For the first time, expecting moms-to-be can access the services of a midwife, right here in Kingston.
“We just love people and we really want to help,” said Liz Pickett, CM, MS, LM. “Midwife literally means ‘with women’ and we truly are with women.”
Pickett, of New Paltz last month helped open a local Capital Region Midwifery office on 63 Hurley Ave. A graduate of The Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University, Pickett decided to join the Troy-based Capital Region Midwifery — what she describes as “the most amazing midwife group in the business” — after working as a labor support doula for 10 years and a non-profit perinatal health educator at Maternal Infant Services from 2005 to 2012. Pickett received her clinical education with Capital Region Midiwfery and went on to work there after becoming certified for six months before joining a busy ObGyn practice in Dutchess County. She realized quickly that she needed to return to the midwifery model of care and after two years in a high volume ObGyn group, collaborated with the owners of CRM to start a Kingston based practice. From then, Pickett found herself “emotionally invested” in Capital Region Midwifery and serving the Ulster County community.
“Midwives in hospitals have optimal outcomes,” Pickett said. “I’ve lived in Ulster County for 13 years. I love the Ulster community and working with different programs such as Healthy Start and Planned Parenthood.”
Pickett says there’s a need for more choices in childbirth in the region. She did note the new HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley’s hospital unit, The Family Birth Place, is a “beautiful facility that offers water birth.”
Pickett said her group helps women deliver more babies more naturally and more healthily than a hospital setting. “Capital Region’s statistics for 2014 had a 92 percent vaginal delivery rate. Primary C-section was only 5 percent. I was working at a facility with a rate of more than 40 percent,” she boasts. “Vaginal birth after caesarean was 88 percent at Capital Region.”
She attributes Capital Region’s success to the midwife model, which focuses on keeping the mother and baby safe with a minimum of medical intervention, personalized care and building a strong relationship between midwife and expectant mom. “We don’t interfere with the physiological process,” Pickett said. She points out that CRM is the only independent midwifery service specializing in hospital birth in the area.
Capital Region offers a full range of services from annual gynecological exams, birth control, preconception health, vaginal screenings, menopause diagnosis to treatment, PPD readings and pap smears. Currently, Pickett said, they are consulting with a mental health counselor, Stephanie St. John, to create women’s support groups. She invites women to join her on Tuesday, July 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Kingston office for a free breastfeeding class, where she will focus on teaching “latching and positioning, common challenges in breast feeding, practical support and challenges women breastfeeding face when returning to work.”
Women who have breast pumps and want to learn how to use them are encouraged to bring it to the class. “We’ll figure it out together.”
For those who don’t have a pump but desire one, Pickett will write a prescription. “The new health care reforms cover 100 percent of the cost for a breast pump if you have a script,” she said.