Group Prenatal care is certainly not unique to BC Women’s Hospital. Many institutions offer similar models of shared pregnancy care and the Connecting Pregnancy program hosted by Birthdocs at BCWH is one of several offered across Canada. In the United States, a similar program that has been developed is called Centering Pregnancy.
All of the varied and different Group Prenatal Programs share many common features, goals and ethics. Each value a woman’s own inner resources, knowledge about herself and her body, her unique life circumstances and her autonomy. Each program also values the power of learning from each other and the insights that shared knowledge and wisdom bring to women.
Interestingly, the positive feedback that we receive from women in the Connecting Pregnancy groups at BCWH, reflects the research that has been done about this type of shared group prenatal care. In the medical literature, women rate their satisfaction with this type of shared care higher than traditional on-on-one prenatal care, there is a higher rate of breastfeeding, a lower rate of preterm delivery and a higher rate of parental readiness for birth and baby care.
The Birthdocs physicians recognize that for many women, the idea of participating in a Connecting Pregnancy group might not be “what they were expecting”, compared with their friends and their family members. It’s innovative and it’s relatively new in Canada. At BC Women’s Hospital, Connecting Pregnancy forms part of our wider vision of promoting excellence in women’s health and building healthy families in strong communities.
The physicians instructing Connecting Pregnancy are Drs. Elise Balaisis, Kate Bodkin, Karen Buhler, Georgia Hunt, Michelle Linekin, Laura Riley, and Leila Sloss.
See Centering® Pregnancy for more information.