June 8, 2009
The Womenís Wellness Center at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital has been approved as an official CenteringPregnancy site. The CenteringPregnancy program is a component of Centering Healthcare Institute Inc., which integrates the three major components of care: health assessment, education, and support into a unified program within a group setting. Approval as an official site affirms that the hospitalís program maintains the integrity of the national model.
The CenteringPregnancy program has been offered at NVRH since July, 2006. The program offers prenatal care through 10 group sessions. The cost is the same to the patient as regular prenatal visits; the education and support is extensive. Topics included parenting, nutrition and exercise, infant care, relaxation, preparation for childbirth, and dental care. Women join others with similar due dates and stay with the group throughout their early postpartum care. They engage in self-care activities, including taking their own weight and blood pressure and recording results in their charts. The group setting (always in a circle) provides a space for unlimited discussion of concerns and/or unknowns, as well as stories and laughter. "Itís a wonderful atmosphere, where women can learn, ask questions and create long-lasting friendships," states Terry Gosselin, Centering Coordinator at NVRH and long-time certified lactation consultant. "This national certification of our site is very exciting. Itís a real collaboration within the hospital with tremendous support from the administration. Ultimately, it reflects the many choices we offer to pregnant women and their families in the Northeast Kingdom."
A site approval visit was performed in March by a coordinator from The Centering Healthcare Institute. "It was very exciting, because we had someone giving us valuable feedback. NVRH has a history of doing what is right for the community," states Doreen Brado, Birth Center Nurse Manager. "Our goal is to offer as many birth choices as possible; the CenteringPregnancy program offers so much, including education, self-empowerment, and long-term social support for mothers."
Dr. Elaine Paul, OB/GYN and Medical Director of The Womenís Wellness Center at NVRH, is very supportive of the CenteringPregnancy program. "This program offers a chance for women to network and bond with others at a similar stage of pregnancy. Additionally, the education offered is exceptional, and not always as easily available in traditional care."
NVRH is also the only Vermont Hospital that holds the status of Baby Friendly, which is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Childrenís Fund to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation.
To learn more about the birth choices and support offered by NVRH, please visit www.nvrh.org.
Hilary De Carlo