Why would I choose to get my prenatal care in a group setting?
Many women find that coming together as a group creates a strong sense of community and support as they sit with others to share the experience of pregnancy and parenthood. Meeting for two hours at every session allows women and families to spend more time getting to know their caregivers as well. Listening to other women’s questions and experiences will also deepen each person's understanding of the issues being discussed. Participating in group care is an excellent way to meet other families, to feel connected, and to build relationships that will be part of your community for years to come.
What actually happens at a group session?
Many things happen in the group. There is time for learning – how to care for yourself before and after baby, how to understand and work with labour, how to adjust to life with your new baby, and much more. We will talk about choices, testing, and recommendations for keeping mother and baby safe and healthy. There will be lots of time for questions and discussion. Most parents find they learn as much from the other parents in the group as they do from their care providers. We will introduce you to helpful people and resources in the community. Every woman will have a few private moments with a midwife or a physician to check how mother and baby are doing. The group is also an opportunity to relax, socialize, and enjoy the company.
I want to get to know the person who will be with me in labour. How will this happen in a group setting?
Group care allows for more time with care provider in a variety of ways – questions, discussion and time for just chatting as well. This can be an excellent opportunity to really get to know your team and for them to get to know you.
Would I still be getting individual medical care? What if there is a medical problem in my pregnancy?
You will have individual visits for the first 20 weeks. This gives us a chance to get to know you, to collect a thorough medical history, and to ensure the usual testing is offered, completed and discussed. Usually this will involve two to three visits before you begin the group program at around 20 weeks.
If a medical problem were to arise for you later in pregnancy, we will schedule individual visits for you until the issue is resolved. You will be able to continue with the group as well if you wish.
What if I decide the group program is not for me?
Although many women really enjoy the group approach, it may not work for some. You can choose to have individual, private visits if that is your preference or if there are medical problems which make that a better choice.
- Could I choose to have either a doctor or a midwife for my delivery?
- Can I still choose to have a home birth?
- How do I get a hold of my care provider in labour or when there is an emergency?
- I want my care provider to be with me through my labour. I thought midwives only provided this care.
- I am worried about breastfeeding support. How will this program help me with that?