Prenatal care group to begin at MUSCTweet
By Annalise Baker-Whitcomb
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
CenteringPregnancy, a new model of group prenatal care, will be introduced at MUSC in July.
This model offers all the advantages of a group, without taking away any benefits of individual care. Low-risk women of a similar gestational age will meet for 10 group sessions. Each session will have a topic related to their stage in pregnancy, time for questions and answers as well as individual check-up sessions, according to assistant professor Gweneth Lazenby, M.D. This model also extends the time of each visit from the usual 15 minutes to approximately two hours.
“The goal of CenteringPregnancy is to provide women with a support network of other women who are pregnant, to assist them in providing one another with advice, as well as for the provider to spend more time with their patients in education about pregnancy,” said Lazenby.
CenteringPregnancy has been introduced at other institutions as well, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Boston Medical Center. Centering Pregnancy at those institutions has provided positive benefits for both mother and child, lowering rates of preterm birth and underweight babies while increasing the rate of breastfeeding.
Group members in CenterPregnancy programs may ask questions that others had been wondering about or that the other members may not have thought to ask. In many cases, women in the group have continued to meet long after the birth of their babies.
MUSC will be part of a statewide study, including five other locations, according to Lazenby. These institutions will offer CenteringPregnancy to their patients in the hopes of demonstrating improved outcomes among the participating women.
For information about CenteringPregnancy, visit www.MUSChealth.com/centering or call 792-5300.June 13, 2013