As a patient of Midwifery Services, you and your partner are invited to join our Centering Pregnancy program. This valuable group program gives patients additional contact time with their providers and creates a supportive peer community that can last far beyond the duration of a pregnancy.
Hear what our parents have to say about this Centering Pregnancy Program.
New, introductory sessions are offered about every six weeks and then meetings are held every two weeks approaching delivery. Please call for exact dates.
Women’s Care Center Midwifery Services
141 Mascoma Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
About the Program
Pregnancy can be the most rewarding experience of a woman's life, but it can also be a tremendous challenge. Physical and emotional support are vital to expectant mothers, but, with busy lives and families often spread across the country, that support is not always easy to come by. Even in their prenatal appointments, providers and patients may feel rushed for time and cannot always address all of an expectant mother's needs. Midwifery Services at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital offers Centering Pregnancy, an innovative approach to prenatal care, in response to these concerns.
After their first private prenatal exam, pregnant women and their partners can join a group of 8 to 10 women with similar due dates. In a group session led by a midwife and a nurse, women discuss their progress, address physical and emotional changes, learn about labor and delivery, and share information. Meetings are held once a month, then every two weeks as the women approach delivery, and always include private time for the woman with her midwife. Centering Pregnancy prepares women for labor and delivery, and the challenges of parenting; traditional childbirth classes are not needed.
“Centering can be very empowering,” says the Women's Care Center's Laurie Foster, CNM. “In the centering model women do about half of the physical assessments — they have the opportunity to check their own blood pressure and weight and calculate their infant's gestational age. They have the opportunity to take control of their health in a whole different way.”
Centering Pregnancy was first developed in the mid-'90s by Sharon Schindler Rising, MSN, CNM, FACNM, who wanted to improve prenatal care. The program, which is supported by the March of Dimes, appears to result in healthier babies and less stressful births. Both women having their first baby and those who are already mothers benefit from the group. Partners, family members, or friends are welcome. “I'm seeing that it's pretty engaging for the partners,” Foster adds. “Men who might sit quietly in a one-on-one session are opening up more. Many people—men and women—are more comfortable in the group setting.”
If you would like to learn more about Centering Pregnancy, contact the Women’s Care Center Midwifery Services office at (603) 448-3996. New groups begin about every six weeks.