Centering Pregnancy

I work as a hospital labor doula. I have done this work for 22 years. In addition to being a bedside doula, I also attend childbirth classes, centering classes, and lead expectant parent tours of labor and delivery. During these tours and class visits, I am able to answer questions about what a doula is and what we provide to families during labor and delivery. Patients who choose to have doula care are not charged for this service at the hospital where I work.

Some of our physician and midwife groups offer Centering Pregnancy to expectant parents who wish to attend their office visits in a group setting.  Centering, while in a group setting emphasizes that the mom is the center of her and her baby’s well-being. If she chooses to “center”, she will join a group of moms with similar due dates. Both parents are welcome to attend.

Centering Pregnancy is prenatal and postnatal care in a group setting.  This combines a traditional pregnancy office visit (private time with your healthcare provider) with a group setting.  Groups usually meet for 10 sessions. Each session lasts about 2 hours.

Participants are given a note book to record their personal progress and set goals. Expectant parents in the group, may ask question and share physical, emotional and medical pregnancy experiences. The caregiver will answer those questions and in many cases, make patients aware that others have similar questions and concerns. Each office visit also includes an educational topic. There may be guest speakers or video presentations. Topics include: physical changes, preparing for labor and delivery, nutrition, family planning, safety, conflict resolution, and newborn care. When the doula visits, we talk about relaxation and reducing stress during pregnancy and labor.

 Moms in the group may establish a friendly support group where they communicate and meet in addition to the scheduled group sessions. Centering encourages moms to be involved in their own care.  Group members are asked to be respectful, listen without interrupting and to respect other’s privacy. Children may not attend the group meetings. Cell phones are turned off!

Centering Pregnancy goal is to reduce preterm births and birth complications. Participants also have higher rates of breastfeeding and lower rates of postpartum depression.

The final session is a time to introduce their bundle of joy, have a birthday party and group photos! Parents also share birth stories.

Dianne Pound, CHLD

I have worked at Lexington Medical Center, West Columbia, South Carolina as a hospital based labor doula for 16 years. I sincerely enjoy supporting women during labor and delivery, assisting with breastfeeding and celebrating their birth experience. I also lead Expectant Parent tours of Labor & delivery. I am pleased to offer CAPPA Hospital Labor Doula training and to continue to build the doula program at our hospital. I am married with two children and 4 grandchildren. I enjoy reading, gardening and traveling.

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2 thoughts on “Centering Pregnancy”

  1. I love this idea, and do something similar as the OB Navigator at the hospital where I work. What does this look like in the midst of COVID? We are not allowed to meet in groups where I am, and have had to move things to virtual classes/appointments. Do you find that the Centering groups are as effective when not in person? I’m trying to navigate this whole thing, and would love your input.

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