RUMFORD – The Centering Pregnancy Program is again being offered at Rumford Hospital.

Centering provides an alternative to routine prenatal care by bringing women out of exam rooms and into groups for their care. Centering provides the same comprehensive prenatal care as in an office, but in a more comfortable setting.

Instead of meeting with a single provider individually for 10 to 20 minutes, pregnant women, their support people and prenatal care providers will meet as a small group for one and a half hours, one or two times a month in a relaxed setting in the hospital.

Classes are facilitated by Daisy Goodman, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Kathy Sutton, RN, of the Rumford Hospital Family Birthing Center.

Physicians from Swift River Health Care and Elsemore Dixfield Center also provide education at centering sessions. Discussion among the women and their support people is lively, with topics ranging from the discomforts of pregnancy through complications, parenting and infant care.

Participants are encouraged to share experiences and ask questions.

Centering programs throughout the U.S. have attracted attention due to their popularity with pregnant women, the quality of care and the improved health of participants.

Centering participants become active partners in their prenatal care. They take their own blood pressures and weight and make entries in their charts. In addition to group time for education and sharing, there is individual time with a practitioner to listen to the babies’ heartbeats, check babies’ growth and talk individually about specific problems and concerns.

The Centering Pregnancy Program has been available at Rumford Hospital for four years but took a break while nurse midwife Daisy Goodman was on maternity leave. “Now that I’m back, I am very excited about working with centering again,” she said. “Having a full hour and a half with participants gives us so much more time to cover the important issues, as well as allowing us to really get to know each other.”

For more information about the Centering Pregnancy Program, call Swift River Health Care at 369-0146.


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