A Qualitative Study of Women's Recall of Content and Skills Developed in Group Prenatal and Well-Baby Care 2 Years Later

Barbara Hackley, Elan Elyachar-Stahl, Anna K. Savage, Mia Stange, Arielle Hoffman, Monica Kavanaugh, Melanie M. Aviles, Sandra Arévalo, Hildred Machuca, Alan Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Group prenatal and well-baby care is a system of health care visits that occur in a group setting. Each individual session lasts approximately 2 hours, allowing more time for education and support than can occur in an individual visit. Compared with individual care, research suggests that group care is associated with similar or better short-term outcomes, but no studies have yet examined potential long-term benefits beyond one year postpartum. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to elicit women's recall about content covered in group prenatal and well-baby care and whether they were or were not continuing to use skills discussed during group prenatal and well-baby care 2 or more years after their group ended. Methods: Eligible women participated in group prenatal and/or well-baby care between 2008 and 2012, were aged at least 18 years, and were English-speaking. Of the 127 eligible women, 32 were reached and 17 agreed to participate. Women were interviewed on average 3 years after group prenatal or well-baby care ended using a semistructured interview guide. Transcripts were reviewed and coded by each team member. Final codes and themes were identified using an iterative review process among the research team. Results: Three themes were identified: sustained change, transferable skills, and group as a safe haven. All women were still using strategies discussed during group and had made sustained improvements in nutrition, stress management, and/or in the quality of their interactions with their children, partner, or families. The group environment was described as a safe haven: a respectful, nonjudgmental space that allowed women to share and support each other while learning new skills. Discussion: This is the first study to document that group prenatal and well-baby care is associated with long-term benefits in areas not yet reported in the literature: nutrition, family communication, and parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • CenteringPregnancy
  • group care
  • nutrition
  • patient education
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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