La Clínica started Centering Pregnancy in 2008 at Clinica Alta Vista, the only comprehensive teen health center in Alameda County. Centering Pregnancy is a national evidence-based program that redesigns prenatal care into a group setting. Centering has been in existence for over 30 years and studies have shown improved health outcomes for women who participate: increased birth weight, longer term pregnancies, and higher patient satisfaction!
Under Centering, staff meet with groups of young women whose babies are due at similar times. They meet regularly and receive the same services they would have within the health center setting, plus much more. The women are trained to check and chart their own blood pressure, weight and urine dipsticks. A medical provider completes each patient's standard physical health assessments while the group meets to discuss pregnancy symptoms, nutrition, self-care, birth preparation, newborn care, parenting, breastfeeding, birth control, and healthy relationships. Sessions are interactive and patient-centered - facilitated by La Clínica doctors but with plenty of participation and help from group members.
This model of care is unique and diverges from traditional care as it provides the opportunity for teens and young adults to build social support and community, learn new skills and become empowered and engaged in their own care rather, than passive recipients of it. Because of the success and popularity of Centering Pregnancy at our teen health center, this model of care was expanded to the San Antonio Neighborhood Health Center and Fruitvale Village, in 2010.