September 26 2011
The Sixteenth Street Community Health Center sits in the heart of Milwaukee's south side. It's designated as a Centering Pregnancy site, where the center enrolls a select group of interested women for a group care program. The program combines parental care, physical assessment, and an overall learning about pregnancy, birth and babies.
Centering Pregnancy sessions are offered mostly in Spanish. These sessions allow women to meet other women who have similar due dates, form bonds with their midwife and have a support system throughout their pregnancy. The topics discussed can range from nutrition, exercise, fetal growth, family planning, and preparing for labor.
So why does having a group like this matter? Well this model program is offered around the country, and it's proven to reduce pre-term births and improve pregnancy outcomes.
I spoke with Barbara Torres, CNM, and Karen Lupa, CNM, regarding their experiences facilitating the program.