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Prenatal Care That Makes a Dramatic Difference


What is CenteringPregnancy®?
Centering is a unique style of prenatal care in a group format. Its aim is to build a community that empowers women to be actively involved in their own care and equips them to make healthy choices throughout their pregnancy and beyond.

Expectant mothers meet for 9 sessions with a group of 10-12 other pregnant women due around the same time. Sessions are led by physicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse-midwives.

Each time a group meets, women have the chance to record their pregnancy progress, have their baby checked, talk about concerns one-on-one with their Centering clinician, and talk about pregnancy issues that are relevant to them as a group, such as exercise, nutrition, reducing stress, signs of labor, breastfeeding, new baby care and after delivery issues. Centering is complete prenatal care and pregnancy support all in one!

Will I still get the ultrasounds and lab tests that I expect in prenatal care?
Yes, you will still get all of the same prenatal care in CenteringPregnancy that you would get one-on-one with your clinician. The labs, prescriptions and ultrasounds will be ordered for you as appropriate by your Centering provider.

Can my partner or other support person come to my CenteringPregnancy groups with me?
Having support people come with you is optional. Women are free to attend group with or without a support person. Some sessions may be of more interest for support people, like preparing for the birth. Support people sit in the circle with the group and fully participate in the activities and discussions.

Why do we recommend Centering?
Centering group visits offer unhurried time with your provider. Centering clinicians and patients spend about 18 hours together in group visits. This is about ten times more time than with traditional individual visits. It is fun for the patients and Centering clinicians to get to know each other better.

All of your time in the office is focused on you. You will know the dates and times for all of your visits so you can plan ahead. Most women who have participated in this type of care tell us how supportive and reassuring it was to connect with other women going through the same experiences of pregnancy. You have the chance to get to know other mothers and perhaps develop a set of lifelong friends. Having other women in the group gives each person a chance to share her own experience. Many times another woman asks just the question that you were wondering about. You are not alone. We recommend CenteringPregnancy groups because it is better for you. Studies show that women in Centering groups are less likely to have their baby prematurely. Your health is important to us.

Who can participate in CenteringPregnancy?
Most women expecting a normal pregnancy can enjoy and benefit from group prenatal care. If specific health conditions emerge during the pregnancy, those conditions may be managed in group or may require extra visits to specialists. Ask your clinician if Centering is right for you.

Two hours seems like a long time for a prenatal visit. What happens during the two hours?
At the start of a CenteringPregnancy session, you will have a brief one-on-one assessment by the Centering clinician, take part in self-care activities, fill out a Self-Assessment Sheet on a certain topic, enjoy snacks, and talk with the other participants. When the group “circles up” together, the group talks about topics of interest to pregnant women. There is time to go over skills such as breathing and relaxing and holding and comforting baby. Groups are lively, interactive, focused on issues important to you and are FUN!

What is the cost of CenteringPregnancy?
There is no extra charge to you for CenteringPregnancy. Your cost share is the same as if you had exam room care and is determined by your insurance benefits.

When and where do CenteringPregnancy groups meet?
CenteringPregnancy groups are now offered at the Oakland, Vallejo, San Jose, Santa Clara and Central Valley medical centers. Groups are scheduled on different days and times throughout the week and are set up by due date month. Upon enrolling, you will be booked for all appointments included in your CenteringPregnancy prenatal care.

This is a group. How is my privacy protected?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and we take that responsibility seriously. All participants, including support people, are required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the first group visit. We stress that a person’s specific concerns should not be discussed outside the group setting. Any information shared with the group is up to each person. No one is ever pressured to disclose private concerns.

Your one-on-one assessment with your Centering clinician will take place in a semi-private space in the group room. No pelvic exams are done in group. If you need an exam, you will be seen in an exam room after group.

May I bring my children to my CenteringPregnancy groups?
To avoid distraction for all those attending, we ask that you not bring your children to group. Two hours is quite a long time for a child to sit quietly. Since you will know the date and time for all of your prenatal visits ahead of time, you can make child care arrangements.

How do I join?
To enroll in a group, talk to your provider or call the CenteringPregnancy Coordinator at 510-752-1249.

How can I get more information?

Top 10 reasons to join a CenteringPregnancy group:

  1. A time to talk with other pregnant women about pregnancy, birth and parenting.
  2. Relaxed time with your Centering provider.
  3. Time for lots of discussion!
  4. A chance to take an active role in your prenatal care.
  5. Knowing the date and time of all prenatal visits ahead of time.
  6. Having fun at your prenatal visits!
  7. No waiting.
  8. Food to snack on at group.
  9. A community of friends.
  10. One-stop-shopping; all of your prenatal care in one space.