Sensitivity, care, education create supportive pregnancy, childbirth experience

April 18, 2012

Mom is the center of a baby’s life, but moms-to-be are finding support in their own "Centering" groups at two UNT Health locations in Tarrant County. UNT Health’s certified nurse-midwives launched Centering Pregnancy – the first such program in Fort Worth – two years ago to give expectant mothers a community and resource to answer myriad questions that may not surface during a five-minute doctor visit. Centering combines regular check-ups, prenatal education and discussions in a single visit with other pregnant women. The goal is to improve pre-term labor rates and satisfaction during the entire childbirth experience.

Certified nurse-midwives must complete specialized training through the Centering Healthcare Institute. Research shows both the patient and the provider report greater satisfaction – as well as patient outcomes – when Centering is used, said Kathleen Donaldson, certified nurse midwife and director of advanced practice professionals for UNT Health‘s OB/Gyn department.

"Centering may well replace traditional prenatal classes," Donaldson said. "It relies on an evidence-based redesign of health care delivery that incorporates assessment, education and support."

Women in the Centering program meet individually with their personal physician for their regular medical visit, and then join a group of eight to 12 other women to discuss set topics and learn from experts such as dieticians and lactation consultants. The patient’s partner is welcome to attend. The Centering visit, including the regular patient visit, usually runs 90-120 minutes, Donaldson said. Women are grouped by expected delivery dates so participants can share experiences and insights.

"You don’t have to be a first-time parent to benefit from the Centering experience," said Elizabeth Marshall, who recently went through UNT Health’s Centering program during her pregnancy. "We had a mother on her seventh pregnancy show up to every meeting and she would talk about learning new things from the discussions we had. During those meetings you discuss pregnancy myths, delivery options and breastfeeding experiences, and everything in between. You can have the security and confidence to broach any topic and not be afraid of sounding silly.

"As first-time parents, my husband and I initially started with an OB physician, and we felt like we weren’t getting the kind of sensitivity and care that we needed," Marshall continued. "A coworker suggested the UNT Health Midwife Group, saying their philosophies for prenatal care were about empowering the mother and involving the father. We really responded to this approach after a meet-and-greet at the office and knew we were in the right place."


Dr. Andrew Yockey
Under the influence: More adults over 65 driving after drinking or drug use

By Sally Crocker An estimated 3% of adults over age 65 are driving under the influence of alcohol, according to one of the first research studies to delve into an emerging national concern. Experts said this statistic is especially worrisome given that older Americans are already mo...Read more

Sep 22, 2021

New Logo Hsc Install On February 16th On Ead Building.
Inaugural Garth N. Graham Distinguished Lectureship Award spotlights trailblazers who are advancing health equity

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) is joining the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (SHLI), and YouTube in celebrating the first recipient of the Garth N. Graham Distinguished Lectureship Aw...Read more

Sep 16, 2021

TCOM Academic Student Navigator, Paloma Bermudez, MS
Hispanic Heritage Month offers history lessons while celebrating diversity

By Diane Smith-Pinckney For Alex Fernandez, connecting with his Cuban-American roots is a lifelong lesson.  “The more I learn, the more I appreciate where I came from,” said Fernandez, a Student Services Coordinator in the Office of Care and Civility at The University of North Texas...Read more

Sep 16, 2021

Jeremy Joseph, Assistant Director for the Office of Care and Civility at HSC.
At HSC, saving lives means making suicide everyone’s business

By Diane Smith-Pinckney Every 11 minutes there is a death by suicide in the United States.  In 2019, more than 47,500 people died of suicide and 1.4 million attempted suicide, according to statistics gathered by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Experts at The Univ...Read more

Sep 10, 2021