Health Services

Fort Drum CenteringPregnancy Program

Prenatal Care that Makes a Dramatic Difference

CenteringPregnancy is prenatal care that offers women and their partners a dynamic atmosphere for learning and sharing that is impossible to create in traditional one-on-one prenatal clinic appointments.  This model of care includes a time to meet individually with your obstetric care provider with extra time, attention, and education in a group setting.  CenteringPregnancy is a way for you to learn and share your experiences with other pregnant women while being actively involved in your own healthcare.

You will:

  • Learn more about your pregnancy.
  • Learn more about resources available to help you during your pregnancy and parenthood.
  • Be more active in your healthcare.
  • Receive support from other pregnant women
  • Have more time with your Centering healthcare provider
  • Be better prepared for childbirth and breastfeeding
  • Be better prepared to care for your baby
  • Be better prepared to return to work- physically and emotionally

What is CenteringPregnancy?

Centering is a unique model of prenatal care offered in a group format that promotes support among participants and empowers women to be actively involved in their own care.  We provide women and their partners’ educational tools and resources to equip them to make healthy choices throughout the pregnancy and beyond. Centering is a prenatal appointment and childbirth education all in one! 

Expectant mothers meet for 10 group sessions with approximately 6-12 other pregnant women due around the same time.   Each time a group meets, women have the chance to record their pregnancy progress, have their baby checked, discuss concerns one-on-one with their Centering provider, and talk about pregnancy topics relevant to them as a group.
These may include budgeting for a new baby, exercise, nutrition, signs of labor, breastfeeding, parenting, and newborn first aid.  Centering hosts subject matter experts to participate and facilitate group discussions on the topics determined by group participants to be important to them. 

Why do we recommend Centering?

Centering offers comprehensive one-on-one time with one consistent healthcare provider and nurse in addition to a wealth of information and support from other expectant moms, keeping you and your pregnancy physically and emotionally healthier.
Women enrolled in Centering receive ten times more time spent with their healthcare provider than in traditional prenatal visits.  Centering is also beneficial for the health of both mothers and newborns.  Numerous studies evaluating women who participate in Centering show positive health outcomes.  These include lower rates of preterm birth and low birth weight, higher rates of breastfeeding and immunizations, and a better transition back to work (especially for our active duty Soldiers).  Women who have participated in this type of care tell us how supportive and reassuring it was to connect with other women going through the same experiences of pregnancy.  Members of our groups often form lasting friendships and are connected in ways not possible in traditional care.

Because of these reasons and many more, the Surgeon General and MEDCOM leadership, the leadership of 10th Mountain Division and MEDDAC Fort Drum, and all of the staff at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology fully support participation and enrollment by our active duty Soldiers and enthusiastically support enrollment for our civilian beneficiaries. 

When and where do Centering groups meet?

CenteringPregnancy groups are offered at the Fort Drum Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic in Watertown, NY.  Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled Monday- Fridays.  Upon program enrollment and after your initial OB registration and physical examination appointments, you will be provided an entire schedule of the 9 group dates during your pregnancy.  Additionally, one reunion session is scheduled at approximately 6-8 weeks postpartum.  This will give you an opportunity to introduce your sweet newborn to your group and re-connect with the other new moms.  Parenting and newborn care specialists from our New Parent Support Program will join this session and be available should you have any parenting/newborn questions or concerns.

Can my partner or other support person come to my Centering groups with me?

Having a support person accompany you to Centering is completely up to each individual.  We encourage participation by your spouse or partner if they are available.  Active duty Soldiers are encouraged by their leadership to participate, if possible.
Support persons who choose to attend will sit in the circle with the group and fully participate in the activities and discussions. 

May I bring my children to my Centering groups?

To avoid distraction for all those attending, we ask that you not bring your children to your Centering group.  Local childcare is available on Fort Drum and at the Watertown YMCA.

This is a group.  How is my privacy protected?

We are committed to protecting your privacy and take that responsibility very seriously.  All participants, including partners and support people, are required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the beginning of the first group session.  We stress that a person’s specific concerns should not be discussed outside the group setting.  Any information shared with the group is up to each person.  No one is ever pressured to disclose private concerns. 

Your one-on-one assessment with your Centering provider will take place in a semi-private space within the group room.  No pelvic examinations are done within this space.  Should you need an examination or desire a private space for any reason, your provider will see you in a private exam room during the time of your Centering session.

Will I still get the ultrasounds and lab tests that I expect in traditional prenatal care?

Yes, women enrolled in Centering will receive the same prenatal laboratory testing and ultrasounds as women seeing an obstetric healthcare provider for traditional prenatal appointments.

How do I enroll?

To enroll in a group, talk to your nurse or provider during either your OB registration or initial physical examination appointment. You may also call the clinic any time before 16 weeks gestation to enroll.

Physical Address

MEDDAC Fort Drum Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
826 Washington Street, Suites 104
Watertown, New York 13601

Business hours

Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm
Closed on Federal Holidays and Selected Training Holidays

Phone Numbers and email

Program phone number: 315-785-4624

Contact Us

(315) 785-4624

Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(Closed on Federal Holidays and Selected Training Holidays)

Suite 104
826 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Informational Video

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