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What is the Centering Pregnancy Model of Care?

By Shay Armstrong, MSN, CNM August 25, 2021 Posted in: Maternity Care

More time with your provider – 10 times more – and a group of supportive people who share the same experiences, worries and joys? It’s little wonder Centering Pregnancy is receiving these rave reviews from new moms:

  • “People would come to the group tired, anxious, and worried, and every single time, without fail, everyone left happy, laughing and lighter.”
  •  “I’m so happy to be here in this group.  I feel so comfortable and it feels so good that everyone here speaks my language.”  
  • “The other women in the group became another group of friends.” 

Centering Pregnancy Brings Mothers Together

Centering Pregnancy is a unique approach to prenatal care which includes one-on-one prenatal visits with your midwife with additional time and attention in a group setting.  With Centering Pregnancy, you are surrounded by expecting mothers and their partners in the approximate same gestation. This model facilitates time to talk about pregnancy, childbirth, and family. 

For expecting parents, this model is ideal for talking and sharing about parenting, child development, and family issues with trained providers as well as new and experienced mothers.  You can look forward to getting to know the other mothers in your group and form a life-long bond. 

The CHI Health Birth Center in Lincoln offers women the choice to participate in Centering Pregnancy for their prenatal care. The goals of Centering Pregnancy are to promote:

  • Better health outcomes, self-care and self-confidence
  • More time with your provider
  • Learning and fun
  • Friendships and support

If you choose Centering Pregnancy, you will meet with your provider and other women who have similar due dates for 10 sessions.  These sessions will include your prenatal check-up, private time with your midwife, and important information and resources for you and your baby. In your third trimester you will also schedule private visits with your midwife one-on-one. 

Along the way, there’s time to talk about what to expect during pregnancy -- your birth, lactation, and community resources. Often, there are guest speakers on pertinent subjects such as lactation, postpartum depression, chiropractic care, health and nutrition, and pelvic floor rehabilitation. You will receive notebook guide to follow and fill out with each session. Examples of topics covered include: 

  • Body changes in pregnancy
  • Oral health
  • Managing stress
  • Breastfeeding
  • Mental health
  • Sexuality
  • Labor/comfort during labor
  • Newborn care
  • Home and family changes

Positive Benefits of the Centering Pregnancy Model

Centering pregnancy promotes positive benefits for mothers, babies, and the providers caring for them. Numerous studies revealed that Pregnancy Centering mothers have healthier babies and the approach nearly eliminates racial disparities in preterm birth. Consider these benefits:  

Centering Pregnancy is patient-centered. This model brings the mothers out of the exam room and into a supportive group setting facilitating resources and friendships. The patients receive the highest quality of care and being a part of a group helps build a supportive community which allows them to develop skills and confidence to take charge of their health.

Centering Pregnancy builds self-confidence. Mothers report feeling better prepared for their birth, breastfeeding, and care for their infants after delivery. Providers report significantly less after-hours calls and emergency visits because Centering patients better understand what is normal during pregnancy and postpartum versus what is cause for concern and when it is appropriate to be evaluated by their provider.

Centering increases breastfeeding rates. Per the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, nearly twice the number of Centering participants breastfed (46%) than those in a comparison study. The HHS reported the Centering patients that breastfed led to reduced costs associated fewer sick visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations compared to non-breastfed infants.  

Centering Pregnancy delivers improved outcomes. Preterm births amongst African American women are significantly reduced by 33%-47%.  This in turn reduces healthcare costs. Per CHI data, more than 100 approved Pregnancy Centering sites saved the health care system an estimated $41 million through reduced preterm births.  

The Centering model is embraced by providers. Midwives and other clinicians report a higher satisfaction with their practice as this allows them to better understand each patient’s cultural values, beliefs, and better support their healthy choices.  

In a nutshell, the Centering Pregnancy model (per Yale University et al. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2012) reduces the risk of preterm birth by 33%, saving the healthcare system 40 preterm births for every 1,000 deliveries. Centering reduces racial disparities, increases the rate of breastfeeding, and improves outcomes in high-risk teen pregnancies, and is a creative and effective use of time that also lowers healthcare costs.  

For women, this unique approach to care continues the cycle of learning by empowering them to take charge of their health care while feeling safe and supported. The CHI Health Birth Center in Lincoln is proud to offer women the opportunity to choose Centering Pregnancy for their prenatal care.

Learn more at or call us at (402) 488-6370.

Shay Armstrong, MSN, CNM
Shay Armstrong, MSN, CNM

Shay Armstrong, MSN, CNM is a Midwife with CHI Health.

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