A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO PRENATAL CARE - MORE CHOICES FOR WEST END RESIDENTS
Part 3 of 3
Bogachiel Clinic and Dr. Rebecca Pfaff are happy to introduce an expansion of prenatal care offerings with an ADDITIONAL option and approach to prenatal care. While we will continue to offer the traditional model of prenatal during which you meet individually with Dr. Pfaff throughout your pregnancy, CenteringPregnancy® allows you and a companion or companions of your choosing to attend prenatal visits that are in a comfortable group setting. These appointments provide the time to ask a provider all of your questions, learn more about your health, and share with others who are having similar experiences.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:
How is my privacy protected in a group setting?
At the first group session, each person signs a confidentiality agreement and it is emphasized that particular concerns should not be discussed outside the group setting. Ground rules are agreed upon and posted in the group space. The decision to share information with the group is made by each participant; no one ever is pressured to disclose personal concerns.
Individual time with your provider will be conducted in a private area of the Centering room. Should you require an exam or have issues that require additional privacy, you will be seen in an exam room outside the Centering appointment.
What is the cost of this type of care?
Your charges and/or copays for CenteringPregnancy care are the same as traditional care and are determined by your insurance coverage. If you have questions about your coverage and estimated out-of-pocket expenses, talk with patient financial services at Forks Community Hospital.
I am not sure I can leave my job for a two-hour appointment.
Centering group care is your healthcare visit. And while two hours may seem like a long time for your prenatal or well-child visit, remember there is no waiting for your appointment to start – when you arrive you will go right to the Centering room to get started. There is no need to check out after either, or to spend valuable time scheduling your next visit. You will receive a schedule of all your appointments when you enroll in Centering so that you can make arrangements for time off in advance.
I have problems with childcare. May I bring my older children to my group visits?
Childcare will be offered at Centering appointments. Please contact Kami Clagget at Bogachiel Medical Clinic for more information.
I’m afraid that my provider won’t really get to know me in a group setting.
Most patients and providers find they get to know one another better through Centering groups. This is because you spend so much more time together! In Centering, you get both private time to ask questions and talk with your provider, as well as group time that is fun and informative.
Can my partner or other support person attend my groups with me?
We encourage you to bring your partner or support person – they will benefit from being a part of the group too! We ask that you bring the same person to each session for continuity and confidentiality. Support people sit in the circle and fully participate in the all of activities and discussions. You can bring more than one support person.
What if someone is sick?
If you or your child are not feeling well and are potentially contagious, we ask that don’t come to your group visit. Just call the practice and schedule an individual appointment. Your group will appreciate it and look forward to seeing you next time!
I won’t feel comfortable sharing information in a group setting.
That’s a common concern. Rest assured that there is no pressure to share anything with the group that you are not comfortable sharing. However, most participants find that the group quickly feels like a group of friends who are all going through similar things, and the benefits they receive from sharing their experiences are tremendous.
Two hours seems like a long time for a healthcare visit. What happens during the two hours?
At the start of a CenteringPregnancy session, you will complete your self-care and have an individual assessment and time with your provider. You may complete a “Conversation Starter” in your Centering notebook about a topic you’ll discuss later, enjoy snacks and chat with other group participants while each patient meets with the provider individually. When the group “circles up” together, there is facilitated discussion and activities. There is time to practice skills, such as breathing and relaxing or holding and comforting a baby.
Groups are lively, interactive, focused on the topics that are most important to you and FUN!
Will I still get my ultrasounds and lab tests that I expect in prenatal care?
CenteringPregnancy is your prenatal care. Dr Pfaff will work diligently to continue insuring that your care meets all the standards for prenatal care. Labs, prescriptions and ultrasounds will be ordered for you, as appropriate. Results of the lab tests and ultrasounds will be shared privately with you.
The reason for and significance of testing and medications is often a topic for group discussion. Women in Centering tell us they better understand lab testing and medications prescribed during pregnancy after the group conversations.
Will I like this?
Numerous studies have shown that women who participate in Centering are more satisfied with their care, feel more prepared for birth and for parenting and have higher rates of breastfeeding when they leave the hospital. Other studies have shown a decrease in the risk of preterm birth and higher birth weights for babies who are born premature. But if you don’t like it, we will be happy to transition you to individual prenatal appointments with Dr. Pfaff.
Is Centering for everyone?
We believe anyone can enjoy and benefit from Centering. Talk with your provider if you have any further questions about whether Centering is right for you. Bogachiel Clinic and Dr. Pfaff will continue to offer routine, one-on-one prenatal care for those who are not interested in Centering. Our goal is to offer more choices, you are in charge of deciding what is best for you and your family.
If you have questions regarding CenteringPregancy ask Dr. Pfaff at your next appointment or call Bogachiel Medical Clinic at 360-374-6998 and speak with Kami Clagget.
In Neah Bay contact Allyson Bowers 360-345-292 or Glenda Butler 360-645-3298 at the Sophie Trettevick Clinic.
General questions can be sent to [email protected] Please keep all personal health information private by discussing it directly with your provider.
This article is brought to you by:
Dr. Rebecca Pfaff, FPOB
Disclaimer: This column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.