FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A relatively new program in Tarrant County is giving expectant mothers an alternative to traditional prenatal care. It is called Centering-Based Pregnancy, and the concept is growing in popularity with first-time parents. “Centering Pregnancy is a concept of providing prenatal care in a group setting,” explained certified nurse midwife Lindsay Griffith.

The group environment offers new parents, like Alex and Michelle Garcia, the benefit of having other families who they can turn to for advice. “You don’t know what you’re doing,” Alex said. “It’s a first-time pregnancy, you don’t know where to go ask questions, as a guy.”

Despite the classroom setting, many parents-to-be said that the care is even more personalized.

Jessica and Kyle Walker are expecting their second child in August. After seeing a doctor for most of the first pregnancy, they switched to a midwife before the delivery. “We wanted everything to proceed as naturally as possible,” Jessica said. “I think the thing that I like about Centering is that the people have the same ideas about birth that you do. They see birth as being normal.”

“We are definitely more skilled and prepared to handle natural childbirth,” said Griffith. “We do a lot of water births.”

All of the families who go through the Centering program deliver at the hospital, but Griffith said that many opt out of some more common medical practices like an epidural and induced labor. “They want your birth to be yours,” said Michelle Garcia. “It’s not theirs. They’re not having the baby. They’re not going through the pain. Whatever you want, whatever makes you feel comfortable, they’re alright with it.”

Grant money from the March of Dimes helped birth the Centering program in Tarrant County.

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