Centering Pregnancy

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help promote healthy childhood environments. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • 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

Evidence and impacts


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

  • 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

Best practices in 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.