Over 14% of infants in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood are born premature; and over 15% of infants in Amani are born with a low birth weight. COA Youth & Family Centers serves children from birth to age 17. However, these alarming trends motivated COA to serve children before they are even born. COA now addresses these issues through our new Centering program. Launched in partnership with the Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program, Centering provides group prenatal care, social support and well-baby healthcare for new and expectant mothers in Amani.
Centering includes two tracks: Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting. During Centering Pregnancy sessions pregnant women guide group discussions and exchange information on pregnancy, childbirth and infant care in a safe space. Women also receive health assessments from providers. Centering Pregnancy gives women a valuable support network during their pregnancies.
After giving birth, mothers and their newborns transition into Centering Parenting. New moms and newborns then receive regular well-baby checkups at age one, two, four, six, nine and 12 months. During these check-ups new moms also visit with physicians in groups to trade questions, share advice, and enjoy discussions on topics including early child development and positive parenting skills.
“I’ve been to clinics and have not been able to really talk to the doctors like I do at Centering.”
A survey of current Centering participants revealed that 96% of them preferred the Centering program model over traditional clinical care. One mother in Centering named Trina (name changed for privacy) says her favorite part of the program is “being able to talk to the doctors in a more comfortable setting — I’ve been to clinics and have not been able to really talk to the doctors like I do at Centering.”
Through supporting infants from the time they’re in the womb all the way to their first birthday, COA and Aurora provide them with a valuable support network so they are more likely to thrive. Combining medical and social supports means that mothers not only take care of their and their child’s physical health, but also form strong, supportive relationships with other parents. COA and Aurora are excited to support healthy mothers and happy babies. COA is grateful to Aurora Healthcare for this valuable partnership!
If you are interested in learning more and/or participating in Centering Parenting or Centering Pregnancy, please call (414-444-0077) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org