Study shows women take a more active role in caring for themselves and babies.

RUMFORD – The Centering Pregnancy program at Rumford Hospital – and more than 50 other sites throughout the United States – brings women out of exam rooms and into comfortable group settings for their prenatal care.

These women have their initial intake into obstetrics care in the usual way with history and physical exams in a typical office setting; then they join several other women and their support people with similar due dates to meet together regularly during their pregnancy.

At Rumford Hospital Centering Pregnancy, groups are facilitated by certified nurse midwife Daisy Goodman, with the support of the family practice physicians at Swift River Health Care and Elsemore Dixfield Center and maternity nurse Kathy Sutton. Held in a Birthing Center room with comfortable couches and chairs, the groups stimulate questions about pregnancy and fetal development, as well as sharing feelings.

The results of a study, published in the November issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, reveal that Centering Pregnancy not only gives women a chance to be more active in caring for themselves and their baby but also that their babies have statistically significant better weight gain for pre-term infants. In the study, women who were in a centering group but delivered pre-term continued pregnancy two weeks longer than women in the control group and had babies that weighed a pound more.

“Our Centering Pregnancy graduates like taking an active part in their pregnancy care and really like the sharing that goes on,” says Goodman. “Now we have proof that Centering Pregnancy actually results in better outcomes.”

Goodman is a certified nurse midwife, seeing patients both at Swift River Health Care and Elsemore Dixfield Center. She earned her certificate in nurse-midwifery the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Kentucky and also graduated from its Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program.

For more information about Centering Pregnancy call the Rumford Hospital Birthing Center, 369-1094; Swift River Health Care, 369-0146; or Elsemore Dixfield Center, 562-4226.


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