Women's experience of group prenatal care.
Additional Document Info
Group prenatal care (GPNC) is an innovative alternative to individual prenatal care. In this longitudinal study we used ethnographic methods to explore African American and Hispanic women's experiences of receiving GPNC in two urban clinics. Methods included individual, in-depth, semistructured interviews of women and group leaders in GPNC, participant observation of GPNC sessions, and medical record review. GPNC offered positive experiences and met many of women's expressed preferences regarding prenatal care. Six themes were identified, which represented separate aspects of women's experiences: investment, collaborative venture, a social gathering, relationships with boundaries, learning in the group, and changing self. Taken together, the themes conveyed the overall experience of GPNC. Women were especially enthusiastic about learning in groups, about their relationships with group leaders, and about having their pregnancy-related changes and fears normalized; however, there were also important boundaries on relationships between participants, and some women wished for greater privacy during physical examinations.