This fall, the Covenant Prenatal & Women's Health Clinic at Covenant Medical Center began a new form of prenatal care called CenteringPregnancy. Centering is a model of health care that includes an individual prenatal health check-up, with additional time for learning and sharing in a group setting. It allows pregnant women on the same pregnancy timeline with similar due dates to gather experiencing their pregnancies together.
This model of health care is being introduced at a time when statistics show that Black Hawk County has one of the highest rates of low birth weight babies in Iowa babies weighing 5.5 pounds or less. For pregnant women taking part in CenteringPregnancy prenatal care, the risk of having a baby born prematurely and/or with a low birth weight may be reduced.
"There are several benefits to participating in Centering prenatal care," said Jaclyn Roman, Certified Nurse Midwife with the Covenant Prenatal & Women's Health Clinic. "Women in Centering groups are less likely to have a preterm baby, they feel more confident to make healthy decisions for themselves and their family, and have higher breastfeeding rates which is healthier for both mom and baby."
Each group gathering lasts about two hours, with a Covenant Prenatal & Women's Health Clinic Certified Nurse Midwife and a nurse guiding each session. Other guests will include dieticians, social workers and lactation consultants. Partners and support people are welcome to accompany participants to each session.
"Centeringgroup care provides pregnant women with a unique care experience," said Erin Lavin, Certified Nurse Midwife with the Covenant Prenatal & Women's Health Clinic. "Participants will do some of their own care such as weighing themselves, taking their blood pressure and charting their progress. They also have private time with their health care provider, in addition to discussion and activities with the people in their group."
The one-on-one interactions between mom and midwife during each session are completely private and confidential, away from the group. This consultation replaces traditional one-on-one prenatal appointments in the clinic setting. All prenatal care needed is conducted within the Centering prenatal care group setting. No additional appointments are required outside of group sessions in most circumstances.
Following completion of CenteringPregnancy, families come together one last time to celebrate the births of their babies after they've delivered.
CenteringPregnancy is an evidence based group model of health care and has been proven to support positive outcomes for both mom and baby. To find out more about CenteringPregnancy prenatal care, contact the Covenant Prenatal & Women's Health Clinic at 319-272-8200.