Midwifery and Women's Health

The Department of Midwifery and Women's Health at the Fair Haven Community Health Center believes in a holistic approach to women's health. We provide a full range of services including annual gynecological exams, episodic care for reproductive issues including sexually transmitted diseases, and mammography screening services in conjunction with the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center van.

FHCHC registers approximately 150 women a year into our well prenatal program. Our goal for the prenatal program is to give newborns and families the best possible support during this exciting period. An interdisciplinary team of certified nurse midwives, physicians, social workers, nutritionists, and outreach workers provide comprehensive prenatal care. The full prenatal package includes prenatal visits and education, delivery by the midwife at the Yale New Haven Hospital, and postpartum care.

The family-focused service is enhanced by an innovative approach to prenatal care (based on the Centering PregnancyT Model), which combines the prenatal visit with childbirth education, group discussion, stress reduction, meditation exercises, and a hospital tour. Expecting mothers and their partners can have their monthly health education class and prenatal check-up all in a single visit.

We offer:
Women's Health and Family Planning Services
Women's Annual Exams
Prenatal Care
Centering Pregnancy Group
STD Testing and Treatment
Health Education

 

Mindfulness and Yoga in Circle of Hearts Group Prenatal Care at FHCHC

In the mid 1990s FHCHC acquired a small grant from the March of Dimes and the midwives began to incorporate components of Centering Pregnancy as developed by Sharon Rising CNM. The midwives also wove in components from Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Relaxation as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn from U Mass Medical Center. We adapted many of the practices from the regular MBSR program to fit the needs of pregnancy and our population. We knew that pregnancy, childbirth and parenting can be a great challenge and an opportunity for inner growth and establishment of self-regulation skills that can lead to excellent mental/physical health. We were also becoming aware of the poor outcomes associated with stress, whether of the external type from poverty, jobs, partners or the internal type from one's own thought and behavior patterns.

The FHCHC Circle of Hearts group prenatal care with yoga and meditation has been running continuously for over 15 years, with 6 groups starting every year. The participants meet for 10 sessions along with women who share a close due date. We utilize training in meditation, awareness of breathing, yoga and group discussion. All of this happens along with childbirth education, nutrition, fetal development, sexuality, communication, family relationships, infant care and feeding, stress reduction, self-regulation and emotional health and well-being. Our groups include all lab work and testing along with a field trip to the hospital, films and literature. The participants serve as a great support and resource for each other and those relationships often continue for years through their child's life.

Visit the Midwives' Facebook Page

Watch an excellent video about the FHCHC Midwives