What Is Prenatal Care with CenteringPregnancy?

Jan 24, 2024

CenteringPregnancy is currently offered at our Gaithersburg and Largo Medical Centers.

To find out more about CenteringPregnancy, contact Desiree Sealey at 301-367-9766.

CenteringPregnancy® is a unique approach to prenatal care that includes group sessions with other parents-to-be whose babies are due around the same time as yours.

The sessions are led by our Centering physicians, nurse practitioners, or certified nurse-midwives. You’ll still have one-on-one prenatal appointments with your care team.

These groups create a community that empowers you to be actively involved in your own care and make healthy choices during your pregnancy and beyond.

Right now, we’re holding our Centering group meetings virtually (online). In the group sessions, you’ll talk about things like:

  • Managing pregnancy symptoms
  • Exercising
  • Eating healthy
  • Reducing stress
  • Preparing for labor and childbirth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Caring for your newborn
  • Caring for yourself after childbirth

There’s also time to go over skills such as relaxation exercises and ways to comfort your new baby. Groups are lively, interactive, and fun!

How will I get ultrasounds, lab tests, and other prenatal care I need?

You’ll still have one-on-one prenatal visits with your Centering clinicians in person for ultrasounds, lab tests, and checkups to make sure you and your baby are healthy. You may also have some of your visits by phone or video, when appropriate.

Can my partner or support person come to my Centering sessions with me?

Yes. Your partner or support person is welcome to attend the group with you. Some sessions may be of more interest to them, like when we discuss preparing for childbirth. They’re welcome to join in the activities and discussion.

Why do we recommend Centering?

Centering gives you lots of time to get to know other parents-to-be and ask questions in a supportive group environment. You’ll learn from doctors, nurses, and midwives about topics that we don’t usually have time to cover in depth during individual office visits. Plus, it’s a great chance for you and your care team to get to know each other better.

Participants often tell us how reassuring it is to connect with others going through similar pregnancy experiences. You’ll have the chance to get to know other expecting parents, and perhaps even develop lasting friendships outside the group. And often, someone else asks just the question that you were wondering about.

It’s also convenient. You’ll know all the dates and times of all your appointments in advance, so you can plan ahead.

When do Centering groups meet?

Groups are scheduled on different days and times throughout the week. When you enroll in the Centering program, you’ll be scheduled for all of your prenatal care appointments, including the group sessions and individual visits.

How is my privacy protected in a group setting?

We’re committed to protecting your privacy. All participants, including partners or support people, are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement at their first group session. We emphasize that what individual members share is not to be discussed with others outside the group. What you choose to share with the group is up to you. No one’s pressured to talk about private concerns.

How can I get more information about Centering?

To find out more about CenteringPregnancy in DC & Suburban Maryland, contact Desiree Sealey at 301-367-9766.

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn’t enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child’s) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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