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CenteringPregnancy® Groups

MUSC Women’s Health offers a CenteringPregnancy model of prenatal care. The model provides group sessions with one of our healthcare providers and a co-facilitator. The groups meet 10 times for a 2-hour session, beginning at 12 weeks of your pregnancy. The group typically includes eight to 10 women who are due in the same month. Each group member receives all the typical health evaluations like blood work and ultrasounds in addition to providing and receiving emotional support from one another.

CenteringPregnancy is designed for low-risk pregnancies and is available to any woman with no anticipated pregnancy problems. The model provides superior care for all participants, and giving more time with our healthcare professions, more information and a wonderful sense of community.

Each session features a topic relevant to the group’s stage of pregnancy like nutrition, common aches and pains of pregnancy, or contraception after delivery. Plenty of time is allowed for participants to raise questions and concerns, which often benefit the whole group. This care model allows for better relationships, more knowledge and less stress than traditional care.

CenteringPregnancy practices have demonstrated lower rates of preterm birth and underweight babies as well as increasing breastfeeding rates among mothers. It empowers women to pay a more active role in their pregnancy. Participants have said it was just nice to be around other women going through the same thing. Often these sessions produce lasting friendships.

(Read about Shaniece Gathers’ experience in an MUSC Women’s Health pregnancy centering group.

MUSC Women’s Health is one of the first places in South Carolina to offer the model of care and is part of a study to measure its effectiveness.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Visits are pre-scheduled and are just two hours long. You won’t have to schedule visits, wait in line, or feel rushed during a busy day.
  • Each session features a topic you may not have thought about before and your health care facilitator will offer time for questions. Your fellow moms-to-be in the group are likely to ask questions you’ve been wondering about yourself or that will benefit you in your pregnancy.
  • CenteringPregnancy practices have been shown to lower rates of preterm birth and underweight babies as well as increase breastfeeding rates among mothers.
  • The groups allow you to build relationships with your health care provider and other women at similar pregnancy stage. Making friends and nurturing contacts with women who are going through the same thing as you can be helpful ever after birth.
  • You’ll benefit from the group experience, but will also be able to maintain your privacy during individual assessments.
  • You will access to your own chart, testing results, and progress as well as being involved in your assessment. You’ll learn how to take your own blood pressure, weight measurements, and determine gestational ages. You’ll record all of this in your own notebook, which can be kept as a keepsake after you deliver.
  • We’re talking about pregnant women here, so each session includes a healthy snack!

Still not sure? Give CenteringPregnancy a try by attending a group intake session. During this introductory session, one of our facilitators will discuss all options for care, including centering and general resources and tips.

Listen to a podcast with Dr. Gweneth Lazenby, who discusses the benefits of CenteringPregnancy.

Are you interested? Call us at 843-792-5300, and we’ll connect you with a group of your own.