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Centering Pregnancy

Centering Pregnancy is prenatal care that includes a one-on-one health check-up, along with extra time and attention in a group setting. You’ll meet with your Centering provider and other women who are due near the same time for 9 sessions during your pregnancy, and one postpartum visit.

Centering Pregnancy is a way for you to learn and share your experiences with other pregnant women while being involved in your own care.

You will:

  • Learn more about pregnancy, labor and birth
  • Learn about caring for your new baby
  • Be more active in your healthcare
  • Have more time with your Centering provider
  • Gain support from other pregnant women

Please call our Centering Coordinator at 916-614-5451 for the full schedule of dates for each group. We offer groups in the mornings and late afternoons at our Point West facility.

What is Centering Pregnancy?

Centering is a unique style of prenatal care in a group format. Its aim is to build a supportive 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 during pregnancy, and one after delivery, with a group of  other pregnant women that are due around the same time.  A partner or a support person is also welcome to attend all of the sessions.

Each time a group meets, the participants have the chance to record their pregnancy progress, have their baby checked, talk about concerns one-on-one with their Centering provider, 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

Will I still get the ultrasounds and lab tests that I expect in prenatal care?

Yes, you will still get all the same prenatal care in Centering Pregnancy that you would get in a traditional office visit.  The lab tests, ultrasounds, and any necessary prescriptions will be ordered for you as appropriate by your Centering provider.

Can my partner or other support person come to my Centering Pregnancy groups with me?

Having a support person come with you is optional. Some women attend alone, while others bring a significant other. 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 providers and patients spend about 18 hours together (throughout the entire pregnancy) in group visits. This is about ten times more time than with traditional individual visits. It is fun for the patients and Centering providers to get to know each other better.

You will know the dates and times for all of your visits so you can plan ahead. Most Centering participants tell us how supportive and reassuring it was to connect with others 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 someone else asks just the question that you were wondering about.

Who can participate in Centering Pregnancy?

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 provider 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 Centering Pregnancy session, you will have a one-on-one assessment by the Centering provider, take part in self-care activities, 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 the baby. Groups are lively, interactive, focused on issues important to you, and are FUN!

What is the cost of Centering Pregnancy?

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

When and where do Centering Pregnancy groups meet?

Centering Pregnancy groups are now offered at the Sacramento Point West Medical Center. Patients who usually receive care at another site in the Greater Sacramento area can participate in Centering at Point West. Groups are scheduled at different days and times throughout the week (including late afternoon groups) and are set up by the due date month. Upon joining, you will be given an entire schedule of all the group dates for your pregnancy.

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 provider will take place in a semi-private space in the group room. No pelvic exams are done in the group. If you need an exam, you will be seen in an exam room after group.

May I bring my children to my Centering Pregnancy groups?

To avoid distraction for all those attending, we ask that you not bring your children to the group. Since you will know the date and time for all of your prenatal visits ahead of time, you can make childcare arrangements.

How do I join?

To enroll in a group, talk to your provider or call the Centering Pregnancy Coordinator at 916-614-5451.

How can I get more information?

Top 10 reasons to join a Centering Pregnancy 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.