CenteringPregnancy For Expectant Moms

A new prenatal program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, called CenteringPregnancy, is bringing expecting mothers together for sharing

Area women who are expecting a baby are discovering a new way to share their experience with one another — and their obstetrician – at the OB/GYN Center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Called CenteringPregnancy, it’s a group healthcare model that is changing the way women and care providers feel about patient care.

“The expecting mothers who participate in CenteringPregnancy here at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical are extremely positive about the difference it makes in their prenatal experience,” said Laura DeBacco Malysza, PA-C. “As the word spreads, we are finding more and more women want to join a Centering group for care.”

CenteringPregnancy follows the longstanding recommended schedule of 10 prenatal visits for pregnant women. However, the visits are very different from traditional doctor appointments. In CenteringPregnancy, up to eight pregnant women with similar due dates join in a group with their healthcare provider. In addition to receiving all the traditional components of prenatal care they participate in interactive learning and community building.

The result: Studies have shown women in CenteringPregnancy have significantly more prenatal visits, increased breastfeeding rates, low rates of preterm birth and low birth weight infants, and higher overall satisfaction. Moms arriving at the Center are actively involved in their care, recording their own health data, seeing their provider and participating in facilitated group discussions and interactive activities. Members of the group share, ask questions and discuss any issues that are important to them. The activities, shared materials and discussions cover topics such as nutrition, stress management, common discomforts, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and newborn care – in short, things women need to know to remain healthy during their pregnancy and deliver healthy babies.

Meaghan Aalto, M.D., said the beauty of CenteringPregnancy is the makeup of the Centering group. “These are women of different horizons, ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds sharing common experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. In a very real sense they form community and support each other in wonderful ways,” Dr. Aalto said.

To learn more about CenteringPregnancy, call the OB/GN Center at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center at 716-278-4747 or visit NFMMC.org.