CenteringPregnancy Program at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center Empowers and Educates Expectant Mothers
Expectant mothers often become overwhelmed and anxious during pregnancy while preparing to welcome a newborn into their lives. It is easy to feel alone, and traditional prenatal check-ups often do not allow an adequate amount of time for soon-to-be-mothers to voice all their concerns, or physicians to fully address topics like the mother’s changing body, fetal development, breastfeeding, family planning, self-care and more.
That is why OhioHealth Grant Medical Center recently launched the CenteringPregnancy program. CenteringPregnancy is a nationally accredited organization in which women receive their prenatal care in a group setting and participate in a facilitated discussion and interactive activities designed to address important and timely health topics while leaving room to discuss what is relevant to the group.
“I think it’s very important that moms are able to access high-quality prenatal care, coupled with education,” Loretta Raiford, RN, CenteringPregnancy coordinator, said. “I think that by really equipping these women and their partners with a little bit more in-depth knowledge of pregnancy, birth and newborn care, that we’ll really be able to see a greater benefit to our community.”
Women engage in their care by taking their weight and blood pressure and recording their health data during private time with their provider for a belly check. Molly Wilson, MD, family medicine physician and CenteringPregnancy facilitator, has been with the program since its inception in 2016 because she was intrigued by caregiving in the group setting. She said the relationships she forms with her patients and the positive impact she witnesses is rewarding.
“As a physician, I realize how much education I don’t get to give my patients in traditional prenatal care, and how much they learn through CenteringPregnancy,” Wilson said. “It’s phenomenal really, and I think it’s making a much greater impact than we’ve even been able to see.”
This program is one of OhioHealth’s initiatives to reduce the infant mortality rate in central Ohio. CenteringPregnancy has been thoroughly studied and has proven to yield positive results like high rates of full-term pregnancies and higher birth weights. Also, the program has demonstrated positive effects for women who attend the groups and members of their support system.
All the women in the group have similar due dates, which gives them the opportunity to bond with the ladies who are having similar experiences and may have similar questions. Shannon Sidle is an expectant first-time mother and a member of a CenteringPregnancy group. Sidle said attending the group gives her an outlet to voice her concerns and questions.
“I feel great when I come here to the class. They relieve me of all the anxiety that I have when I don’t know what’s going on, and they answer all my questions,” Sidle said. “This will be something I can always come back to and rely on.”
For more information on CenteringPregnancy at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, please contact Loretta Raiford at 614-566-8619.