When Tyler Robinett discovered she was pregnant with her son Owen, now 2, her midwife told her about the CenteringPregnancy® program at VCU Health. The idea was very intriguing to the first-time mom, who liked the thought of experiencing the journey of pregnancy with other women by her side.
CenteringPregnancy® brings together 8 to 12 women with similar due dates to learn skills, participate in facilitated discussions and develop a support network throughout the course of their pregnancies.
“With my son it was all new to me, so being in a community was nice. We talked about a lot of different topics and other group members had questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask,” said Robinett. “Several of the women already had kids, so I feel like I learned a lot from them beyond what might be covered in a standard doctor’s appointment.”
In addition to preparing for childbirth, the program provides the opportunity for members to learn about all aspects of becoming a parent, such as what to ask providers in prenatal appointments, tips for breastfeeding and the must-knows of infant care. Tyler and her husband also participated in VCU Health’s birthing and parenting classes as they got ready to welcome their new family member.
Fast forward a year and a half, and there was no doubt in Tyler’s mind that she wanted to be a part of CenteringPregnancy® during her second pregnancy.
“Both experiences were so different, but also really great,” added Robinett. “I hope I was a good resource to others the second time around.”
Tyler gave birth to a baby girl in November with help from the VCU Health midwife team. Thankfully, little Lillian was perfectly healthy but the Robinetts could rest assured that the CHoR team of specialists was under the same roof should a need arise.
Today, the family has settled into their routine as a family of four and Owen has taken on the role of big brother like a champ.