Group prenatal care like CenteringPregnancy® can be an excellent way for new moms to build friendships and make connections. Beyond this emotional support, however, you may be wondering how group prenatal care will affect your baby’s health.
Over the last couple of decades, there have been many studies comparing the benefits of group prenatal care to the benefits of one-on-one prenatal care with a provider. While more research needs to be done, the data gathered so far shows that group prenatal care can have a positive impact on pregnancy and birth outcomes. Here’s what the research has to say.
Group Prenatal Programs Like CenteringPregnancy® Often Result in Better Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby
While we’re just beginning to understand the impact of group programs versus traditional one-on-one prenatal care, initial study results indicate that group prenatal care programs lead to the same — if not better — outcomes for newborns.
Since birth weight is one of the most important health factors for a newborn baby — low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) can lead to serious health problems and was one of the first measures closely studied. CenteringPregnancy® has been shown to have a positive effect on newborn outcomes, including birth weight and preterm delivery.
A 2015 Yale School of Public Health study showed that group prenatal care resulted in:
- Babies with higher birth weights compared to those receiving individual prenatal care
- Less babies that were small for their gestational age
- Shorter neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stays, when that level of care was needed
Study results also suggest that group prenatal care promotes breastfeeding, and more women are likely to initiate breastfeeding if they participate in a program like CenteringPregnancy®, especially adolescent moms. Breastfeeding can have many benefits including:
- Helping to protect your baby from infection
- Reducing the risk of your baby developing a chronic illness later in life
- Supporting your baby’s development
With the group discussion and provider-led activities in each CenteringPregnancy® visit, there are more opportunities to reinforce healthy behaviors among the women in the group — and a healthier mom often translates to a healthier baby.
Women participating in group care, such as CenteringPregnancy® meetings were:
- At less risk for a preterm birth
- Less likely to get pregnant quickly after giving birth
- Less likely to go to the emergency room, especially in the third trimester
- More likely to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy, exercising and abstaining from alcohol, nicotine and drugs
- More likely to maintain a healthier weight throughout their pregnancy
When it comes to prenatal care, women enrolled in CenteringPregnancy® programs attended more prenatal visits and were more likely to attend both prenatal and postpartum appointments. And, because of the structure of each CenteringPregnancy® meeting, you can enjoy up to 10 times the support, time and pregnancy knowledge compared to individual visits with an OB-GYN or midwife.
Learn More, Talk With Our Team Today
When you’re deciding the right type of prenatal care for you, it’s important you find a program that fits your personal needs and preferences, whether it’s with a group or one-on-one with your provider.
If you have more questions about CenteringPregnancy® please call Chesapeake Women’s Health at 410-820-0338.