Nurse-Midwifery M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Vingers, Julie Ann


Background/Purpose: Centering Pregnancy is a type of group prenatal care that allows women to meet and receive their prenatal care together. The groups meet ten times during the pregnancy and focuses on different aspects of prenatal care. This critical review of the literature focuses on maternal and neonatal benefits of group prenatal care over traditional one-on-one care. A secondary analysis looks at how group prenatal care affects adolescents, women of low socioeconomic status, and minority ethnicities. The Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura was utilized to look at Centering Pregnancy. The Social Learning Theory states that learning in a group setting allows the participant to learn social norms, physical behaviors, and psychosocial responses to the material being taught. Reflection on group content also enhances the women’s learning. A critical review of the literature was completed with 24 articles that compared Centering Pregnancy to traditional prenatal care. Studies from all five levels of research were utilized in the review. A literature matrix was completed with the 24 articles to help organize the studies included. Results/Conclusions: Centering Pregnancy has proven benefits of decreased preterm birth, reduction in low birth weight infants, and increased social networking. Stress reduction and decreased incidence of post-partum depression were also proven. High-risk individuals such as adolescents, LSES, and ethnic minorities show increased benefits when participating in Centering Pregnancy over traditional care. Future research for Centering Pregnancy needs to be done to understand the causal pathways that contribute to its effectiveness. Further research on breastfeeding initiation, effects on post-partum depression, and cost analysis of Centering Pregnancy need to be looked at.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse-Midwifery

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis