Centering Pregnancy Program Offers Support for Expectant Mothers

July 05, 2023


A new program for expectant mothers is specifically designed for minority women at high risk for low-birth weight and pre-term delivery.

For Diamond Jordan, who is about to have her second baby, this time around, she found new support when she joined the Centering Pregnancy Program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

"It's like a little pregnancy sisterhood," she said.

It's a group of pregnant women, all due around the same time. After undergoing individual health assessments, providers, support staff and moms "circle up" to address important health topics like nutrition, stress management, labor and delivery, breastfeeding and infant care.

The women participate in activities like prenatal yoga, and time is set aside to discuss what is important to the group.

"Whatever we talk about, we kind of like keep it between us and we leave it in the group," Jordan said. "It's kind of like a little sister pack."

According to the program's director, Mercy certified nurse midwife Kia Hollis, CNM, having that support is the key to success.

"A lot of them journey through pregnancy by themselves and don't really have support of a partner, of a mother, of a sister or a friend. And so, one of the goals of this program is to kind of establish that support group," Hollis said.

The group is scheduled to meet 10 times. To join, the women must have a low-risk or uncomplicated pregnancy.

Hollis, who is an advanced practice nurse and certified midwife, said women who participate are less likely to have a premature baby and have higher breastfeeding rates.

"Not only are they learning about their bodies, learning normal from abnormal, what to experience, but they're also learning a better way to advocate for themselves in the setting of pregnancy," Hollis said.

Jordan said she didn't have this kind of support with her first pregnancy. Now, eight years later, she's grateful.

"Now, it's like I have friends that are pregnant, too, and we get to talk about different things," she said.

To learn more about Mercy's Centering Pregnancy Program, call 410-332-1092.

View Mercy certified nurse midwife Kia Hollis' interview regarding the Centering Pregnancy program.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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