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Jordan Hospital Among Those Using 'Centering' For Prenatal Care

PLYMOUTH (CBS) - There is great deal of anxiety during pregnancy for both the mom and the dad. A new approach to prenatal care promises to reduce that stress. It's called "Centering".

Kara Govoni, a certified nurse midwife at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth explained centering as a type of group prenatal care. Parents meet with a nurse and midwife for a couple of hours each week. These group sessions are in place of a traditional doctor's visit, which can often be rushed.

"They listen to the baby's heartbeat, measure the belly, and ask do you have any questions, basically the same two minutes that would be at a regular visit if they came during the day," Govoni said of the meetings. "That is the first half hour, and then another additional hour is spent kind of in a circle, and everyone talks about what they were going through that week."

There are still visits with physicians, and moms like Valerie Palagi can still have a planned C-section. She liked the information exchange of information and found it reduced her anxiety while she waited for Leo to join her family.

"There were definitely things that I was thinking that I never said out loud that other people said, so that was good, because you do have questions in your mind that you do think are silly," said Palagi.

Centering is covered by insurance and is meant for all kinds of parents.

"It can be for the low risk mother with her first baby, and they don't know anything about having or raising a baby," said Govoni. "It can be for a mother who is going on her 4th baby and she has a lot to offer other people in the group. It is good for people who are high risk and need the extra support."

Amanda Ouimet developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her son Jack. She valued the human touch in this approach, as well as all the information that was shared.

"We've made great relationships and we've learned so much. The things I tell my girl friends who are pregnant and didn't go through a centering program, they think I am a doctor I am so knowledgeable about the human body," said Ouimet with a laugh.

The Jordan Hospital program is sponsored by the March of Dimes.

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