prenatal care class group

Why would a woman want to receive her prenatal care in a group?

One of our participants in the middle of her first Centering session said, “Why would I NOT want to do this? I could still be sitting in your waiting room or here eating strawberries and being supported in my pregnancy. This is a no-brainer. “

UofL Physicians – OB/GYN and Women’s Health is now offering Centering Prenatal Care, a model of group care that has been shown to improve outcomes, conserve resources and be just plain fun.

Women enter Centering groups at 16-20 weeks, after having had their first few visits in our office. Each visit lasts two hours and includes individual assessment as well as group discussion—and snacks! Ideally groups have eight to 10 women involved.

Group members come straight to the Centering Room on the second floor of the ACB bridge. Music is playing and snacks are ready. There are worksheets to consider as we gather.

Group members take their blood pressure and weigh themselves. Then there is a brief individual time with the provider behind a divider where we do tummy checks and listen to the fetal heart.

The remainder of the time is spent as a group discussing issues relevant to pregnancy—nutrition, common discomforts, breastfeeding, labor, pain management in labor, infant care. For some sessions, resource people join us. We take a field trip to labor and delivery in one session.

Groups are composed of women in roughly the same stage of pregnancy, so they tend to have a lot in common. But nothing needs to be shared in the group unless the participant wishes. What happens in Centering, stays in Centering. Everyone signs a confidentiality agreement at the first session.

Groups are scheduled every four weeks until the group averages 28 weeks of gestation and then they go to every two weeks. Individual visits can be scheduled if needed. Patients receive their schedule of visits when they opt into Centering, which helps with planning.

Two hours sounds like a long time, but with no waiting room time it isn’t much longer than the time one would spend for an individual visit. And it’s a lot more fun!

If you are pregnant, or know someone who is, check us out! To learn more, please call 502-588-4371.

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Article by: Carol K. Brees

Carol K. Brees, M.D., is an OB/GYN with UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women's Health. She received her medical degree from the University of California. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology from the University of Louisville Hospital. She also completed a family practice residency at Northridge Family Practice Residency.

All posts by Carol K. Brees
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