NMCSD Has A New Prenatal Care Option
By Lt. Cmdr. Sara Shaffer, NMCSD OB/GYN
SAN DIEGO – Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) is one of only 10 medical centers in California to offer the CenteringPregnancy© prenatal program for its patients. The group learning program focuses on health assessments, education and support.
The CenteringPregnancy© prenatal program will allow groups of eight to 12 women of similar gestational ages the opportunity to meet and discuss various topics of interest to the participants. During the session which will run two hours in length, each woman in the group will receive a physical assessment. The physical assessment portion of the group visit is used to assess the growth of the baby and evaluate the fetal heart rate. After the assessments, the group circles up and the rest of the session is spent on education. The women take their own blood pressure and weight at the beginning of the visit and record it in their own prenatal record. Participants take an active role in their prenatal care experience. Everything happens in the group space.
Women in CenteringPregnancy© will meet eight to nine times throughout their pregnancy, following the same pathway as women receiving individual prenatal care. CenteringPregnancy® offers women the opportunity to discuss their experiences and challenges, work with their provider to find good solutions, while in a fun social environment.
Group prenatal care allows patients 10 times more time with their provider than one-on-one patient visits. Expectant women will have increased opportunities to actively participate in health decisions and to ask questions with the goal of fostering a more enjoyable prenatal visit.
The CenteringPregnancy© prenatal program was developed by Sharon Schindler Rising, Certified Nurse Midwife, and is now utilized at sites all around the country. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, research shows it to be a very safe and effective way to provide prenatal care.
Pregnant women visiting NMCSD can find out more about enrolling in this prenatal care program by asking their provider during the initial prenatal visit.