ELLSWORTH – The Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is initiating their new innovated program called CenteringPregnancy. It will improve babies health by preventing birth defects and premature birth.
“Last year we decided to apply for the March of Dimes Grant in order to have support for implementing centering pregnancy here at Maine coast Memorial Hospital,” said Jane Gerlach, certified nurse midwife.
Beginning at the end of May, the CenteringPregnancy program is currently accepting patients into the group which is proven to help reduce premature births.
“Women who have due dates in about a four week window, will be grouped together and will have the same type of prenatal assessment such as fetal heart tone,” said Gerlach. “We check things that they would have in a regular visit but they will have a longer time together with other women with a similar due date.”
“Each group is a different gestational age, there will be some education that they’ll want to talk about during that group,” said certified nurse midwife, Diane Fehrenbach. “Also it is a time for women to bring in whatever is going on with them, to ask questions that they may have, whether they have concerns or if somebody have good experiences.”
Pregnancy can be scary for some women. This program will bring women from all over the Ellsworth area and will allow them to go through it together.
“Our culture has gotten away from face to face interactions or friends that we can call and talk to because of the social media,” said Fehrenbach. “We’re also in a rural area where women sometimes have trouble with transportation or because of where they are living that prevents them from getting together with other women.”
Although this is geared toward women who are expecting, partners who are also looking to receive information and ask questions are welcomed as well.
“It does not have to be their boyfriend or their husband, it could be their best girlfriend or their mom,” said Renta Moise, a certified nurse midwife.
“As part of the grant, we got money towards babysitting costs because in a group like prenatal, children don’t come,” said Moise. “But we do have money to help the women pay for the babysitting.”