Pregnancy centering is a new approach where pregnant women receive their prenatal care, support and education in a group with other moms who are due around the same time. Just like networking to achieve success in work and school, the same is true when striving for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Maureen Foster, SLUCare certified nurse midwife leads pregnancy centering groups at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital.
Foster and her team of certified nurse midwives says pregnancy centering is a group program that brings together several moms-to-be each month for prenatal care, counseling and peer support. “We know that being well informed lowers stress levels,” she says. “When mothers have been through our program, they recognize earlier on if there’s a problem, so we can address it in time.”
Pregnancy centering follows the recommended schedule of ten prenatal visits, but each visit is longer and more in-depth providing about an hour of education, more meaningful and more productive session. "We may talk one week about pre-term labor or we may talk about pre-eclampsia."
Foster cites the case of a patient who came in because she hadn’t been noticing as much fetal movement as she should. It turned out that she needed to deliver right away. “The mother knew she needed to feel 10 movements in a two-hour period, but she was only feeling six,” Foster explains. “That’s a great example of knowledge saving a baby’s life.”
To learn more about SLUCare's Certified Nurse Midwife team and Pregnancy Centering, click here.