JOSH AND ANNIE SMITH of Freeport enjoy the Mid Coast Hospital CenteringPregnany reunion with their newborn, David, May 20 in Freeport.

JOSH AND ANNIE SMITH of Freeport enjoy the Mid Coast Hospital CenteringPregnany reunion with their newborn, David, May 20 in Freeport.


On Saturday, May 20, more than 150 families gathered at Winslow Park in Freeport to celebrate Mid Coast Hospital’s CenteringPregnancy program offered by Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care.

Mid Coast Hospital’s CenteringPregnancy is a model of group prenatal care that integrates basic prenatal health assessment and education with social support. Facilitated by a nurse and one of five certified nurse midwives on staff, the program allows women due in the same month to receive care in a group setting. Each pregnant woman is able to bring a support person to the two-hour group visits, which typically meet in the evening.

Heather and Andy Seymour of Pownal joined a CenteringPregnancy group at Mid Coast Hospital in 2016. They had some initial concerns that group care would not be as attentive as individual care, but it did not take long before they realized the benefits. “We recognized the unique benefit of having high-quality care partnered with group education and support. It was truthfully unexpected,” said Heather. “We have both become strong advocates for Centering and the midwives at Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care. Andy is just as involved and enthusiastic, even a year after giving birth.”

The Centering program at Mid Coast Hospital has resulted in better preparation for birth and parenting, as well as a decrease in the cesarean section rate, decrease in premature and low birth weight births, and an increase in breastfeeding rates. As an additional benefit, families create a community of support for before, during, and after birth. Families often get together frequently during the post-partum period and often stay in touch for many years after.

In addition to the certified nurse midwives, the Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care team includes six board certified OB/GYN physicians, collaborating to offer a full range of maternity care options. As the only nationally certified site in Maine, families travel from Freeport to Damariscotta and beyond to attend the Mid Coast Hospital CenteringPregnancy program.

When Annie Smith of Freeport became pregnant, she visited an OB/GYN physician at Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care who discussed different options for prenatal care at Mid Coast Hospital. “I ended up switching to a midwife so that I could take part in the Centering program,” said Annie. “I was looking for the group interaction and the opportunity to connect with other parents.” Her husband Josh commented, “I wanted to learn information and be present. Centering really solidified our decision to switch.” They mentioned that since participating, they recommend the program to every one they meet who is expecting a child.

Mid Coast Hospital is committed to offering the highest quality maternity care with a full range of options to meet the needs of all families in our region,” Kristin Anthony, vice president for Nursing and Patient Care Services at Mid Coast–Parkview Health. The CenteringPregnancy program provides a wealth of resources and support that has shown to improve outcomes and provide a better experience for our patients.”

For more information about CenteringPregnacy and maternity care at Mid Coast Hospital, visit aternity.

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