According to National Public Radio, clinical nurse-midwifes employed by the Unity Healthcare Clinic are bringing prenatal education to pregnant women living below the poverty line in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. More than 90 percent of the individuals who attend the clinic are considered low income and eligible for Medicare benefits.
This prenatal education program led by nurse-midwives is part of an increasing medical trend called centering. This phenomenon combines traditional care with practices that specifically cater to the low-income population by grouping women with similar due dates together for several collective medical visits throughout their pregnancies.
According to the news source, centering teaches women to understand important issues such as breast feeding, postpartum depressions and infant nutrition, while also allowing them to get advice from nurses and each other. This program was developed by Sharon Schindler-Rising, a clinical nurse-midwife with a Master of Science in Nursing degree, in 1993 and has proved successful in the Unity Healthcare Clinic.
"There's a tremendous power in the group that doesn't happen in individual care," Rising commented to the news source.