By Chelsea Pyne
Continuing their commitment to provide families with the best possible individualized care, Lyndhurst Gynecologic Associates (LGA) expanded the CenteringPregnancy® program to their Kernersville location. This program is designed around prenatal education in a group setting.
What is CenteringPregnancy®, exactly? It is a model of prenatal care that combines a traditional prenatal visit with an educational session in a group setting. To break that down: during pregnancy, mothers will meet with their provider, nurse, and a small group (6 to 8 other women) who are all due around the same time. These meetings last for two hours in a total of 10 sessions. CenteringPregnancy® adds an element of social support where mothers share experiences and learn from each other. These sessions not only educate mothers on the coming months, but also encourage each woman to embrace the beauty of their pregnancy. Mothers learn to welcome the natural confidence of carrying their baby, both mentally and physically. In turn, there is less room for butterflies, and more room for growing a happy, stress-free baby.
This framework truly equips mothers to take control by more fully understanding their pregnancy, which makes for a smooth transition into motherhood. This is accomplished by taking approximately 30 minutes of each session for recording stats, providing each mother with ownership of her personal progress, as well as individual time with her health care provider. Approximately 90 minutes involves learning/education, sharing, activities, and Q&A time. Mothers keep track of their own weight and blood pressure in their individual CenteringPregnancy® Notebook, provided during the first session. The Notebook is divided into the ten sessions with space for note taking. This model of prenatal care also promotes active engagement in the mothers’ own healthcare and provides detailed and thorough education to prepare each mother for pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum phase.
“How much weight should I gain?” and “How do I know if I am eating the right food?” are two very common questions that mothers ask. Lauri Cox, board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner, briefly explained how a session unfolds. “In the first CenteringPregnancy® session, we teach patients how to take their own measurements including weight and blood pressure. We also teach them how to calculate their body mass index (BMI), which correlates to the recommended weight gain during pregnancy. This is very individualized and they are able to start their pregnancy with a clear understanding of their specific weight gain recommendations. We also spend the early sessions covering nutrition options, portion sizes, foods to avoid, and daily intake recommendations. This allows patients to make healthier choices early on in pregnancy, and the accountability factor (taking and recording their own measurements/vital signs each session) keeps them focused on their overall health for the duration of pregnancy.”
Lauri goes on to explain that Lyndhurst Gynecologic Associates is the only private practice in the area offering this type of enhanced prenatal education program. “We are currently providing CenteringPregnancy® care for our Winston-Salem location, which is coordinated by Andrea Conley, WHNP. Brandi DeCriscio, RN-BSN a nurse with our CenteringPregnancy® will be carrying on the duties as we expand so we can take on more patients,” she added. LGA was founded in Winston-Salem almost 50 years ago, and has served three generations of women in the Triad. Since, doctors and staff have been forging ahead in prenatal care services, allowing mothers to have more options when choosing their pregnancy plan. Soon, those options will be available at Kernersville CenteringPregnancy® located at 445 Pineview Drive, Suite 110.
Although the program focuses on the mother and each small group, there are plenty of other opportunities for the patient’s significant other/support person to be involved. Lauri added that it is important to choose who attends. “We want all women to feel comfortable, as these sessions replace their traditional 1:1 care.” Some groups are comprised only of mothers and some groups include a significant other/support person joining laboratory visits, ultrasound visits, and office visits.
Jazlynn Y. decided against traditional care and took part in the program for her second pregnancy. “It was different than with my first pregnancy because Lyndhurst is more there for you. The doctors and nurses are awesome and provided me with so much information. Because it had been a while between pregnancies, it was refreshing to have the additional help. The traditional one-on-one you get with your doctor is good, but you do not have much time. If I forgot to ask a question I had to wait until the next visit. That was never a problem here. It is also nice getting to know and sharing with the other ladies,” Jazlynn explained.
Kernersville CenteringPregnancy® will be located at 445 Pineview Drive, Suite 110 with plans to open this fall. For more information on CenteringPregnancy, call Lyndhurst Gynecologic Associates at 336.993.4532 or visit lyndhurstgyn.com.
Topics Discussed in Small Group Sessions:
- Nutrition, Servings Sizes, Lifestyle Choices, and a Food Diary
- Body Changes, Common Discomforts, Dental Care, Caring for Your Back
- Relaxation/Stress Management, Breastfeeding, Family Needs
- Remaining Healthy Throughout the Pregnancy
- Labor (Signs, Stages, Preparation), Breathing Measures, Medications for Labor/Birth, and When to Call
- Types of Birth Experiences
- Caring for Baby, Planning for Pediatric Care, Helping Big Brother/Sister Get Ready for Baby
- Transitioning from Pregnancy to Parenting, Emotional Adjustments, Postpartum Depression
- Newborn Care and Mom Care, the First Month