Reducing Racial Disparities
addressing Extreme Prematurity
Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths
After I learned about CenteringPregnancy at a doctor’s appointment, the thing I really liked about it was that you can bounce ideas and questions off of other women who are expecting at around the same time. A doctor or midwife and nurse practitioner are also there so you get updated, expert medical knowledge too.
In our group, all the women were expecting babies only about two weeks apart. So, it basically felt like we were all going through the same things at the same time. We had a chance to clear up the myths we heard from other people. It made me feel really comfortable.
We had a chance to ask questions. A few people, for example, had “heard” that breastfeeding was really painful, or that formula is healthier, and both of those aren’t true (although breastfeeding can hurt a little at first … but breastmilk provides a lot of benefits to babies).
What I love most about CenteringPregnancy was that it was OK to say if we were wondering if something was normal or find out if some change was happening to other people at the same time. We could relate to things instead of worrying about them. It was very informative.
One thing we noticed was that there were a lot of differences in what people did from generation to generation. Family members sometimes still try to do what they were told to do a long time ago, which was what doctors said then but isn’t recommended anymore. Grandparents and parents were doing their best at the time and using the best information available then, but when you know better, you can do better, with more recent information.
Safe sleep was an important area that has changed. Now we know that babies should be alone, on their back, in a crib (or pack-n-play), and no one should smoke in a house where a baby spends time. They even told us that if moms or dads need a safe place for the baby to sleep, there are programs where you can get free pack-n-plays.
We had a chance to have parents and support people come to join sessions, and they were excited to learn new ways to do things and to hear answers to their questions from medical professionals.
All of the moms were so supportive. We could talk about what did or didn’t work for us during pregnancy and even after our babies were born. I still talk to the moms from my group almost every day! We share pictures of our babies and what they’re doing at each stage now and share ideas for baby food or other things. Women who had a baby 20 years ago or two years ago might forget some of the little details of how they were feeling at each little step, but we are all going through it together right now, at the same time. We really encourage each other.
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