The Board of Caldwell Memorial Hospital Auxiliary approved the 2014 request from Laurel Park Women’s Health to fund its CenteringPregnancy® program. CenteringPregnancy® is a model of group care that integrates three major components: health assessment, education and support, into a unified program within a group setting. Through this unique model of care, women are empowered to choose health-promoting behaviors during their pregnancy and in the years that follow.
As a CenteringPregnancy® group, eight to twelve women with similar due dates meet together to learn care skills, participate in facilitated discussions and develop a support network with other group members. Each group meets for a total of ten sessions throughout pregnancy and the early postpartum period following their deliveries. Dr. David Evans, obstetrician/gynecologist and Deanna Talbert, certified nurse widwife at Laurel Park Women’s Health are the practitioners and facilitators; Marty Biddix and Ginessa Morales, are the co-facilitators.
CenteringPregnancy® provides groups the opportunity to have two hours of uninterrupted time with Evans or Talbert at each visit. A typical group begins with each mom completing a self-assessment – weighing, measuring her own blood pressure and documenting her individual gestational age in her “Mom’s Book”, a keepsake she will receive when she completes the program. After the assessments each mom receives individual care time with Evans or Talbert for examination, measuring of her belly and listening to her baby’s heartbeat. This caring time is private enough for the practictioners to recognize if there is a need for one-on-one care after group.
Following the examinations, the group enjoys healthy snacks like fresh fruit, yogurt and water, and participates in the facilitated discussion of a lesson(s) outlined by CenteringPregnancy®. Topics include healthy nutrition, dental care, substance abuse, domestic violence and the importance of breastfeeding.
“Hearing other moms share concerns that mirror their own helps mothers-to-be normalize the whole experience of pregnancy,” Talbert said. “Groups also are empowering because they provide support to their members and increase individuals’ motivations to learn and to change often unhealthy choices and behaviors.”
The Caldwell Memorial Hospital Auxiliary provided $10,000 to Laurel Park Women’s Health to fund the program. The funds will be used for literature, Mom’s Books, healthy snacks for group sessions, and CenteringPregnancy® certifications for additional members of the women’s health team at Laurel Park Women’s Health. For additional information, call Laurel Park Women’s Health at 828-757-3301.