Research has shown that newborns have healthier birth weights when their mothers receive proper prenatal care and that stress can contribute to early deliveries.
The University of New Mexico Hospital's CenteringPregnancy program for expecting mothers focuses on the social aspects of maternal health.
Kelly Gallagher, the head of the hospital’s Midwifery Division, is in charge of the program.
“This is a really important time in your life. It’s a time when there’s a lot of change and there’s a lot of stress,” she said. “This provides a place for people to really think through that and get the help they need.”
The women get to share the emotional aspects of pregnancy and learn how to monitor their health by taking their own vitals.
The point of the program is to focus more on the emotional aspect of pregnancy and to give mothers more control over their treatment.
About 100 women have either completed the program or are still enrolled this year. It is covered by Medicaid. And it only accepts women who have low-risk pregnancies, but there are plans to launch a version of Centering Pregnancy for high-risk cases early next year.
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.