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MUSC Health's Dr. Gweneth Lazenby, OBGYN, paddle boards across the water

CenteringPregnancy® Groups

Improving your prenatal care and outcomes in a relaxing, supportive setting

The MUSC Health Women's Care team is delighted to offer a new model of prenatal care called CenteringPregnancy®.

CenteringPregnancy® offers group sessions with one of our healthcare providers and a co-facilitator. Groups meet a total of ten times for about two hours per session, starting at twelve weeks of gestation. Group members typically include 8-10 women due in the same month, and each one receives all the typical pregnancy health evaluations like blood work and ultrasounds in addition to providing and receiving emotional support from each other. 

Designed for low-risk pregnancies, CenteringPregnancy® is available to all women with no anticipated pregnancy problems.

We're excited about this model because it enables superior care for all women in these groups, providing more time with our healthcare professionals, more information, and a genuine sense of community.

Each session features a topic especially relevant to the group's stage of pregnancy, like nutrition, common aches and pains of pregnancy, or contraception after delivery. Each session also allows ample time for women to voice their questions and concerns, answers to which often benefit the whole group. This type of care allows for better relationships, more knowledge, and less stress than traditional care, ensuring participants have the time and answers they need.

CenteringPregnancy® practices have been shown to lower rates of preterm birth and underweight babies as well as increasing breastfeeding rates among mothers. It empowers women to play a more active role in their pregnancies... and participants have said it was also just nice to be around other women going through the same thing. (Read about Shaniece Gathers' experience in an MUSC Health pregnancy centering group.) Often these sessions result in lasting friendships. 

MUSC Health Women's Care is one of the first places in South Carolina to offer this model of care and is part of a state-wide study to measure its effectiveness. Other institutions like the Boston Medical Center and Vanderbilt's University Medical Center have also begun offering CenteringPregnancy® to improve their prenatal care. According to Vanderbilt University, almost 97% of women prefer CenteringPregnancy® care over traditional care.

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

What are the benefits of CenteringPregnancy®?

  • Visits are pre-scheduled and two hours long. You won't have to schedule your visits, wait in line, or feel rushed during a busy day
     
  • Each session will feature a topic you may have not thought of 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 own pregnancy
     
  • CenteringPregnancy® practices have been shown to lower rates of preterm birth and underweight babies as well as increase breastfeeding rates among mothers
     
  • CenteringPregnancy® groups allow you to build relationships with both your health care provider and other women at a similar gestational stage. Making friends and nurturing contacts with women who are going through the same thing you are can be helpful even after giving birth
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  • You'll benefit from the group experience, but will also be able to maintain your privacy during individual assessments
     
  • You will have 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, where she discusses the benefits of CenteringPregnancy.

For more information, contact us at centeringpregnancy@musc.edu or call us at 843-792-5300.