Find Your Center: Prenatal Service to Guide New Mothers

CenteringPregnancy clients meet small groups to discuss pregnancy and parenting skills.

CenteringPregnancy clients meet in small groups to discuss pregnancy and parenting skills.

The Combest Center is now offering prenatal services through a primary model called CenteringPregnancy.

CenteringPregnancy is a unique, evidence-based enhanced maternity care service. The model is designed to integrate health assessment, education and support into a unified program within a group setting. Eight to 10 women with similar gestational ages meet to learn how their body changes during pregnancy, mother and infant care skills, participate in facilitated discussions and develop a support network at each prenatal visit.

“The centering approach is designed to enhance prenatal and maternity care delivery and address the medical, behavioral and psychosocial factors that may occur during pregnancy and possibly contribute to preterm-related poor birth outcomes,” said Yondell Masten, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, The Florence Thelma Hall Endowed Chair for Nursing Excellence in Women’s Health, professor, associate dean of outcomes management and evaluation, and women’s health nurse practitioner in the School of Nursing.

Each group meets for 10 sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum. A health provider, one of two group facilitators, completes standard physical health assessments during each prenatal group visit.

Additionally, expectant mothers have the opportunity to enroll in the Strong Start for Mothers and Infants program. Strong Start mothers receive enhanced prenatal care through the Maternity Care Home model using care coordination, birth plan development and assistance with Texas Women, Infants and Children (WIC) enrollment provided by community health workers through the Texas Tech Physicians OB-GYN Clinic or CenteringPregnancy at the Combest Center.

Mothers in the CenteringPregnancy program receive enhanced prenatal care provided by a registered nurse and an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The APRNs are women’s health nurse practitioners or certified nurse-midwives.

TTUHSC was one of 27 institutions in the U.S. to receive a four-year $896,867 grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last year to establish the Strong Start for Mothers and Infants program and includes both the CenteringPregnancy and Maternity Care Home models.

Strong Start is a collaborative interprofessional intervention provided to approximately 500 to 700 participants a year by the Combest Center and the Texas Tech Physicians Family Medicine and OB-GYN departments.

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