“I Wasn't Alone”—A Study of Group Prenatal Care in the Military

Authors

  • Holly Powell Kennedy CNM, PhD, COL (Ret), USAR,

    Corresponding author
      University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, 2 Koret Way, Box 0606, San Francisco, CA 94920. E-mail: holly.kennedy@nursing.ucsf.edu
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    • Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, COL (Ret), USAR, FACNM, FAAN, is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA, and a retired Colonel of the US Army Nurse Corps Reserve.

  • Trisha Farrell CNM, MS, CDR, NC, USN,

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    • Trisha Farrell, CNM, MS, CDR, NC, USN, is a certified nurse-midwife at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Bremerton, WA, and served as assistant investigator for the study.

  • Regina Paden CNM, MS, Maj, USAF, NC,

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    • Regina Paden, CNM, MS, Maj, USAF, NC, is a certified nurse-midwife at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS, and served as assistant investigator for the study.

  • Shannon Hill CNM, MSN, Maj, USAF, NC,

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    • Shannon Hill, CNM, MSN, Maj, USAF, NC, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, SC, and served as assistant investigator for the study.

  • Rima Jolivet CNM, MSN, MPH,

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    • Rima Jolivet, CNM, MSN, MPH, is the Associate Director of Programs at Childbirth Connection, New York, NY. She introduced the concept of CenteringPregnancy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, was the spark for the study, and served as consultant for the project.

  • Jacqueline Willetts RN, MSN, GNP,

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    • Jacqueline Willetts, RN, MSN, GNP, is a doctoral student at the University of California San Francisco, and an Assistant Professor of Nursing at California State University, East Bay, San Francisco, CA.

  • Sharon Schindler Rising CNM, MSN

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    • Sharon Schindler Rising, CNM, MSN, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Centering Healthcare Institute, Cheshire, CT, and served as consultant for the study.


University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, 2 Koret Way, Box 0606, San Francisco, CA 94920. E-mail: holly.kennedy@nursing.ucsf.edu

Abstract

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.

Ancillary