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Centering Pregnancy

Prenatal Care

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Thank you for choosing Kaiser San Jose for your prenatal care. The information provided on this page will help to get your pregnancy off to a great start.  Please take some time to learn about nutrition during pregnancy, prenatal testing, what to expect in the first trimester and our unique prenatal program, Centering Pregnancy.

Our doctors, certified nurse-midwives, and nurse-practitioners all provide prenatal visits, which usually consist of 8-10 appointments scheduled at key times in the pregnancy.  We also offer a unique method of prenatal care in a group setting, called Centering Pregnancy.  Nine 1 ½ to 2 hour visits are prescheduled and begin with a one-on-one check-up followed by group education and support.

Centering San Jose Video

Prenatal Care in a Supportive Community

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

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
  • Be better prepared for birth
  • Be better prepared to care for your baby
  • Be more active in your healthcare
  • Have more time with your Centering provider
  • Get support from other pregnant women

Please call 408-972-6219 for the full schedule of dates for each group.  Groups are offered in English and Spanish and are available week days, late afternoons and Saturdays.

What is Centering Pregnancy?

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 Centering Pregnancy 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 Centering Pregnancy 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 Centering Pregnancy 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 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 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 Centering Pregnancy 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 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 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 Centering Pregnancy 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 Centering Pregnancy 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 Centering Pregnancy Coordinator at 408-972-6219. In addition, during your pregnancy orientation visit, you will be offered Centering Pregnancy as an option for your prenatal care.


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.