A pilot programme in American Samoa which delivers pre natal care to pregnant women is seeking more participants.
However a programme coordinator, Kima Savusa, said pregnant women were waiting too late for their pre-natal check ups.
The so-called STRONG programme is a collaboration between LBJ Hospital, Yale University and the Tafuna Family Health Centre.
It has 36 participants but needs more to more adequately test the benefits of group pre-natal care.
Ms Savusa said expectant mothers had to be 14 weeks into their pregnancy in order to be accepted, but many mothers were turning up much later.
She said the mothers were responding positively but some had reservations.
“There are some responses where they‘re kind of like ‘oh, I don‘t know about this‘. But once we explain the confidentiality within the group sessions and then once they participate if they‘ve been selected for the group pre-natal care, they just engage. It‘s just amazing to see how the women engage in the group sessions.”
Ms Savusa urged women who suspected they were pregnant to get confirmation early by visiting a clinic and to seek pre-natal care sooner rather than later.