Birthing, Centering Pregnancy & Parenting
Whether you’re a new or returning parent, we encourage you to participate in our classes to prepare for your new baby! Remember to start your childbirth classes no later than 34 weeks! The better prepared you are, the less overwhelmed you will feel.
Preparation for Childbirth – This series of classes taken during the 6th or 7th month are designed to educate parents about the physical and emotional aspects of the birthing process. Support person(s) are encouraged to attend and will learn their role as coach during labor. Total class duration is 8 hours and they are offered as a 2-week or 4-week series, weekdays or weekends. A tour of the Birthing Center is included. Class fee is $65 and may be covered by insurance.
Click Here to Schedule this Class
Breastfeeding Your Newborn – The benefits of breastfeeding for babies, mothers and the family are numerous. This class is designed to help get breastfeeding off to a great start by dispelling myths, teaching evidence-based current information and some practical tips for the family. A doll would be helpful to bring to class. Support persons are welcome! Total class duration is 2 hours and they are offered on select Wednesday evenings. Class fee is $10 and may be covered by insurance.
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Questions about classes? Contact our OB Nurse Navigator, Kim Hunter at 610-378-2569 or KHunter3@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Breastfeeding Support: The Baby Bistro
1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month: 10-11 a.m.
Free; pre-registration is not required; just come!
Come and meet other women who are breastfeeding their babies! This free drop-in group is a collaboration between Berks County Breastfeeding Coalition and Penn State Health St. Joseph that focuses on allowing breastfeeding mothers to support each other in a warm, nurturing environment. Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are welcome to drop in for a cup of tea, relax, and chat with others about what’s going on as a new mom. Staff trained in lactation are available to answer any breastfeeding questions with accurate, up-to-date information. Weight checks are free. Moms and babies can come for as many weeks as they would like. Click here to view the brochure.
Centering Pregnancy Prenatal Care Offered at Two Locations: Downtown Campus and Bern Campus
About Centering Pregnancy
Centering Pregnancy is offered at our Downtown Campus and Bern Campus. Centering Pregnancy is an innovative model in a group setting that includes self-monitoring and extended time with the provider. It integrates three major components of care: health assessment, education and support.
Benefits of Centering Pregnancy
Centering Pregnancy promotes self-care and has been linked to overall health managements. The combination of the continuity of prenatal care, as well as the educational, emotional and social support the women in Centering Pregnancy receive has also been linked to better pregnancy health outcomes such as: lower rates of preterm delivery and low birth weight babies, and higher exclusive breastfeeding rates.
Expecting moms are placed in a group of 8-12 other women due within the same month, and they attend group sessions until it is time to deliver. They are seen by a prenatal provider as they would be in a traditional appointment, and their exams take place in a private section of the Centering room during their group sessions. After all the women have been examined, they gather in a circle for group discussions about pregnancy related topics led by expert facilitators. Educational sessions cover topics such as: prenatal nutrition, dental health, healthy relationships, labor preparation, pain management during labor, breastfeeding, post-partum depression, bonding with your baby, preventing SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome, and newborn care. This is not just for first-time moms. Experienced moms enjoy sharing their pregnancy and parenting knowledge to add to the relaxed group discussion.
How to Join
Groups are offered in both English and Spanish at our Downtown Reading and Bern Campuses. Please contact Kim Hunter, Centering Coordinator, at khunter3@PennStateHealth.psu.edu or (610)378-2569 for more information about the Centering Programs.
Mothers who complete the Centering Pregnancy program will be offered to continue group care with their babies through the Centering Parenting program.
Centering Parenting Offered at Downtown Campus Pediatrics
About Centering Parenting
Centering Parenting is offered at Downtown Campus Pediatrics for well-baby check-ups for the first 2 years of a child’s life. Building off of our accredited Centering Pregnancy program, Centering Parenting brings 6-8 moms, partners, and their same-age infants together in with their healthcare providers and other parents who are experiencing similar things at the same time.
Benefits of Centering Parenting
Centering Parenting fosters a safe and supportive environment to ask questions and creates lifelong bonds between families. The primary goals are to increase compliance with well child visits and immunization schedules, as well as increase exclusive breastfeeding rates at 6 months. Each session provides 2 hours of time with the Pediatric provider, a Community Health Worker, and other parents receiving enhanced discussion surrounding developmental milestones and age-specific education. The program has proven lasting benefits for the baby, parents, and family such as: better health outcomes from higher attendance to well-child visits, education on self-care, increased self-confidence in parenting skills, more time with the provider compared to regular visits, fosters community support and friendship, in a relaxed and fun group environment.
How to Join
Mothers who complete the Centering Pregnancy program will be offered to continue group care with their babies through the Centering Parenting program, but any new mother who plans to receive care for their baby at the Downtown Pediatrics clinic could also have this option. Centering Parenting will be discussed at the first or second newborn visit, and babies will then be enrolled into a group with other babies born around the same time. All of the Downtown Pediatrics providers will be facilitating this model of care, so many times a baby can see the same provider from the very first Newborn visit all the way until his or her 2nd birthday!
Groups are offered in both English and Spanish. Please contact Kim Hunter, Centering Coordinator, at khunter3@PennStateHealth.psu.edu or (610)378-2569 for more information about the Centering programs.