Group prenatal care can reduce the occurrence of preterm births and encourage young women to breastfeed, research suggests.
The trial of pregnant women aged 14 to 5 years found those who took part in group prenatal classes felt more knowledgeable, more prepared for labour and were also more likely to initiate breastfeeding.
Participation in group prenatal classes also reduced the odds of preterm birth by 33%.
Prenantal classes involved women with a similar expected delivery month, led by credentialed prenatal provider.
"These study results affirm our belief that group car is superior to individual care in supporting women to have healthy pregnancy outcomes," says Sharaon Schindler Risin, founder and executive director of Yale-New Haven Hospital, USA.
"Every woman deserves to have these benefits."
Study author Jeannette Ickovics at Yale School of Medicine said: "Group prenatal carea may be one potential approach toward addressing much needed changes in the healthcare system.
"Pregnancy is an important 'window of opportunity' to have a positive impact on the health of women and their families."