Introduction CenteringPregnancy® is well-regarded as an innovative group model of prenatal care. In 2009, Georgia's Southwest Public Health District partnered with local obstetricians and medical centers to expand prenatal care access and improve perinatal outcomes for low-income women by implementing Georgia's first public health administered CenteringPregnancy program. This paper describes the successful implementation of CenteringPregnancy in a public health setting with no prior prenatal services; assesses the program's first 5-year perinatal outcomes; and discusses several key lessons learned. Methods Prenatal and hospital medical records of patients were reviewed for the time period from October 2009 through October 2014. Descriptive analyses were conducted to examine demographic and clinical characteristics of women initiating prenatal care and to assess perinatal outcomes among patients with singleton live births who attended at least three CenteringPregnancy sessions or delivered prior to attending the third session. Results Six hundred and six low-income women initiated prenatal care; 55.4 and 36.4% self-identified as non-Hispanic black and Hispanic, respectively. The median age was 23 years (IQR 20, 28). Nearly 69% initiated prenatal care in the first trimester. Perinatal outcomes were examined among 338 singleton live births. The 2010-2014 preterm birth rate (% of births < 37 weeks gestation at delivery) and low birth weight rate (% of births < 2500 g) were 9.1 and 8.9%, respectively. Nearly 77% of women initiated breastfeeding. Discussion CenteringPregnancy administered via public-private partnership may improve access to prenatal care and perinatal outcomes for medically underserved women in low-resource settings.
Keywords: CenteringPregnancy; Group prenatal care; Health disparities.