COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Pregnant women in Columbus will now have a new option to their prenatal care.
Centering Pregnancy is a new model that will soon be offered to pregnant women in the Chattahoochee Valley.
Dr. Demetrice Hill of Maternal Fetal Medicine Center at Columbus Regional Health says it's a group prenatal care model.
"Traditionally women spend about 10 to 15 minutes with their health care provider for routine prenatal visit. With the group prenatal care or the group pregnancy patients have a chance to have that individualized time but in addition to that they have an opportunity to spend at least an hour or sometimes an hour and a half in a group setting," Dr. Hill said.
The Centering Pregnancy Program allows women to discuss and ask questions about their experience with other expecting moms.
"We were awarded a community grant from March of Dimes and that helps with our start up and will help us with the cost and get the program implemented here", Dr. Hill said.
According to the March of Dimes, Georgia is graded with a "D". The state's premature birthrate is 10.8 percent.
Columbus is actually one of the highest in the state our prematurity birthrate is 13.6 percent.
This is why the March of Dimes Organization is introducing the Centering Pregnancy Program to Columbus Regional Health. The organization hopes to lower the number of premature births by educating expecting mothers about pregnancy and positive health practices.
There are more than 400 programs across 45 states. The Centering Pregnancy Program is included in maternity health care coverage and shouldn't cost any extra.
Dr. Richard Allen says the value of the program is going to be much greater than what patients usually receive during a doctor's visit.
"They get the normal clinical assessment, but the educational support that will be there is unbelievable of importance", Dr. Allen said.
Through the March of Dimes, the first centering program is expected to have its first class on May 10 at Columbus Regional Hospital.
By supporting March of Dimes, hospitals and maternity centers across the country will be able to bring the centering pregnancy to their health facility. If you would like to support March of Dimes, there will be an annual March for babies event on May 14 at Cooper Creek Park.