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Union Square Clinic Uses Group Technique To Cut Premature Births

Pregnant Woman (file / credit: clipart.com)

Pregnant Woman (file / credit: clipart.com)

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WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond is beginning a special series of reports leading up to this Sunday’s March of Dimes March for Babies, which will be held at Lincoln Center at 10:00 a.m. To sign up, visit www.marchforbabies.org and tune in to WCBS 880 and check CBSNewYork.com for Marla’s upcoming reports.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A program at the Institute for Family Health in Union Square has helped cut the number of premature births, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

The program, called CenteringPregnancy, brings women out of exam rooms and into groups for their care.

Checkups are done in that group setting and the same residents and doctors follow expectant mothers through pregnancy and delivery.

Program director Dr. Marc Levin told Diamond that, between 2006 and 2010, the number of premature births at the clinic was cut in half.

“I think in more traditional places this is how you deliver babies. I worked in Africa. The whole village comes out and supports the woman and I think we’re sort of moving back to that model,” he said.

He said the group setting makes it less likely for women to miss prenatal checkups.

“It’s a lot more fun to come to the doctor when there’s social time and there’s discussion and you feel really empowered. You feel like you can ask the questions and get answers to things that are on your mind,” Levin said.

“They welcome you with open arms right away. Saw me right away. They were so kind. They helped me apply for Medicaid. They helped me get the Medicaid,” said Alana Daughter, a Brooklyn artist who participated in the CenteringPregnancy program.

“It was one of the most amazing experiences for me because they didn’t leave my side and I don’t know how many women get to say that because you don’t go into labor and you don’t think you might not have your one doctor. I had four,” she said through tears.

The Institute for Family Health is located at 16 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003 and you can reach them at 212-633-0800.