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Anyone heard of the "Centering Pregnancy" program? A new innovation

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
in prenatal care, says my MW. Basically, you join a group with 8-9 other women who are pg and have due dates around the same time. You meet for a couple hours instead of having individual prenatal appt's, although in each group session, you also have private time with your MW. You get to talk with the other women about what's going on with your pg and theirs and hopefully make friends, too.

I love the fact that it's incorporating prenatal care into a social context -- that just seems cool! I know I was thankful I made some good friend through my Bradley class last time. But I have talked to several of my acquaintances who recently had babies and they said they didn't make friends in their childbirth classes at all, and they essentially went through their pg alone. And then, they had to handle having a newborn and transitioning into motherhood by themselves, also. It just seemed kinda sad and lonely to me.

My MW group is just starting this program and asked if I would be interested. It seems intriguing! Whaddya think? Pros/cons? Would you do it?
post #2 of 10
During my second pregnancy I really emotionally *needed* that one-on-on hour and a half with my midwife each prenatal. But I would have LOVED having the group thing also.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I hear ya on that...

I'm a little leery because I'm going for a VBAC, so I might want more individual attention, too. I might have issues that most of the other women won't.

On the plus side, my MW said that there is no problem with scheduling additional appointments if I ever felt I needed them. And of course you can quit the program at any time if you feel it's not working for you.

Hmm... still mulling it over.
post #4 of 10
Sounds cool to me! I think I would have done it when I was pg (baby is now 6 mos). I live in a very rural area and had a hard time finding other pg women w/ similar preg-birth-parenting philosophy. I really craved that contact. I do also agree w/ the need for 1:1 time w/ your mw. Also, my dh came to almost all of my appts w/ me -- how would that work w/ the group thing? Maybe a mix of group and private app'ts would be best. Let us know what you decide, and how it goes, if you go for it!
post #5 of 10
I'm doing the "Centering Pregnancy" thing! I'm really excited about it. I haven't met with the group yet (we meet for the first time in a few weeks), but I'm really looking forward to meeting with other pregnant women -- right now I feel like I'm the only pregnant woman on the planet. The way my midwives are doing it is that they block off two hours each time, and have a different "teaching topic" for each meeting. So I feel like I'll be getting more out of it than if I was going individually, because I get even more time with them, plus I might learn a bit more. They're also going to pull everyone out individually for a few minutes during the meeting, so you have a chance to talk about anything private, if you need to.

I'm not sure if I'd feel differently if I had any other issues (like VBAC), but I know right now this feels like just what I needed.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh cool, Julie! -- when do you go for your first meeting? Ours starts March 10. Do you know anything about the benefits of the program? I heard it's been going on for a while in the Yale University area.

From what I understand, partners are welcomed and encouraged to attend our group. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not for me -- I don't have any issues with my own DH hearing about what's going on with me, but I may or may not feel comfortable sharing with *other* people's partners. KWIM? Kinda depends.

The other thing I wonder is that I'm a second-timer. I wonder if there'd be any other 2nd timers in there? I might feel like an odd fish if I'm 1) the only VBAC and 2) the only person who already has kids.

Still thinking about it!
post #7 of 10
Our first meeting is March 14, so same week as yours!

They didn't say anything in particular about the benefits of the program (statistically, I mean...they just talked about obvious things like how you'd meet other people and how someone might bring up something that you hadn't thought about, etc.). But yes, they said the same thing about how the pilot program was done at Yale. I'm excited too because apparently there's a pediatrician in my area who's considering this same concept for well-baby care, which I think sounds great (especially if I end up having a good experience with the prenatal group).

From what I got, partners were "welcome" but not especially encouraged or discouraged. I do know what you mean about wondering how you'd be with other people's partners, but I'm thinking that if the partner really wants to come to the group thing, then they must be into the whole idea, and would be pretty open to whatever I have to say. But then, I am not at all shy or reserved, so I honestly hadn't even thought about that!

And, from what my midwives said, it will definitely be a mix of first timers and other women who already have kids. In fact, that was sort of touted as a benefit to me: know you're not alone, and also benefit from the wisdom of women who've done this before.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
That sounds really cool to have a mixed group. I think maybe I'll call my MW to see if there will be a mixed group at ours, too.

I'm leaning towards signing up. Although I'd like DH to come with me, it isn't feasible with DS's current bedtime schedule. But then I wouldn't have to drag DS to MW appts all the time which would be good. (He's only just turning two this week, so he doesn't really understand all that much about this yet.)
post #9 of 10
I can't imagine your group wouldn't be mixed. Otherwise, why would they have mentioned it to you? Plus, it's not like you don't want camaraderie and the group experience, just because you've had a baby before.

I'm hoping they'll mention what the teaching topics are ahead of time, so I can just ask my husband if he's interested in the next meeting's topics. He's been coming to all the appointments with me, but feeling a little helpless and useless, so I don't really mind him not coming with me. In fact, to me, that was one of the benefits of the group thing...he wouldn't have to come with me, because I could go and not feel like I was all alone or anything.
post #10 of 10
Hi Everyone,
I am a student nurse-midwife and am help facillitate a Centering Pregnany Program and it is a priviledge just to be involved with a group like this. The program really encourages empowerment and allows women to take more responsibility during prenatals - you do your own BP, weight, urine dip, etc. But the most amazing part is that the women in the program really really grow and bond together and have each other for support for the entire pregnancy and beyond. I have only been involved in doing this with an inner city clinic population in CT, but would encourage anyone to join if it is offered in your area. Good Luck!
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