Centering Pregnancy

Program basics

  • Group maternity care that provides health assessment, education, and support to pregnant women
  • In groups of 8 to 10, women learn care skills, participate in guided discussion, and develop a support network
  • Program also includes 10 prenatal visits, varying from 90 to 120 minutes each for an entire group
  • Extended programs also include family-centered group child care

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Parents with children under the age of 5

Program cost

$500 annually

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

2001-present

Outcomes and impact

  • Reduced preterm births among a sample of participants as compared to the U.S. average
  • Higher rates of breastfeeding among a sample of participants as compared to the U.S. average
  • Lower costs to managed health care providers as a result of better prenatal care
  • Reduced likelihood of preterm delivery and improved birth outcomes, particularly among disadvantaged populations such as low-income black and Hispanic women
  • Greater likelihood of receiving adequate prenatal care
  • Improved infant birth weights

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Programs should be designed to give expectant mothers the tools to engage in self-assessment, like measuring their own blood pressure and recording their own health data. Participants should develop the knowledge and confidence to address their specific concerns in the program group or in private with their healthcare providers.
  • Program content should be delivered by culturally competent staff, helping group members become comfortable in the space and empowered to participate.
  • Program design should include time and space for participants to discuss their individual concerns in private.

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