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Nate Chute/Appeal-Democrat Hannah Miethe Kashikar, left, 8, looks up at a portion of a mural created by her mother while siblings Martha and Jakob, right, play in the playroom on Friday, February 10, 2012.

Death of midwife program gives birth to Yuba City clinic

The quiet end for the prenatal/midwife program Great Beginnings has led to a new beginning for one of the program's midwives.

Last month, certified nurse and midwife Angela Kreider opened Women's Circle Nurse & Midwife Services in Yuba City, with some of the same goals the not-for-profit Great Beginnings had, and some new ones.

"Here, we're seeing women of all ages," Kreider said, in contrast to the defunct program, which concentrated on pregnant women and new mothers. "This opens up a lot more possibilities."

Great Beginnings, which started in 1994, ended last year when a group of Yuba-Sutter obstetricians/gynecologists told its affiliated not-for-profit health group, Ampla Health, they would no longer back up midwife-assisted deliveries.

For women who were in the program at the time, its sudden end caught them off guard, Kreider said.

"Many of the women we were taking care of would go to the old clinic and look for us," she said.

Slowly, they're finding their way to her new clinic at 1003 Plumas St., which has a small playroom for children and photos on the wall from local artists. One room has the whimsical name, "Bathwomb." Kreider said she wanted the clinic to be warm and colorful rather than sterile.

The approach, Kreider said, is the same as it was at Great Beginnings: centered on what a woman needs, focused on being sympathetic and nurtu ing.

Clinic volunteer Jacqueline Velasquez, 19, said her experience last year at Great Beginnings when she had her daughter Maddie, now 7 months old, made her want to help Kreider's new venture.

"I'm a person who really wants to be attached to the person rather than a doctor," said Velasquez, an Olivehurst resident who's studying to become a midwife herself. "Here, I feel it's really more family-oriented."

In a follow-up appointment with Velasquez on Friday, Kreider asked about her and her daughter's health, as well as whether she was going to have more children.

When Velasquez told her she was focusing on her education for now, Kreider went over birth-control options, including answering a question about one option and whether it causes weight gain.

With one midwife from Great Beginnings now focused solely on nursing, and the another having left the area, Kreider said she sees herself as the last of the program alumni still standing.

At Great Beginnings, the program was focused on mostly those who didn't have health insurance; her clinic can be different, she said.

"They didn't specialize in women's health," she said. "I wanted to still be able to provide great services."

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