The very first Pregnancy Centering Site opened in West Virginia Monday morning. It’s not necessarily a class, but more of an opportunity for a group of women to come together.
Pregnancy Centering is a prenatal care group designed to bring women with similar due dates out of the exam room and into a more comfortable group setting for fully comprehensive care. According to Harpers Ferry Family Medicine Center, it creates a better health outcome and lower costs for the mothers, babies and providers.
“I think the OB group visits and personalization is my favorite aspect,” said Centering Coordinator Dr. Angela Cherry. “Our females get to spend much more time with their providers, so there is also going to be some continuity with care. These women will have the same providers throughout their pregnancy and also through delivery, but also develop relationships with other women that are going through similar problems.”
Consultants that worked elsewhere besides centering pregnancy sites saw the difference in the atmospheres. Centering is designed for the mother’s to take their own blood pressure, weigh themselves and be in control of their pregnancies, but ultimately build friendships with other mothers and providers.
“I loved having the opportunity to sit in a circle and have conversation with the people I was taking care of and it helped me to know them better.” said Consultant Margie Rickell. “It was the most humbling experience of my life. I learned more about pregnancy sitting in a circle of women than I learned in all my years of studying.”
Harpers Ferry Centering site is one of 600 sites across the country, but it is currently the only one in West Virginia.