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Release Date: 11/27/2013

The March of Dimes, Rhode Island Chapter has awarded a grant to Women’s Care Inc., private practice affiliated with Women & Infants Health Care Alliance, to support a model of prenatal care aimed at enhancing maternal and child needs in Rhode Island. This group prenatal care program, based on the CenteringPregnancy™ model, has shown to decrease preterm birth by 34 percent in the participants in large, randomized, controlled trials.

Women’s Care, with the support of the Rhode Island chapter of the March of Dimes, will be begin implementing group prenatal care in February. The model consists of gathering eight to 12 women who are due to give birth in the same month. In each prenatal visit, the women take and record their own vital signs, receive a private evaluation with their midwife or doctor, and participate in an hour-long group discussion of set topics related to their developing pregnancy and their preparation for birth and parenthood.

This grant is one of many that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to prevent prematurity and infant mortality.

“We will use the March of Dimes grant as seed money to meet our objective of providing mothers and babies with increased childbirth education, offering breastfeeding information, and increasing their chance of having a full term pregnancy,” said Katherine Parsons, CNM, a nurse midwife with Women’s Care. “When a woman calls Women’s Care Inc., she hears ‘Welcome to Women’s Care, where a community is born.’ Group prenatal care will complement that mission beautifully by creating a community of support in each group among these women who are due to give birth around the same time.”

Group prenatal visits will begin in Women’s Care’s Providence office in February and will expand to the new Pawtucket office in late 2014. Women’s Care will also be assisting the effort of growing group prenatal care throughout Rhode Island. For information, or to make an appointment with a Women’s Care provider, please call (401) 727-4800.

About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site or its Spanish language web site.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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