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Similar Outcomes for Group, Traditional Prenatal Care

Group prenatal care linked to similar rates of preterm birth, NICU admission, breastfeeding

pregnant women

MONDAY, Aug. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to traditional prenatal care, group prenatal care is associated with similar rates of preterm birth, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and breastfeeding, according to a review published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Ebony B. Carter, M.D., M.P.H., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to compare perinatal outcomes with group prenatal care versus traditional prenatal care. Data were included from four randomized trials and 10 observational studies.

The researchers found that the rate of preterm birth did not differ significantly for group care versus traditional care (pooled rates, 7.9 versus 9.3 percent; pooled relative risk, 0.87; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.09). There was a decreased rate of low birth weight overall for group care versus traditional care (7.5 versus 9.5 percent; pooled relative risk, 0.81; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.96); no reduction was observed in randomized controlled trials (7.9 versus 8.7 percent; pooled relative risk, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.16). There were no significant between-group differences noted in neonatal intensive care unit admission or breastfeeding initiation.

"Available data suggest that women who participate in group care have similar rates of preterm birth, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and breastfeeding," the authors write.

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