Group Prenatal Care Sessions Can Lead to Better Maternal and Infant Health

IckovicsJA new study led by Jeannette R. Ickovics, professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University, finds that young expectant mothers who participated in group prenatal care sessions, had better maternal health and healthier babies. The results showed that young women who participated in group prenatal care sessions were 33 percent less likely to have infants small for their gestational age, were less likely to have preterm deliveries, and less likely to have low birthweight babies than young women who received individual prenatal counseling. Group visits build in additional time for education, skill building, and the opportunity to discuss and learn from the experience of peers, as well as more face-time with caregivers, according to the study’s authors.

Professor Ickovics states that “group prenatal care is related to improved health outcomes for mothers and babies, without adding risk. If scaled nationally, group prenatal care could lead to significant improvements in birth outcomes, health disparities, and healthcare costs.”

Dr. Ickovics is a graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in applied social psychology and a Ph.D. in health psychology and behavioral medicine from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The study, “Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Group Prenatal Care: Perinatal Outcomes Among Adolescents in New York City Health Centers,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Public Health. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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