group prenatal care - for who?

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Basic question, what pt is a "good candidate" for group prenatal care? Anyone got a definition, some kind of qualifications, anything?

Several OBs in my hospital just started this new thing called "group prenatal care." The midwifery department has one, as do several of the different practices at the hospital. It sounds like everyone gets a semi-private urine test and bump measure, then the whole group spends an hour talking, while the OB or midwife moderates. I also have heard several nurses talk about recommending group prenatal care to pts, saying they are "a good candidate for it."

I get that different people have different needs during pregnancy, but I don't understand the point. What is the benefit for anyone? Who is a good candidate for this? And where did the idea come from? Anything I could learn would be great, I'm sure I'm just being dense about something here, I can't figure it out at all. Anyone else doing this at their practice and have heard a reason?

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

I think someone that has a low-risk pregnancy, and maybe little to no support system would benefit from this. It seems like more first time mothers would want to participate- simply because its unlikely that moms with children at home would be able to spend an hour at a prenatal appointment.

In the group prenatal care, the women would get to make connections with each other, discuss the progress of their pregnancies, get advice, etc. It sounds like more of a support group format than an educational session or prenatal care.

From the provider standpoint, I suppose their patients might feel like they are getting more attention from their doctor, while they are actually getting less. 10 women could share that hour appointment time, but individual appointments would take two hours or more. That would equal more $ for the practice.

Just guessing, but I think the idea might have come about from two venues: 1. Patients wishing that their doctor's had more time to spend discussing their concerns and answering their questions and 2. Doctor's/Providers realizing that they spend a huge part of their day answering the same basic, normal pregnancy questions, and trying to come up with a more efficient way to meet the needs of their patients and keep their day on schedule.

Specializes in nursing education.

We have group prenatal visits at our clinic and they are working out great. They do it as a cohort- women who are delivering at similar times. Our typical patient is young, low likelihood of breastfeeding, low education level, low SES. Each patient gets a private exam, then they all have group together. We see low to moderate-risk patients.

The groups provide support, pregnancy education, and positive role modeling for parenting skills. This last group we had, all the moms gave breastfeeding a good shot and most were successful.

It's been so positive for our clinic and our patients.

We had done a group for diabetes and it was an older cohort. Part of the theory behind groups is that, besides the support group, social sharing of similar experiences, and problem-solving they do together, it is more efficient to provide education to a group. It's cost effective and has good outcomes.

+ Add a Comment