Centering Pregnancy Program

Offering the only Centering Parenting program in Ohio

UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital expanded its Centering Pregnancy Program in 2012 to UH Ahuja Medical Center to improve pregnancy outcomes with the ultimate goal of decreasing infant mortality. The program replaces traditional one-on-one prenatal care with group prenatal health assessment, education and psychosocial support for pregnant women with similar gestational ages.

UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital patient Candace Sheffler said the program prepared her for the childbirth experience. “I went into this pregnancy with less anxiety,” she said. “Talking to a group about what you are going through is very therapeutic.”

Centering Pregnancy’s results have been significant. Only 10.3 percent of the mothers in the program give birth prematurely, compared to 18.1 percent of mothers undergoing traditional prenatal care. The rate of low birth-weight babies also plunged, from 17.9 percent to 10.3 percent. Each full-term birth translates to roughly $50,000 in cost savings for the mother’s and baby’s inpatient and outpatient care and prescription medications, according to the March of Dimes.

The program now offers Dancing for Birth, a unique exercise program combining dance and fitness with essential childbirth preparation skills.

The latest module to the program is Centering Parenting, a joint venture with the UH Department of Family Medicine. UH offers the only Centering Parenting program in Ohio and is one of only 22 sites nationwide. This group care model joins inner-city mothers and infants into tightly knit groups for baby’s first year to teach parenting skills and provide well-baby checks and post-partum care.