Fort Stewart News

The first Centering Pregnancy class held at Winn ACH helped expectant mothers get to know more about one another, their providers and their body as they traverse pregnancy.

Photo by Zach Rehnstrom

Centering Pregnancy Program stands up at Winn
Kaytrina Curtis, Winn ACH PAO
Thursday, April 13, 2017

The nation-wide Centering Pregnancy program is now offered at USA Medical Department Activity-Fort Stewart, inside Winn Army Community Hospital, and the first class was held March 28.

The medical command slated 10 medical treatment facilities to stand up the CP program. The CP is a set of prenatal care classes and includes an individual health check-up with additional time and attention in a group setting.

Eight to twelve expectant mothers are able to meet with their healthcare provider and others whose babies are due around the same time, for 10 sessions during pregnancy. The CP gives expectant mothers more time with their provider and allows them to participate in their personal healthcare.

“They help each other out,” said Maj. Mariann Fark, Winn Army Community Hospital. “It’s more of facilitation, a lot more education, and it’s a two-hour appointment versus the traditional 20-minute appointment.”

The participants will learn more about pregnancy so they can be better prepared for birth. They are also taught how to care for their baby. The first class proved to be a success.

“It’s been unexpectedly overwhelming,” Fark said. “With the first group we were trying to aim to get about 12 women in and we had over 30 sign up. So we decided to split it into two groups and instead of just doing one per a month, were now doing two per month.”

According to, 96 percent of women surveyed prefer receiving their prenatal care in a Centering group. The expectant mothers were also 33 percent less likely to have a preterm baby, and had higher breast feeding rates.

Family member, Eveline Costa, said she became interested in Centering Pregnancy to gain more information about becoming a new mom again.

“Even though this is my third pregnancy,” Costa said, “I thought it was a good idea to be able to spend time with other women who are going through the same thing as I am.”

Costa is looking forward to having her baby at Winn, and welcoming a new person to their Family.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things about Winn,” Costa said. “I haven’t heard any negative stories, nor anything negative about the hospital in general. My experiences at Winn have always been pretty well, so I have no reason to doubt that I won’t get the adequate care that I need.”

Starr Rivera, a triage registered nurse, and the Centering Pregnancy coordinator at Winn ACH is responsible for collecting the data for the groups and compiling the database provided by the centering healthcare agency.

“I keep track of the room, make sure the room is set up for each group, make sure the groups are full and that the patients are aware of what’s going to happen,” Rivera said. “For the baby, it’s going to be great because the parents are going to be better prepared for caring of their newborn. The moms are going to be better prepared for birth with all of the information that we give them. They are going to be ready to become parents in a more eager way.”

Rivera said toward the end, there will be sessions for the moms-to-be on diaper changing, how to check the baby’s temperature, and how to swaddle.

“So when it does come time to do it, they’re not so frightened by the whole experience,” Rivera explained.

The next Centering Pregnancy class is slated for late April.