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Office of Public Affairs

October 29, 2010

SIU Med School Starts New Prenatal Care Program

Centering Pregnancy is a prenatal care program scheduled to begin Friday, November 5, at the Center for Family Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. 

Centering Pregnancy is a program that changes routine prenatal care by bringing women out of the exam rooms and into groups for some of their care.  It uses a philosophy which empowers women to take control of their bodies, their pregnancies and their families.  Nationally, the use of group prenatal care programs has shown improved birth weight and decreased early preterm births.

Expectant mothers have an initial visit for their obstetric care in the usual manner including medical history and physical examination in the clinic office with their primary care physician.  With health care providers, they listen to their baby’s heartbeat, check for uterine growth, and talk individually about specific problems and concerns.

For succeeding visits, they are invited to join together for meetings with eight to twelve other women with similar due dates.  The group forms with women between 12 and 16 weeks of pregnancy and continues to meet regularly through the early postpartum period.  The sessions focus on various aspects of pregnancy, prenatal care and newborn care.  The women participate in self-care activities of taking and recording their own blood pressure and weight.

In addition to incorporating patient education, group support and sharing, Centering Pregnancy has health care practitioners monitor their pregnancy.  Health care providers include Helen Moose, Deb Hollander and Brenda Bridges, certified nurse midwives, and Dr. Virgina Hernandez, resident physician in family and community medicine.

SIU’s Center for Family Medicine is located at 520 N. 4th Street, Springfield.  For more information or to register for the program, contact Tina at 757-8110 weekdays.

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