Women's Health

CenteringPregnancy® prenatal care a success at Spectrum Health

The study says program participation also reduces the risk of neonatal intensive care unit stays for newborns by 28 percent. "They haven't discovered why yet, they just know that it does. Some of the hypothesis is the support you get, the education you get, leads to a healthier lifestyle during pregnancy. And there's a reduction in stress from having that support." Hilbert said. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Beat)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 30, 2017 – A program designed to provide support to pregnant moms-to-be and ensure healthy, full-term births has been successful in West Michigan.

CenteringPregnancy®, offered at Spectrum Health Butterworth and Gerber hospitals, brings pregnant women with similar due dates together in a group setting with their health care provider.

The program was introduced at Spectrum Health in 2015, thanks to a grant from the Michigan State Chapter of the March of Dimes that continued into a second year.

So far, more than 60 patients have participated in the program.

“This has been a great opportunity for our patients,” said Melinda Johnson, MD, obstetrics and gynecology, Spectrum Health Medical Group. “CenteringPregnancy has provided a support group during what can be an intimidating life change.”

The goal of the program is to offer essential prenatal care in an environment that is supportive, encourages conversation and fosters the sharing of experiences. Group members receive all components of prenatal care, including health assessments, education and support.

Women meet with their groups 10 times throughout their pregnancy. Each session begins with an individual health exam and the chance to question healthcare providers about what they are experiencing. Topics include pregnancy, birth and newborn care as well as overall health and stress management.

The Spectrum Health program was recently featured in Health Beat. The article noted  a five-year study published in the Journal of Maternal and Child Health showed that participating in a CenteringPregnancy program reduces the risk of premature birth by 36 percent and reduces the risk of neonatal intensive care unit stays for newborns by 28 percent.

Beyond providing essential support to expecting moms, the program has proved to be a cost saver for healthcare systems that have embraced it. A goal of the program is to avoid premature births through proper prenatal care. According to a University of Kentucky study, CenteringPregnancy has saved $1.5 million by reducing the preterm birth rate. Dr. Johnson says at Spectrum Health 96 percent of the participants have reached full term with their pregnancies.

“Within all of our grants, we strive to achieve results like we’ve seen with this program. We are thrilled with the positive outcomes for our moms and babies in West Michigan,” said Ginger Feldman, executive director, West Michigan March of Dimes. “This is a program to be proud of in our community.”

The Spectrum Health Foundation is accepting donations to enable the health system to continue to provide CenteringPregnancy. More information is available here.


About The March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Susan Krieger
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5541
Mobile: 616.307.7880
Email: susan.krieger@spectrumhealth.org