What is CenteringPregnancy?
CenteringPregnancy is a program that allows women to get excellent prenatal care while also connecting with other moms-to-be. Women in similar stages of pregnancy meet as a group to learn about care topics together and build a support network. A midwife guides conversations and activities, and also completes all physical health assessments.
Information about CenteringPregnancy
Exceptional care, social support
The CenteringPregnancy program moves prenatal care out of the exam room and into a community setting. In Centering, women in similar stages of pregnancy meet as a group with a certified nurse midwife. The midwife guides conversations about labor and delivery, newborn care, health, stress management, and postpartum care, in addition to completing standard physical health assessments. This community setting allows women to share their stories, benefit from others’ experiences, and build lasting connections. Groups of up to 12 women meet throughout pregnancy and into early postpartum.
CenteringPregnancy offers a number of practical benefits. All appointments are planned out in advance, making scheduling easier. Plus, patients get 10 times more face time with their provider, compared with traditional care.
Meet our team of nurse midwives, who lead Vancouver Clinic’s Centering program.
What is a midwife?
Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses who go on to obtain graduate degrees in midwifery. More than 12 percent of all vaginal births in the U.S. are attended by midwives, and this number has been increasing every year. Find out why you might want to choose a midwife for your labor and delivery.
Why should I do Centering?
Centering is one of the best ways to receive prenatal care, starting with some key conveniences to make life easier for moms-to-be:
- You receive more time with your provider—20 hours of face-to-face time.
- Your appointments are planned in advance, and always start and end on time.
Centering also creates healthier birth outcomes and builds a sense of community. Centering can lower the risk of pre-term birth for some women. What’s more, Centering moms are better prepared for labor and delivery. The group format allows women to build a community of support and friendship. Often, the connections made during Centering extend well past pregnancy. Members may make lifelong friends, and many groups continue to meet as their families grow.
What if I want to talk privately with my provider?
You’ll have the opportunity to discuss private concerns during individual assessment time at the start of the group. Your midwife may have you make a separate individual appointment if there is something that cannot be covered during the group time.
What happens if I develop complications during my pregnancy that require additional visits?
You can be scheduled to see your provider for a private visit just as you would with traditional care.
Can my partner come to the Centering sessions with me?
We ask that you to come alone to session one, because there is a lot to cover, and session four, because of the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. Your significant other or support person is welcome to attend the other sessions.
Can my other child/children come with me to Centering?
Group time is a special time for you, and for that reason we ask that you set up childcare in advance. Your children may cause you distractions, disallowing you to completely engage in the group. What’s more, Centering is a confidential environment. Older children do not sign confidentially agreements and cannot be expected to hold confidences private.
Will I have to pay more for Centering?
There is no additional charge for CenteringPregnancy. Your charges are the same as traditional care.
Do I have to choose Centering?
You always have a choice between Centering and traditional care. We recommend that you try one session and if you don’t like it, you can go back to traditional visits with your provider.
Who is in the group?
Groups are formed with up to 12 women who are due around the same time you are. Your midwife and medical assistant are there at all times. As months go by, you’ll get to know the other mothers and create friendships that often last for years. Most groups actually continue to meet on their own after sessions are completed.
When do meetings happen?
Here’s how CenteringPregnancy works:
- You meet with a midwife, one-on-one, for your initial prenatal appointment as you normally would with traditional care.
- You receive your normal testing, ultrasounds, and health assessments.
- You receive a schedule for all 10 sessions, which makes planning for work or childcare much easier. Dates do not change, and the sessions always start and end on time. Each session lasts about two hours.
- You attend 10 group sessions that start after the first trimester. The first four sessions are every four weeks, then you meet every other week for the remaining sessions.
- You will get private, one-on-one time with your midwife during each Centering session.
- During group time, each woman can share questions, advice, and experiences through discussions and activities. Snacks are always provided.
This isn’t my first baby. Will Centering be useful for me?
Experienced moms are often surprised by how much they learn from Centering, and they tend to appreciate the opportunity to bond with other women who are having a baby at about the same time. What’s more, as an experienced mom, you have a lot to offer the group. First-time moms may benefit from your knowledge and wisdom.
What about privacy?
Centering participants sign a confidentiality agreement at the first session. What happens, and what women share during the group, stays in the group. Other women in the group share your privacy concerns.
Where are classes conducted?
Groups are conducted in the Columbia Medical Plaza building, close to our 87th Avenue location.
Columbia Medical Plaza
8614 East Mill Plain Boulevard
In the tumult of pregnancy, we want you to view Vancouver Clinic as one place where you can find calm, gather information, and enter a peaceful state of mind for at least a few hours a week. You will receive all the components of prenatal care, including health assessment, education and support, in addition to group discussions of pregnancy, birth, newborn care, health, stress management, and postpartum care.