Centering Pregnancy

Centering Pregnancy is a national model that provides prenatal care in a group setting of eight to twelve pregnant people who are due around the same time. In addition to one-on-one care with a midwife or other healthcare provider, the participants benefit from group discussions and support, both pre- and post-birth. In 2001, the Duke Midwifery Service partnered with the Durham County Health Department (DCHD) to create the first Centering Pregnancy site in North Carolina at the DCHD Prenatal Clinic at Lincoln Community Health Center. Over the next five years, the site would grow to serve roughly 100 women and families a year.

Brochure advertising Centering Pregnancy Program

“Centering Pregnancy Open House", Box 2, Duke Midwifery Service Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives

The curriculum has 10 sessions that cover the following topics:

  • Prenatal Testing, Gestational Diabetes, Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle Choices
  • Body Changes in Pregnancy, Taking Care of Your Back, Healthy Gums and Teeth
  • Mental Relaxation, Breastfeeding, The Family I Want to Have
  • Family Planning, Sexuality, Thinking About My Family, Domestic Violence and Abuse, Preterm Labor and Fetal Brain Development
  • Labor, Birth Facility, Breathing, Medications for Labor and Birth, Early Labor—When to Call
  • The Birth Experience: Labor Management, Decisions, Communication and Medications
  • The Newborn’s First Days, Planning Pediatric Care, Newborn Safety, Circumcision, Brothers and Sisters
  • Pregnancy to Parenting Transition, Emotional Adjustments, Baby Blues and Postpartum Mood Disorders, Pregnancy—When to Call
  • Newborn Care, Breastfeeding, Safety, Infant Massage
  • Newborn Care, Growth and Development—The First Month, Home and Family Changes, Newborn and New Mom—When to Call