• keywords: consumer participation;
  • health education;
  • infant;
  • low birth weight;
  • infant;
  • premature;
  • patient-centered care;
  • pregnancy;
  • pregnancy outcomes;
  • prenatal care;
  • support groups;
  • midwifery


Prenatal care is often credited with improving pregnancy outcomes. Yet rates of low birthweight (LBW) and prematurity have risen in recent decades, calling into question the efficacy of traditional prenatal routines. Proposals have included broadening the objectives of prenatal care beyond prevention of LBW and enriching care to provide education and support for pregnant women. CenteringPregnancy, an innovative model of prenatal care that integrates extensive health education and group support with the standard prenatal exam, incorporates many of these elements. Impediments to wider implementation of CenteringPregnancy are explored, as well as proposals for addressing these challenges.