UTS Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health awarded Telstra Foundation Community Development Grant
Caroline Homer and Nicky Leap from the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health were awarded funding from the Telstra Foundation (opens an external site) for a two year pilot study to develop, implement and test the innovative program CenteringPregnancy® in the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service (SESIAHS), Australia.
CenteringPregnancy® is an innovative program providing support, antenatal assessment and education for pregnant women in small groups. It is seen as a new way of building a sense of community and developing new networks for women. Studies of CenteringPregnancy® in the USA have demonstrated an improvement in the rates of social isolation, prematurity and babies with low birth weights.
The pilot project was the first time that this innovative way of delivering antenatal care was implemented and evaluated in Australia. One of the aims of the pilot was to determine the feasibility of undertaking a larger trial of the CenteringPregnancy® program. The program has potential benefits for women, families and children especially for women from disadvantaged or vulnerable groups and provides an exciting opportunity to provide antenatal care and support in a new way.
The founder and the Executive Director of the Centering Healthcare Institute (opens an external site), Sharon Schindler Rising visited Sydney to speak on its benefits and help pilot the program in Australia.
The CenteringPregnancy® pilot study report was released in 2008. Two successful seminars evolved from the pilot study, these were the Innovations in Antenatal Care and Support in 2006 and the Positive Birthing in 2007, and a range of consultancies and workshops to assist with contemporary developments in antenatal care provision in both rural and urban settings have been held. The Centre has developed links with the Centering Healthcare Institute in USA.
The first two workshops were held in March 2008 at UTS. The first workshop provided an update in the skills and knowledge for antenatal care provision and the second was an introduction to the CenteringPregnancy® model of care.
The Centre has developed links with the Centering Healthcare Institute in USA.
Recently, midwifery researchers at UTS have published a cochrane review on CenteringPregnancy.