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

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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.

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