Group Prenatal Care
Group prenatal care is an evidence-based innovation that has been nationally recognized by leading healthcare experts to improve health outcomes for women and their infants. It is a multifaceted model of group care that integrates the three major components of care (health assessment, education and support) into a unified program within a group setting. The change from individual to group care involves every traditional aspect of prenatal care practice with a competent staff and team.
Positive outcomes include reduced premature births, reduction of low birth weight deliveries, improved breastfeeding and immunization rates and decreased caesarean sections. It is also correlated with less social isolationism and reduced risk for perinatal mood disorders. Group prenatal care promotes greater patient engagement, personal empowerment and community-building.
Facilitative Leadership spreads the function of shared leadership throughout the group and encourages all members to participate in this trusting environment. The leader, removed from the role of teacher, becomes the listener, carefully moving the group conversation to benefit the group members. The group facilitation may be provided by any clinician credentialed to provide care to pregnant women. This includes midwives, OB-GYN physicians, family medicine physicians and nurse practitioners.
Every pregnant woman residing in Indiana is eligible to participate in group prenatal care programs, regardless of their medical home affiliation. There is no age or income eligibility requirement.
Based on the population size of the physician practice or community health care center, 8-12 women with similar due dates offered group prenatal care vs individual care. Groups are scheduled at convenient times for the mothers, including afternoons, evenings, or Saturdays, to accommodate their needs and allow them to lead.
Prenatal patients meet with their care provider and other group participants for an extended period of time, usually 90-120 minutes, at regularly scheduled visits over the course of their care. Upon arriving to the session, the practitioner conducts a one-on-one physical health assessment with the women including their weight and blood pressure. At the conclusion of this private session, the provider also conducts fetal heart rate and fundal measurements for each woman to assess the baby’s health.
After the health assessments are complete, the provider and support staff facilitate group discussions, as well as interactive activities designed to address important and timely health topics. Group prenatal care includes material for moms and providers regarding nutrition, common discomforts, stress management, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and infant care.
In general, each session includes:
- 30 – 40 minutes of check-in and individual assessments with the provider
- 60 – 75 minutes of formal group facilitated discussion
- Informal time for socializing during assessment and break
- Closing and follow-up as needed
Groups start between 12 – 16 weeks gestation and are scheduled every four weeks for four sessions and every two weeks for 6 sessions closer to their due date. The 10th (last) session should be planned before women are likely to deliver. A reunion is scheduled 1 – 2 months postpartum. This visit is scheduled to last longer than previous sessions, as this session will include individual assessment time, serving as a woman’s postpartum visit.
Billing for group prenatal care follows the same process as individual care.
Indiana State Department of Health Funded
Group Prenatal Care Sites
Maple City Health Care Center
213 Middlebury Street
Goshen, IN 46528
(574) 534 - 3300