Benefits of Group Prenatal Care
There are many benefits for becoming part of a group prenatal program such as the Centering for Pregnancy model.
The group model of care “integrates three major components of care: health assessment, education, and support, into a unified program within a group setting. Eight to twelve women with similar gestational ages meet together, learning care skills, participating in a facilitated discussion, and developing a support network with other group members.”(Centering Pregancy website) Each pregnancy group meets for about 10 sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum.
Women learn how to take and chart their own blood pressure, weight, and urine samples. Afterwards, each one is given one-on-one time with the health care provider to measure baby’s growth, go over charting, and discuss any questions that have arisen since the last meeting.
There is whole group time devoted to specific topics related to pregnancy and birth and a supportive group dynamic evolves during the course of the meetings for mothers and their families.
Through this model of care, women are empowered to choose health-promoting behaviors. Health outcomes for pregnancies, and the satisfaction expressed by both the women and their providers, support the effectiveness of this model for the delivery of care.
Group care provides a positive and safe environment for learning and sharing. Hearing other women express the same concerns and questions reinforces a woman’s confidence in herself and creates bonds that often continue after the birth of their babies.
Group prenatal care is an important step in empowering women during pregnancy and birth.