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"Centering Pregnancy" Prenatal Care A Success At Spectrum Health

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Spectrum Health

A program designed to provide support to pregnant moms-to-be and ensure healthy, full term births is getting high marks in West Michigan. 

“The reason we call this centering is because this is patient and family centered care at its best.

And that’s something we all strive for as health care providers is really putting the family at the center.”

That’s Courtney Hilbert. She’s the certified, lead mid-wife at the “Centering Pregnancy” program at Spectrum Health. 

“So, Centering Pregnancy is group prenatal care. It’s more than just a support group for moms. We are actually taking moms out of the exam rooms and bringing them together, we pair them with other moms due the same time they’re due.  They do ten of their prenatal visits traditionally done in the office, in a group setting.”

Introduced at Spectrum Health in 2015, the program is offered at Spectrum Health Butterworth and Gerber hospitals.  So far, more than 60 patients have participated in the program.  Hilbert says the main goal of the program is to avoid premature births.

“Research studies on the model show it’s been shown to significantly  reduce pre term  birth rates. So that the number one reason; just healthy pregnancy, full term babies. , it’s been shown to improve outcomes.”

Hilbert says Centering Pregnancy is not only popular among new moms to be, but also with those who’ve given birth before.

“So these moms are getting a lot out of the program, and they are also really great contributors to the program. They are a wealth of information to our first time moms as well. They are able to share their experience.”

Centering Pregnancy has wrapped up its second year with a grant from the state March of Dimes.  The Spectrum Health Foundation is now accepting donations that might help and enable the health system to continue to provide the program.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.