Health & Safety

May 12, 2017

Road to delivery: Prenatal classes offered at MOCMMC

Airman 1st Class Nathan Byrnes
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Babies lay in a circle during a group prenatal class at Freedom Park on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 22. The Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center at Nellis AFB offers group prenatal classes for expecting mothers and their spouses. The program is rather new as the first iteration was in Oct. of 2016.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For expectant parents, group prenatal classes are invaluable.

Labor and birth is often faced with anxiety, even fear, by expectant mothers, and these classes can help reduce the anxiety women may feel about labor and delivery, while also helping new parents adapt more easily to life with a newborn.

The Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, offers group prenatal classes for expecting mothers and their spouses. The program is rather new as the first iteration was in October 2016.

It was designed by Capt. Brittany Hannigan, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron Women’s Health Clinic certified nurse-midwife, with the assistance from other providers in the clinic, Family Medicine Residency and the nurses and technicians in the Women’s Health Clinic.

“The class takes 10 women whose delivery dates are around the same time and takes them out of their normal clinic appointment to do a two-hour appointment as a group,” said Hannigan. “The first class starts at their 20th week appointment and a new topic is covered at their 24, 28, 32, 36, 38, 39 and 40 week appointments.

“In addition to the presentation, they also have their normal vital signs taken so that they are not missing out on any medical care. We still check the baby’s growth, their weight, vital signs and make sure they receive the vaccines that they need. It doesn’t take away any medical care, it just adds additional information.”

According to several research studies including those published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, group prenatal classes have been shown to decrease c-sections, preterm births, the length of hospital stays, and increase breastfeeding rates, empowerment, efficiency, social support and education.

“We are a medical facility and we follow evidence based care and the benefits are just huge for the patients and the hospital,” said Hannigan. “The increased patient satisfaction has been a huge part of this class and that is always a goal of any healthcare provider. Also, the Air Force is a family and we support our pregnant women when their spouses are deployed.”

According to Hannigan, the early feedback from the class has been extremely positive with participants specifically enjoying the belly casting portion of the class, exercise and nutrition class, prenatal yoga and the chance to meet and build friendships with the other expectant parents.

The prenatal education classes are not just for first-time moms either, as even seasoned parents are encouraged to participate.

“How we are recruiting for the classes is through the new obstetrics group class with the nurses,” said Hannigan. “Anytime someone has a positive pregnancy test they are set up for the OB group class to build their OB chart and go over some initial information before they see a provider for their first appointment. At that class they pass out a form to those who might be interested in taking part in the group prenatal class.”

All of the activities in the class are completely free. For more information about group prenatal classes, call the Women’s Health Clinic at 702-653-2300.

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Holly Ardern

Air Force Marathon makes major changes for 2019

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Holly Ardern Runners participate in the 2018 Air Force Marathon. The Air Force Marathon opened registration for their 2019 event Jan. 1 with major changes designed to improve the experience...

Destinations for Teens expands to North West Las Vegas

New TriCare West teenage patients are being accepted at Destinations for Teens’ Northwest Las Vegas office. To celebrate, the company is offering free movie tickets to a private screening of “The Ripple Effect” for military families. Destinations for Teens is Las Vegas’ premier partial day program assisting teenagers (13-17) with mental health and/or substance abuse...

ACC highlights Air Force Outstanding Unit Award winners

The commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. James M. Holmes, commander, recently announced the ACC winners of the 2018 ACC Air Force Outstanding Unit award and Air Force Organizational Excellence award: Air Force Outstanding Unit award winners: 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 1, 2017-May 31, 2018 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air...