your partner will be asked to sign a confidentiality statement. If you choose to bring someone, we ask that you try to bring the same person each time. Children are not included in these sessions for reasons of privacy and disruption.
Q. Will my insurance cover this type of care?
A. CenteringPregnancy falls under routine prenatal care, so there will be no difference in how you are billed.
Q. I understand that the same midwife and nurse work with the group each session. How will I meet the other midwives?
A. At various sessions, guest midwives from our practice may join us. We also have a monthly “Meet-the-Midwives” event in our office. This is a meet-and-greet session followed by a tour of our facility. Registration is required and available through our website.