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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



My Group Prenatal Care.

I have been meaning to write this post ever since we moved to Seattle and I switched to my midwife group out here.  With only a few weeks left to go, it suddenly feels like now or never! 

When we first decided to use a midwife group out here in our new city, I chose my group based on recommendations from a few of Casey’s coworkers, as well as my own research on hospitals and practice options.  One of the important factors in my decision was finding something close to our house.  I knew that with Casey now working at the office instead of at home, I would feel better knowing that the hospital was nearby in case of an emergency.  I lucked out and found the perfect group for me that happens to practice in a hospital that I can literally walk to (not that I plan to…).

Just a few days after our moving truck was unloaded, I had my 17 week check up appointment – my first with the new midwives.  After this first appointment, we were told that we had two options for prenatal care for the duration of my pregnancy.  The first option was to continue going to routine monthly (and eventually bi-weekly) individual appointments just as most people do. 

The second option was to join a group class that lasts two hours each time, and is a combination of prenatal care and childbirth classes.  At first I was hesitant and not sure how I felt about giving up my individual appointment time.  What if I felt embarrassed to ask important personal questions to my midwife?  The nurse explained to me that the group prenatal appointments would also include a short individual session with the midwife, and that I could always switch back to traditional appointments if I felt it wasn’t a good fit.

Because we were new to Seattle and I literally knew no one, I thought joining the group care would be good for me and would help me to meet other new moms in my area.  Casey and I signed up, and we have been so happy with our experience ever since.  We were placed in an October group with other couples all due within a few weeks of each other. 

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At each appointment, we arrive and take our own vitals that we then record in our class notebooks.  I’m in charge of heading down the hall to take my own weight, as well as using a wrist cuff blood pressure monitor.

For the first 20 or 30 minutes of our two-hour session, each mom or couple heads to a private room to meet with the midwife.  While we’re in there, I report my weight and blood pressure, and she measures my fundal height (belly size) and we listen to the baby’s heart beat (my favorite part!).  At that point I also have the opportunity to ask any personal questions or discuss any individual needs I might have, like adjusting medications, talking about blood work, dietary questions, etc. 

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Once we have all had our individual meetings, it’s time for our group session.  It’s funny that I was worried I would be embarrassed or too shy to talk in front of the group – it is most definitely not the case!  We are all very comfortable and open with each other, and I really enjoy learning from the other girls in my group as well as from our facilitators.

Each session has a set of topics, which have ranged from staying comfortable during pregnancy, how to deal with symptoms, learning positions and strategies for childbirth, and thinking about newborn care. 

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While it’s not the most traditional approach to prenatal care, I’ve found it to be a really fun experience for me.  I have loved having Casey there with me for appointments, so that when delivery day comes we are both armed with the same resources and information.

Since we had this great option for group prenatal care, we opted to not sign up for an additional childbirth class series.  We have, however, done a few individual seminars here and there, and we have another one coming up later this week!

In getting ready for this week’s appointment, I pulled out our session 7 information to see this crazy photo!

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How am I possibly nine months pregnant?  With just a few weeks to go, we’re excited to attend our last few classes and see how our baby (as well as the other babies!) is starting to prepare for his arrival. 

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71 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Cara     at 3:11 pm

i am getting so excited for you. The class sounds pretty perfect for you!

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Kamaile     at 3:12 pm

Wow! Only a couple more weeks! YAY Babe C!

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Ida     at 3:12 pm

That picture of the baby is crazy, and so exciting! I heard a piece on NPR about a similar prenatal care setup and it sounded like the moms were really empowered and well informed about their health and the baby’s. So cool that you have that option too!

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Marci     at 3:12 pm

That is really neat, and I think it’s great to be in a group class each month. I am going the traditional way but enjoy hearing about your method!

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Tricia     at 3:13 pm

wow! it feels like just yesterday you announced your pregnancy!!! can’t wait to see baby C headlining!

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Jesse     at 3:14 pm

That sounds like a great prenatal class. We just signed up for our child birth class, which is comprised of 4 sessions, each 3-hours, plus separate breastfeeding and baby care classes. i’m really excited for all of them and that my husband is so eager to participate as well. btw, the picture of the baby makes it seem that baby g is ready to come out and meet you both very soon. how exciting!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yes! And having the husbands there makes such a difference – so much more fun!

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Lee     at 3:15 pm

That sounds really cool! And you’re in the home stretch. How exciting!

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Maria     at 3:17 pm

I am due October 15th and have enjoyed reading your blog over the last few months! I am in a similar group in Virginia (we call it centering class) and have the exact same notebook you are using. Hope your last few weeks go well as you prepare for your little guy!

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Emily Malone Reply:

How fun that you are doing the same group! We have loved it.

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Brittany (Healthy slice of life)     at 3:18 pm

Sounds like a neat setup! I’ll bet others come up with questions you dissent think of and vice versa. I would have loved that option!

How long will your midwives let you go past your due date? I can’t believe I’m aortic here a week over due and facing induction. Hope baby C comes on time for you! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

They said no longer than two weeks. I can’t believe you are either!! Hoping to hear that Baby D is on the way VERY soon!

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Gina (Yogattude)     at 3:31 pm

How exciting…my how time flies!!! I love the idea of a group class and learning from other couples:)

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Katie @ SerenityintheStorm     at 3:39 pm

Wow, this sounds so awesome! Do you know if there are other midwife/group session prenatal care like this in other neighborhoods in Seattle or is this the only one (which I’m assuming is over in the Fremont/Wallingford area)? Thanks for sharing!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I believe all the Swedish hospitals have this option (although I’m not totally sure about that). I am fairly certain that at least the First Hill Campus does, in addition to Ballard. Hope that helps!

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Katie @ SerenityintheStorm Reply:

It does! Thanks for the info.

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Katherine     at 3:51 pm

I can’t wait to see Baby C!

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Heather @ Get healthy with heather     at 3:53 pm

The time is almost here!! That sounds like a great option… Especially being new to the Seattle area.

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Coco     at 3:56 pm

I mostly lurk on here and don’t comment too often, but I just wanted to say that it has been an absolute joy following you throughout your pregnancy. I love reading about your progress, your new life in Seattle, your nursery, your recipes, and your relationship with your hubby. It is very refreshing to read a blog that is so interesting yet personable. I feel like if you were sitting in my living room right now, we would have a glass of wine (or juice if you are preggo hehe) and talk for hours!

I hope this doesn’t sound creepy. I just wanted you to know that I am so very happy for you and your husband, and from what I have seen on the blog, I know you will make phenomenal parents.

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Jillian Reply:

Ditto.
I am an unmarried 36 year old woman (also in Seattle) who is not going to have children (maybe not even get married- who knows!;), and I have really enjoyed reading about your experiences. Your little boy is so very fortunate and blessed.

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E Reply:

Same here! I’m 29, not married or pregnant, but I love reading the weekly updates! This class sounds like a wonderful way to do your prenatal appointments. Not only do you get all kinds of useful information & the normal visit with an OB/midwife, but you get to meet some other women & husbands in the same situation :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Aww thanks!

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sarah     at 4:07 pm

“Original Content” shirt: brilliant. Hee hee!

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Kait @ One Love Run     at 4:15 pm

I’m am so glad to hear you are doing centering! Every time you mentioned in on your blog I wondered if that’s what is was! Facilitating a centering group is one of the most favorite parts of my job, so I love hearing when people find it helpful and beneficial!

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}     at 4:27 pm

I have never heard of this approach but I’m intrigued! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Ashley     at 4:40 pm

I have never heard of group prenatal classes, but it sounds like something I would like when we decide to have children. So excited for you!

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Ashley     at 5:04 pm

How good do you look??? Seriously, so cute. Always! I’m so intrigued by all of this midwife talk and I love the method you guys chose. It seems like such a good way to really be prepared. Time is flying!

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Tina     at 5:17 pm

He looks all scrunched up! Can’t wait for him to come out and stretch!

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Brenda Fisher     at 5:50 pm

Sounds like a wonderful group and you are so close to seeing your beautiful baby! Giving birth is one of the most amazing experiences ever…I have 4 kids and each time it was different, but all natural, and all fantastic! Best of luck to you and your husband. I enjoy your recipes and the blog!

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Heather     at 5:55 pm

That’s such a cool idea to have, the group class I mean. I would think it would make me feel not so alone in the process and that oother soon to be moms are struggling with things, too. I can’t believe its almost time!

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Chase     at 6:03 pm

Sounds pretty cool to me! I like any excuse to make new friends :)

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Shaya (Eye Girl Eats)     at 6:21 pm

SO crazy to visualize the baby in there!!! YOU HAVE A PERSON INSIDE OF YOU!!! hahaha sooo crazy/weird/awesome :)

Sounds like an awesome prenatal care situation– I’d never heard of anything like that before!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Totally weird, right? :)

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Emily     at 6:22 pm

This seems like a really great option to stay more involved and in the know with your pregnancy. As a counseling psych grad student, I’ve learned the value of groups, no matter what the topic, for support and understanding. Yayyy for 9 months, looking forward to reading about all the rest ;)

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Maria@healthydiaries     at 6:55 pm

I started reading your blog a couple months before you announced you were pregnant. I can’t believe your already 9 months (I bet you can though)! I wish you the smoothest labor ever and I look forward to reading about the rest of your journey! Best of luck!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much! :)

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Deva (Voracious Vorilee)     at 7:13 pm

I love the idea of a group prenatal class like that – it seems like a great way to form relationships and to really get connected with your body and baby during pregnancy.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 7:55 pm

WOW! I have been following your pregnancy journey since you started posting about it and it is so crazy to think it has been nine months! Congratulations again! You and Casey are going to be the most wonderful parents!

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Nicole     at 8:41 pm

You are so stinkin’ cute!! Love this idea of getting to know each other. Such a great idea!

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 9:31 pm

I can’t believe you’re 9 months pregnant either! It seems like just a few weeks ago you were telling us you were pregnant and showing the first “bump” pictures. Can’t wait for Baby C’s introduction! :)

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Brooke (Tea & Tofu)     at 10:48 pm

The group appointments sound fantastic – it must be great to learn from other women all going through the same thing as you!

I’m so excited for you. Not long to go now! :)

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Babs     at 1:13 am

you look so amazingly beautiful pregnant!

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Kerry     at 4:25 am

I know objectively that there’s a baby in there that looks like that picture, but it still seems so strange!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Trust me, it’s very strange for me too. :)

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Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews     at 6:27 am

I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to see the little guy : )

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family     at 7:03 am

Those group sessions sound fantastic…I wish it had been an option for me here in Carolina. Oh Well! Your pregnancy really seems to have zipped right by, although I am sure some days it does not feel that way. I cannot wait for you to share Baby C with all of us :)

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Dorsa     at 7:18 am

YAY that is so exciting :)

I will be sure to look for those in our area when we start our family ;)

ps you look amazing :)

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Kathy     at 8:13 am

Wow Emily. Wait one more day and have Baby C on the 16th. That’s my birthday! Yeah! The time is drawing near. I remember when I realized I had only a few weeks left. I could feel a little panic set in knowing it was too late to turn back now. But, hey it will be a piece of cake and over before you know it. Then your new and exciting life begins!! So thrilling.

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 9:54 am

That sounds like a really interesting experience! I think the group care is a great way to meet more moms, especially since you’re in a new city!

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Amber K     at 10:32 am

What an awesome experience! I totally want to do something like this if I get pregnant. I really love how the husbands can be involved in the whole process. I know mine would want to come to as much as possible.

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Angela @ Momethis     at 10:57 am

That’s so cool! What a great idea. These weeks are going to fly right by! Yay!!!

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Haley S     at 11:40 am

You look beautiful in your last picture! I can’t believe you’re almost there and can’t wait to hear all about Baby C and his real name :)

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bitt     at 12:15 pm

lots of people i know in seattle do something called PEPS after their baby is born. good for support and friendship. when i taught 4th grade, i had two students who had been in the same PEPS group together and were best friends!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yes, I am looking into the PEPS groups! I think it might be a really good resource for me. Such a cute story about those boys! I hope my little boy makes friends. :)

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Christina     at 12:57 pm

Ommigosh! I seriously don’t know how you are 9 months! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it seems like just 3 months ago you announced you guys were pregnant. So happy for you both! Baby C is going to be well taken care of!

My friends mom is a midwife but I don’t really know if I would feel comfortable with her possibly delivering my child. Do you think that’s weird? I guess I kind of have a thing where I don’t want just anyone looking at my hoohah, even though it’s going to be out there at some point! lol. Oh and I’m not preggo but I’m getting married & we’re planning on starting a family right after the wedding since we’re a little older.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I guess that depends on how close you are. I’m a pretty private person myself, but I have a feeling anything goes when you’re in labor…

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Christina Reply:

yeah I’m sure it becomes an anything goes type of deal. My cousin made sure to shave her legs every other day just in case she went into labor. lol. Guess we all have of “thing” lol.

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Emily Malone     at 1:03 pm

Thank you so much!

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.)     at 1:25 pm

This group sounds so fantastic. I’m so happy you have so much support Em!

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Lauri     at 3:13 pm

Hi there -
I have been following your blog for awhile but never commented but today I realized that you have thesame due date that I had with my son (he will be 4 in October). I dind’t have him until October 23rd though :) Best of luck to you!! This is such an exciting time, I remember how I felt at this point in my pregnancy and the anxiety, and anticipation of those last few weeks…

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Emily Malone Reply:

I hope I don’t go until the 23rd! :)

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Sara     at 6:47 pm

Wonderful post, thanks! Someday, I’ll write about group visits from the provider perspective. In the meantime, I’m totally fascinated by this article: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011-09-07/Dieters-lose-more-on-Weight-Watchers-than-visits-to-doctor/50303964/1. I think this whole individual care idea might just be wrong for us pack animals!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Interesting stuff!

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Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 8:08 pm

My birthday’s October 18th! I’ve got a love for that particular week in October!

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats     at 8:11 pm

Your midwife group sounds like such an awesome place! Do you know if they have any registered nurses that work there or is it just midwives?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yes, there is a full staff of nurses as well as OB’s if needed. I’l have a nurse assisting me through labor, along with the midwife.

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 3:26 am

What a neat option. I have never heard of group prenatal care before but it sounds like a great opportunity.

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Tricia     at 4:52 am

Wow – I’m jealous! Wish we would have a had a group thing when I was pregnant with our kids! How neat! And I really have enjoyed following your pregnancy. I was due in mid October with my son 5 years ago, so I soooo remember the anticipation building right around this time! Super excited for you!!!!

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Week 39: My Pregnancy Journey. | Daily Garnish     at 7:29 pm

[...] Halloween to leave his pumpkin patch, or I will likely turn into a werewolf.  I had my last group prenatal appointment this afternoon (which is why this post is so late!), and my midwife guessed that as of today Baby C [...]

Pregnancy To Do List Update | According to Lara | Early Pregnancy Sign     at 1:29 pm

[...] traditional pregnancy check ups.  Read more about it here.  I first heard about Centering through Emily’s blog, and eventually came to love the idea of meeting other couples going through the same stages of [...]

New beginnings     at 8:59 am

The closest I had to a group care was having my parents with me during my sessions. But yeah, I think it’s an awesome idea to get together with other couples to get feed backs on practices they might have already underwent

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