Here's how the model works: 8 to twelve women with similar gestational ages meet 10 times in a group throughout their pregnancies, learning all the things and getting all the exams they'd get in traditional prenatal care, but with the added benefit of a community setting. It's a model that women and providers love, Rising tells me.
Twenty years later, the Centering model has gained national traction, with multiple new studies proving its effectiveness and CMS grants to create CenteringPregnancy sites across the country.
For instance, a 2007 multi-site randomized controlled trial found that participation in CenteringPregnancy care reduced the risk of premature birth by 33% compared to traditional prenatal care and "resulted in equal or improved perinatal outcomes at no added cost."
Another study, published in May 2012, showed that "participation in group care improves the rate of preterm birth compared with traditional care, especially among black women." And a study in August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that the more closely facilitators stuck to Centering model, the better the outcomes actually were.
Rising says she conducted her first pilot of the model at the Waterbury Hospital Clinic in Waterbury, CT, where she'd been providing midwifery care for several years.