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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 19, 2011

UI Hospitals and Clinics to offer Centering pregnancy program

Women seeking a different approach to prenatal care will soon have a new option at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Laura Dellos, a certified nurse-midwife in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be leading one of two new Centering pregnancy sessions beginning in October.

Centering pregnancy is prenatal care in a structured group setting, led by a physician or midwife, Dellos said. Rather than having one-on-one visits, women will meet in groups of approximately eight to 10 mothers-to-be, who are all due at about the same time. The 90-minute sessions, which occur once a month for the first three months of the program and then twice-monthly for the last three months, will include individual prenatal assessments for each woman, as well as a group discussion.

In the latter weeks of their pregnancies, participants will meet with their obstetrician or midwife on alternating weeks with the Centering program.

Dellos emphasized that the Centering pregnancy program is another option for prenatal care, and acknowledged that some women will prefer traditional prenatal visits.

"It is a different model," she said. "Those who want individual visits would not choose Centering."

However, Dellos said that the program can greatly benefit both patients and health care providers. The program provides patients an in-depth education about their pregnancies, including why it's important to eat well and be healthy, as well as the benefit of meeting with other mothers-to-be, who are in the same phase of pregnancy and going through many of the same things.

For health care providers, the program offers an opportunity to deliver complete and detailed pregnancy information, respond to common questions and engage in active discussions with a group of women at one time.

"Right now, we're trying to get all this information to women, but it's all provider-centered," she said. With the Centering pregnancy model, each group of women is participating in the same discussion at the same time.

There will be two 10-session groups starting in October. A group for English-speaking patients will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 10, and a group for Spanish-speaking patients is scheduled for 1 to 2:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 19.

The October group sessions are for women who are pregnant and due to deliver sometime in April.

The Centering pregnancy model is funded in part through a $24,000 grant from the March of Dimes.

The Centering pregnancy model is a recognized prenatal option and meets all the necessary requirements for insurance reimbursement.

For more information about the program or to register, call the UI Women's Health Center at 319-356-2294.

STORY SOURCE: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Dr., W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Molly Rossiter, 319-356-7127,