Women's experience of group prenatal care

Gina Novick, Lois S. Sadler, Holly Powell Kennedy, Sally S. Cohen, Nora E. Groce, Kathleen A. Knafl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-116
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • African Americans
  • Hispanic people
  • Latino
  • health care
  • midwifery
  • pregnancy
  • users' experiences
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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