The Doctor Is In: Group Prenatal Care

Group prenatal care is a growing trend where moms-to-be with similar due dates receive prenatal care in a group setting.

The group consists of eight to a dozen women who attend their 10 pre-natal check-ups together as a group. The 90-minute to two-hour visits provide the women significantly more interaction with the care team compared to traditional one-on-one appointments.

The sessions begin with the usual maternal and fetal blood pressure, weight and heart rate checks, which occur in a semi-private area, afterward, the women gather for a confidential group discussion which is facilitated by their care providers. Dads-to-be and other members of the women's support team are encouraged to attend the group visits.

What are some benefits of "group" prenatal care?

+ Participants get to hear answers to questions they may not think to ask, so moms and their partners are more knowledgeable and better prepared for labor, delivery, and caring for their baby.

+ Group encouragement can help individuals achieve goals they might not accomplish on their own, such as quitting smoking.

+ The women form strong bonds and friendships and are wonderful resources to one another.
Statistically, group prenatal care participants have fewer preterm births, lower cesarean section rates, and higher breastfeeding rates.

Who makes up the care team?

Henry Ford was the first in the country to bring together certified nurse-midwives with community health workers (CHW) as co-facilitators of the groups. The community health workers provide mentoring, make home visits and help the women navigate and access a host of resources. The midwives and CHWs collaborate with Henry Ford's Women's Health Services physicians to provide additional care when needed.