Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 415–422 | Cite as

Does CenteringPregnancy Group Prenatal Care Affect the Birth Experience of Underserved Women? A Mixed Methods Analysis

  • Rhianon Liu
  • Maria T. Chao
  • Ariana Jostad-Laswell
  • Larissa G. Duncan
Original Paper


We examined the birth experience of immigrant and minority women and how CenteringPregnancy (Centering), a model of group prenatal care and childbirth education, influenced that experience. In-depth interviews and surveys were conducted with a sample of racially diverse Centering participants about their birth experiences. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically. Study participants (n = 34) were primarily low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrants with an average age of 29.7. On a scale from 1 (not satisfied) to 10 (very satisfied), women reported high satisfaction with birth (9.0) and care (9.3). In interviews, they expressed appreciation for the choice to labor with minimal medical intervention. Difficulties with communication arose from fragmented labor and delivery care by multiple providers. Centering provided women with pain coping skills, a familiar birth attendant, and knowledge to advocate for themselves. High reported satisfaction may obscure challenges to providing high quality childbirth care for marginalized women. Further study should examine the potential of Centering to positively impact underserved women’s birth experiences.


Group prenatal care Birth experience CenteringPregnancy 



Support for the parent study was provided through a career award to the senior author from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH; K01 AT005270) and a grant from the Mount Zion Health Fund. Further NCCIH support for the current study was provided to the first and second authors (T32 AT003997, K01 AT006545). The funding sources had no role or involvement in the design and conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, the Mount Zion Health Fund, or the San Francisco General Hospital, where the study was conducted. The authors thank Trilce Santana and Lisabeth Castro-Smyth for their work to recruit, enroll, and interview participants with the utmost care and respect. Gratitude is extended to the Homeless Prenatal Program, the SFGH Nurse-Midwives, and the Centering Healthcare Institute for their support of the broader study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rhianon Liu
    • 1
  • Maria T. Chao
    • 1
  • Ariana Jostad-Laswell
    • 1
  • Larissa G. Duncan
    • 2
  1. 1.Osher Center for Integrative MedicineUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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