Pregnancy Club: A Model for Group Antenatal Care
High-quality, patient-centered antenatal care (ANC) is a key strategy for improving maternal and newborn health and a critical component in the continuum of care. ANC enables early diagnosis of life-threatening complications, supports healthy behaviors and practices, links women and communities with the health system, and can help drive increased coverage of skilled birth attendance and improved health throughout the life cycle.
In a feasibility study in two districts in Eastern Uganda, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is testing and evaluating a patient-centered group model of antenatal care--or pregnancy club--that provides a forum where pregnant women can share experiences, receive essential health information from a midwife or other skilled provider, and track and better understand the progress of their pregnancies. Partnering with Marketing for International Development (M4ID), a social impact company specializing in human-centered design of health interventions in low-resource settings, MSH directly engaged women and health providers to co-create a model for pregnancy clubs that reflects the cultural and health system context and responds to their needs. Through facilitated group discussion, this model builds a supportive community of pregnant women to normalize the pregnancy experience, fosters birth planning, and provides emotional and social support during a stressful, momentous, and often isolating time.