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UNC OB-GYN’S CenteringPregnancy® program has received official site approval from the Centering® Healthcare Institute, the result of a two-year process to establish and certify this innovative form of group prenatal care at UNC.

A group of moms-to-be attends a CenteringPregnancy class, with UNC Midwife Shannon Maaske looking on.

In the Centering® model, pregnant women are grouped by due date and receive care together throughout their pregnancies. Patients have individual assessments such as weight, blood pressure and routine labs as they would at a one-on-one prenatal visit. After, they spend the rest of the meeting reviewing a wide variety of educational content including information on breastfeeding, labor preparation, parenting, stress reduction, nutrition and more.

The group is co-facilitated by a UNC midwife and a nurse who are both trained in the CenteringPregnancy® model. Patients who participate in this form of prenatal care report a high level of satisfaction with the process. One hundred percent of the patients recorded during the site approval process at UNC OB-GYN reported being highly satisfied with their care. Ninety-nine percent of UNC’s CenteringPregnancy® participants left the hospital breastfeeding, and only three percent of the births occurred before 37 weeks gestation.

“Research has shown that participating in CenteringPregnancy® significantly reduces the risk of preterm birth. In addition, women who do group prenatal care report greater satisfaction with their care,” said UNC Midwife Meg Berreth, who leads the groups and was the force behind bringing this program to UNC OB-GYN.

“In addition to the proven benefits of CenteringPregnancy®, it has been wonderful to see how close the groups become. Many of them have reunions with their babies long after the groups are finished. CenteringPregnancy® creates a space for connection and learning that is impossible to achieve with the typical model of prenatal care,” said Berreth.

Since the program started in 2015, 55 patients have received prenatal care through this program at UNC OB-GYN.

In the approval letter, the Centering Healthcare Institute commended UNC OB-GYN’s CenteringPregnancy® site for excellent patient satisfaction and health outcomes, the growth of the program since it began in 2015, and the strong staff support.

The implementation of the program and designation as an official CenteringPregnancy® site is the culmination of hard work, training and collaboration from midwives in the division, the administrative staff and staff in the clinic, said UNC Midwives Division Chief Kathy Higgins.

“Establishing CenteringPregnancy® and pursuing site approval demonstrates the commitment Obstetrical Services at UNC has toward utilizing evidenced- based models of care to improve the quality and to meet the high expectations North Carolina women have for both quality and compassionate obstetrical care,” said Higgins.

Currenty the CenteringPregnancy® meeting space in located in the UNC Health Care Weaver Crossing building on Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill, where UNC Midwives and General Obstetrics and Gynecology see patients. The program hopes to have permanent space in N.C. Women’s Hospital soon.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and would like to receive prenatal care through UNC’s CenteringPregnancy® groups, email .