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Keywords:

  • CenteringPregnancy;
  • group health care;
  • military pregnancy;
  • prenatal care;
  • qualitative research

The military has recognized that health and quality of life for service members are closely tied to the resources for their families, including how they are cared for during pregnancy and childbirth. However, there has been little examination of women's experience with different models of prenatal care (PNC) in military settings. The purpose of this article is to describe the results of a qualitative study of women's experiences with the CenteringPregnancy model of group PNC compared to individual PNC in two military health care settings. This clinical trial enrolled 322 women who were randomized into group or individual PNC at two military treatment facilities. Qualitative interviews were completed with 234 women during the postpartum period. Interpretative narrative and thematic analysis was used to identify three themes: 1) “I wasn't alone”—the experience with group PNC; 2) “I liked it but…”—recommendations to improve group PNC; and 3) “They really need to listen”—general concerns across the sample about PNC. Greatest concerns of women in individual PNC included lack of continuity and time with the provider. Our military families must be assured that their health care system meets their needs through personal and family-centered care. Group PNC offers the potential for continuity of provider while also offering community with other women. In the process, women gain knowledge and power as a health care consumer.