Carrie Klima, PhD, CNM, Funded Projects
Centering Pregnancy" in Englewood Clinic
Funding Source: March of Dimes Illinois Chapter
Dates: 1/1/04 – 12/31/06
Co-Investigators: Kathleen Norr, Susan Vonderheid, Arden Handler
Abstract: This project will implement a new model of prenatal care in the Englewood Chicago Department of Health (CDOH) clinic in order to address the high rates of infant mortality, low birth weight and inadequate access to quality prenatal care. Centering PregnancyTM is one of the first truly innovative models of prenatal care to address both the physical and psychosocial needs of women and families that brings women into a group setting for their care. This model provides substantially increased health promotion content, creates opportunities for learning self-care skills, and encourages women to take an active role in their health care. Preliminary research with the CenteringPregnancyTM model has demonstrated a reduction of low birth weight, especially among preterm infants, and an increase in gestational age for those mothers who participate in group care. However, this model of care is unavailable to most low- income women including those women of the Englewood community.
A unique partnership between the Englewood CDOH clinic and the University of Illinois Nurse Midwifery Service allows for continuity of care from early pregnancy through birth and the postpartum period. This partnership enables the introduction of innovative models of care to address the maternal-child health care needs of the community.
In order to implement this innovative model of prenatal care, significant redesign of the current prenatal care services is necessary. Staff will be trained to offer CenteringPregnancyTM maternal and infant outcomes for women enrolled in CenteringPregnancyTM will be compared to those women receiving conventional care. A computerized system will be developed for ongoing tracking of CenteringPregnancyTM clients and their outcomes by obtaining hospital delivery records. Patient and provider satisfaction and their experiences in CenteringPregnancyTM will be assessed using focus groups. Outcomes to be evaluated include prenatal care attendance, prenatal weight gain, gestational age at birth, birth weight, and breastfeeding initiation. Once in place, the program is sustainable with minimal additional resources.