What is Centering?
Centering is group prenatal care. You'll meet monthly with seven other women whose due dates are the same month as yours and your healthcare provider. Each visit lasts two hours and includes discussions around topics important for your current phase of pregnancy. We also do individual check-ins with your baby to ensure everything is going well. Snacks and cozy chairs are provided. Your visits will always start on time—no more sitting in the waiting room.
You will still have some individual appointments at the beginning and end of your pregnancy and for ultrasounds, but most of your prenatal care will happen with your group. It's not a pregnancy class—it's a whole new way to do prenatal care.
Best of all, research shows that women participating in CenteringPregnancy have higher rates of successful breastfeeding and satisfaction with their prenatal care and lower rates of preterm birth and low-birth-weight infants.
Is it mandatory, or can I choose traditional prenatal care?
If Centering doesn't work with your schedule, you can always choose traditional care. Centering families will receive the schedule of visits at their 12-week individual prenatal visit, so you'll be able to plan around your visits for the entire pregnancy. Starting in April 2022, Centering will be our default model of care for new pregnancies. If you're halfway through your pregnancy in April (more than 20 weeks), nothing will change for you, and you will remain in traditional care.
Are partners allowed to come to the Centering visits?
Partners can't come now unless groups are very small. No more than 10 people are allowed in a room, per current COVID-19 restrictions. When COVID restrictions end, we would love to welcome partners back into the groups. Masks are required, as with all our office visits. Partners are still welcome for all ultrasounds, which will still be individual.
What if the session times are inconvenient for me?
If times aren't convenient and there are no groups available at better times, you can choose traditional care. If you miss a session, you'll do a conventional prenatal visit to make up and rejoin your group.
How often do these groups meet? Does Centering stop at a certain gestation?
You'll do 10 total Centering sessions starting around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy. At first, you'll come in once a month. When you reach the third trimester, you'll come in once every two weeks until 36 weeks. You'll return to individual care for the last four weeks of pregnancy (36-40w). We can also add additional individual visits if problems (e.g., gestational diabetes) arise.
How long is each session?
Each session will run for about 2 hours. We'll have 1.5 hours of content with some buffer time on both ends to settle in, get a snack, have an individual belly check and chat with your friends.
So, I wait in the waiting room, and then I'm there for two more hours?
There is no waiting in Centering. Your appointment will always start at the scheduled time, and you can walk straight back to the session without waiting to be called.
Is this a two-hour lecture on pregnancy?
No. That would be really boring for you. We'll briefly introduce each session's topic, but most of each session is built around you, your questions, discussions with other pregnant women and your needs. Ultimately, we want you to take control of your healthcare. We're here to give you the tools and guidance to do that.
Will I still get to see my favorite provider?
You likely will. Many of our providers are Centering Facilitators. Even if your preferred provider isn't on the list, you can still see them at the beginning and end of your pregnancy.