First of all, our midwife practice is amazing. Second, they offer a unique group option for prenatal care called Centering Pregnancy. (Click here for more information on the concept and practice model)
Each couple gets assigned to a Centering group according to their due date (so that everyone in the group is at similar stages of their pregnancy) and begins meeting with this group every two weeks after the 20th week of pregnancy. There are a total of 10 meetings and most groups have between 6 and 8 couples. We've been to three of our Centering group meetings so far and we are really loving it!
Our group has 5 couples, most of them are close to our age and we're all due sometime in February. Nick & I are actually the first due date in the group so we joke that we're the guinea pigs for everyone else- haha! We all bring snacks to each meeting and it's becoming a fun, social way to get the care we need.
The experience has been wonderful so far. Having an opportunity to talk with other couples about concerns, fears, and experiences really does help the learning process and preparation for our own baby. Our group meets with the same midwife every time and our midwife, Susan, is amazing. She is the director of the midwifery practice and has decades of experience. She is supportive, calming and passionate about what she does, which I really appreciate. We really enjoy the focus that Centering places on individually-driven health care and the importance that is made of providing us with the tools and education to make the best health care decisions for our family. Every couple is given a binder that has educational materials, worksheets and tracking tools so that we can be involved in our prenatal care- Susan even taught all the Dads how to measure the uterus to track the baby's growth and how to use the doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat. Now, at every appointment, Nick gets to do all of my prenatal measurements (blood pressure, weight, fundal height and heartbeat measurement) which is really cool. I think it's great that he gets to be more involved than he would be in a typical prenatal care environment.
I would definitely recommend this model of care to anyone who is expecting and has the opportunity to be involved with a Centering group. It makes a huge difference, especially for the Dads who can sometimes get pushed to the side in a typical prenatal care environment, and is really a wonderful way to create a social support network while learning about our pregnancies.
much love, L&N