At Montefiore Medical Center, we know that expectant mothers have many questions about the best healthcare and birthing options for themselves and their babies. Our obstetricians and midwives offer experienced, thorough care that addresses these concerns with sensitivity. We are also proud to offer a unique group approach to prenatal care, where our patients can share questions and advice in monthly meetings with other soon-to-be mothers. This model is based on the model developed by the Centering Pregnancy and Parenting Association™.
When Montefiore opened its Group Prenatal Care Center in February of 2002, we were the first medical center in the New York metropolitan area to offer expectant mothers healthcare in a collective setting.
Group prenatal care is now provided at three locations within Montefiore, with plans to expand to additional sites. Around 100 women have participated in the program at our Comprehensive Family Care Center alone.
Patients who enter the program receive an initial exam that includes a full medical history and physical. Based on delivery date, they are introduced to a group of around 10 women with due dates within three to four weeks of each other. The group shares the same obstetrician and midwife. At each monthly meeting, the women receive all their usual prenatal care, in addition to estimating the baby's gestation age, listening to the baby's heart, and checking the mother's weight, blood pressure, urine and uterine growth.
In monthly group meetings that last up to two hours, the expectant mothers have time to communicate their questions and experiences and develop a closer relationship with their obstetrician. They get valuable information on topics related to health and pregnancy, such as:
The women in a group determine much of the conversation at each meeting based on their interests and needs. The chance to share issues and concerns such as the discomfort, stress and anxiety that may accompany pregnancy encourages members to support one another with ideas and advice. The information and reassurance they receive helps many expectant mothers feel more empowered to take control of their pregnancies.
The first women to give birth often bring their newborns to the final group meetings. They alleviate any anxiety felt by the remaining expectant mothers as they share their positive experience of Montefiore's state-of-the-art birthing facilities. The community environment that defines our innovative group prenatal care allows everyone to share in the joy and excitement of new motherhood.