Women seeking a different approach to prenatal care will soon have a new option at North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Waimea Women’s Center (WWC), which will be administering a $15,000 Women’s Community Health grant from Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies on behalf of the North Hawaii Perinatal Local Area Consortium. Waimea Women’s Center will become the first Hawaii Island healthcare provider to offer pregnant patients a new approach to prenatal care called CenteringPregnancy®. As always, the service is available only to women who are within the North Hawaii Community Hospital Service Area, which goes from Hualalai Resort/Kukio Resort area across the island to the Laupahoehoe area, covering all of North Hawaii. The service area is as defined by the Hawaii County EMS Service and which hospital they use for accidents or trauma victims.
CenteringPregnancy® offers a group approach to prenatal care, combining three essential elements of care every pregnant woman needs: health assessment, education and support. CenteringPregnancy® is designed to provide patients more time with their healthcare provider in a more meaningful and productive setting. Rather than having short and frequently impersonal one-on-one traditional visits with their healthcare provider, mothers-to-be will meet in a group of approximately eight to ten women who are due at the same time.
NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center is partnering with Tutu’s House, Waimea’s health and wellness resource center, and the Local Perinatal Consortium to host this new CenteringPregnancy® program. Approximately 10 to 12 moms-to-be will meet for 10 two-hour sessions, starting around the 16th week of pregnancy, and each two-hour session will be led by Robin Ramsay, Certified Nurse Midwife at NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center, and Sasha Williams, Childbirth Educator.
Each session will include food and an individual health prenatal assessment, with the majority of the time focusing on group discussion with semi-structured topics, such as nutrition, common pregnancy complaints, and labor and delivery concerns.
“Benefits of the CenteringPregnancy® model of care are many,” says Ramsay. “It creates a community for moms-to-be, focusing on a woman’s own experiences and sharing these experiences with each other. Additional benefits of this new group model of care include: higher patient satisfaction, mothers-to-be are more involved in their prenatal care, are more likely to deliver healthy, full-term babies and breast feed longer” says Ramsay. “We are excited to be the first healthcare provider on Hawaii Island to offer this great new model of prenatal care to our patients,” says Ramsay.
CenteringPregnancy® was piloted in the early 1990s by Sharon Schindler Rising, a Certified Nurse Midwife, who initiated centering groups in a hospital clinic, community health center and a private office in Connecticut. The CenteringPregnancy® model is a recognized prenatal option and meets all the necessary requirements for insurance reimbursement. The centering model of care also includes CenteringParenting®, CenteringDiabetes® and CenteringLifestyle®. For more information, please visit www.centeringhealthcare.org.
This grant from the Department of Health is a cooperative effort between the North Hawaii Perinatal Local Area Consortia on Hawaii Island, NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center and other community partners. The North Hawaii Perinatal Consortium is one of four local area consortia on the Big Island, implemented as part of the Federal Healthy Start Perinatal Health Disparities Project, through the Hawaii State Department of Health, Maternal Child Health Branch. The purpose of the consortia is to help develop core systems of perinatal services in Hawaii County and reduce infant mortality, low birth weight and racial disparities in perinatal outcomes.