July 28, 2015, CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) — Having a baby? Looking for as much information as possible to help during and after your pregnancy? Looking to meet other women going through some of the same things? If you can relate to any of these things a CenteringPregnancy® group may be right for you.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton’s OB-GYN department offers CenteringPregnancy® to active duty members and beneficiaries who are receiving pre-natal care.
“We get 10-12 women who are due around the same time and we bring them in for group prenatal care, which takes place of individual appointments,” said Lt. Cheryl Castro, Nurse Midwife in NHCP’s OB-GYN department. “With these sessions instead of coming to an individual appointment one day and then coming back another day for a breastfeeding class; we have a lactation consultant that comes in, that way you are getting both done in the same visit.”
In addition to bringing in subject matter experts, the groups also serve as a great way to meet new people who are also having a baby and lets parents learn together in a relaxed environment.
“I heard it was a great class and I wanted to be able to learn with my husband,” said Madelyn Dietz, who is 37 weeks pregnant. “This class gives us more time to spend together. I definitely feel more prepared and I feel like I’m not alone.”
The sessions are two hours long and include an individual assessment, refreshments, a facilitated discussion about topics of interest, practicing skills such as breathing, relaxing and holding and comforting a baby, plus other hands-on activities.
Another perk about joining a CenteringPregnancy® group is the educational aspect.
“You have more time to learn about your pregnancy, and you’re more involved with your care,” said Castro. “When you come in we teach you how to take your vital signs and check your weight. We also get the dads involved by assisting them with listening to the baby’s heartbeat.”
The sessions are concluded with a final meeting after the babies are born, for parents and newborns.
There is no rank recognition in the classes and everyone goes by first names only, to make the environment more comfortable while receiving care.
“I feel like I’m a kid and now I’m having a kid, so it helps me a lot in getting ready for that reality,” said Dietz. “Go to centering. You won’t feel alone, you’ll be in a group, you’ll be supported and feel comfortable if not for anything else, then for friendship and for growing with someone.”
For more information on the CenteringPregnancy® program please see the frequently asked questions document at the following link http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/cpen/services/Pages/OBGYN.aspx