One of the best ways to deliver prenatal care is in a group. There’s so much education and support,” says Deborah Simon-Weisberg, MD, as she looks over a group of new moms and babies attending the Centering Program at LifeLong Medical Care’s West Berkeley Health Center.
“I started coming to the Centering Program when I was pregnant with my latest baby,” says Noel. “LifeLong called me and invited me to the
Program when they learned I was pregnant. It was so good to be able to compare notes with other moms and feel like I wasn’t crazy.
Pregnant women who are due around the same time come to the Centering Program for prenatal care and continue to come for a while after the babies are born. Doctors see each woman individually, carrying out well-woman assessments, giving vaccinations and PAP tests, and doing checkups on the babies. “At each visit, new moms are given post-partum depression screenings,” says Jocelyn DeSena, Coordinator and Lactation Educator at LifeLong West Berkeley.
Women record their own weight and blood pressure. Then they “circle up” and have facili¬tated discussions on topics of interest, from breast-feeding, to nutrition, to how to handle the division of work in a household with a new baby. “My friend says she goes to the obstetrician and gets rushed out of the office,” says Michelle. “I said I get a whole hour at my visit!”
“I love coming to the group and talking about my experiences,” says Wendy. “I wouldn’t have been able to meet so many other moms without the Centering Program.”
Meet the Centering Team
Jocelyn De Sena