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Living Healthy

BMC offering 'Pregnancy Centering Program'

BOSTON (WHDH) -- We all know having a baby is a team effort. From mom and dad, to doctors and nurses, a lot of people are involved.

At Boston Medical Center, they are offering even more help, long before the baby arrives.

They say it takes a village to raise a child - but Boston Medical Center is helping out too!

They offer pre-natal group visits for moms-to-be.

"I had the opportunity to either have a one-on-one with a midwife or have a group. I decided to be in a group, with other women probably going through the same thing as I am," said Mika Sanders who is attending a Centering Pregnancy Program.

It's called the Centering Pregnancy Program.

"What centering does, it groups women who have similar due dates, together in groups of 6 to 12 and allows them to have their entire care experience in a group setting," said Dr. Kaplan.

The women start the program at about 16 weeks into their pregnancy.

"The initial schedule is 4 weeks until 28 weeks or so, then every 2 weeks. It continues every 2 weeks till delivery," said Dr. Samantha Kaplan of Boston Medical Center.

Each patient gets an individual medical check-up, which includes monitoring the fetal heart rate and checking belly size.

Then all the mothers participate in group discussions on everything from breast feeding, to birth control, to post-partum depression.

"It was informative to see that, to know that I wasn't the only one going through the same problems," said Sanders.

But perhaps the biggest benefit is that women in centering groups get about ten-times more time with their doctor.

"If you are a patient getting pre-natal care in the tradition method, you go to the waiting room for 10-15 minutes, get your vitals by a nurse for 15 minutes, see your doctor 10-15 minutes, then you go back, so you spent 45 minutes and seen your doc for 15 minutes...in the centering model you spend 2 full hours with your care provider," said Dr. Kaplan.

Statistically speaking the program has been shown to decrease premature delivery by about 40-percent.