Feature Archive

Centering Yourself for a Healthy Pregnancy

Frustrated by short prenatal visits that leave you with more questions than answers? You might be a candidate for the latest trend in prenatal care.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

Bundling. It's a term you probably associate more with your phone/cable/ Internet provider than your health care provider.

But that could soon change, thanks to a new model of prenatal care called "centering pregnancy." According to Yale researcher Jeannette Ickovics, PhD, the program "bundles" together essential health assessment and education services in a very special social setting. Much like the best Internet plans, Ickovics says the program is chock full of value-added premiums for mother and baby.

"This is not one-stop prenatal care shopping; there is a synergistic effect to what we are doing so you get a set of value-added services, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It's bundling for the mother-to-be!" says Ickovics, who's studying this new form of prenatal care and comparing it with traditional care.

The real goal of centering pregnancy: to do away with those frustratingly short and frequently impersonal prenatal visits and replace them with longer, more meaningful, and more productive sessions lasting up to three hours in length.

The catch: Each visit involves an obstetrician or midwife -- and 10 women, all with similar due dates.