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Thursday, December 20, 2018

OB-GYN Dean L. Bloch, MD, Delivers First Babies, Twins, Since Returning to HealthAlliance Hospitals

Expectant Mom Finds Comfort in Care When Birth Plan Changes at 38 Weeks Pregnant

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HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), announces the arrival of the first babies delivered by OB-GYN Dean L. Bloch, MD, since his return to HealthAlliance as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The twin girls were delivered via cesarean section (C-Section) on Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Family Birth Place childbirth center at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus.

“Delivering these first babies was very exciting,” Bloch says. “Kingston is my community and it is a joy to be back here providing care in Ulster County.

Twins, Emmie and Elle Pikul, were delivered to parents Mary and Randy Pikul of Bloomingburg, NY. Emmie was born at 1:31 p.m. weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and Elle was born at 1:37 p.m. weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces. The Pikuls also have a three-year-old daughter, Ever.

Mary Pikul, 43, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice, was Dr. Bloch’s patient during her first pregnancy. She was with a different medical practice for the pregnancy of her twins when, in her third trimester, her doula informed her that he joined HealthAlliance.

"When I heard he was back in practice from my doula, who I found through Dr. Bloch during my first pregnancy, I started seeing him right away,” Pikul says of her trust in Bloch. “I went to him at 35 weeks pregnant because I really like his model. He follows a more natural approach.”

Dr. Bloch returned to HealthAlliance in October 2018. As Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he oversees the Family Birth Place and sees patients at WMCHealth Advanced OB-GYN’s Kingston location. He practiced at HealthAlliance predecessor hospitals Kingston Hospital and Benedictine Hospital from 2000 to 2010.

Dr. Bloch explains the “natural approach” that Pikul refers to as providing expectant moms with more options for a vaginal birth, particularly for his patients with twins. “I have been in practice for 31 years and am very comfortable, yet circumspect, delivering twins vaginally,” he says.

Pikul’s birth plan was to have a natural vaginal delivery, but a week prior to her due date “Baby A,” the baby that would deliver first, was breech. Dr. Bloch discussed alternative options with his patient, and although her birth plan could change, Pikul says she never felt like any of her options were truly off the table.

“Dr. Bloch still entertained every possibility with me; it never felt like there was only one option,” she says. “My birth plan was very collaborative, with the focus always on supporting the babies.”

There was no rush for the C-section, according to Dr. Bloch. His focus was to educate Pikul and her husband about the clinical aspects of the delivery and to help them understand their options.

“A foundation of my medical care is to have careful discussions with my patients about their clinical condition and thoroughly explain what the medically reasonable options are for their case,” says Bloch.

“When patients understand their options, and why those are their options, they feel more comfortable with their care and can make more assured decisions,” he continues.

At just over 38 weeks pregnant, the Pikuls decided that a C-section was the best option for the health of the babies and delivered at the Family Birth Place at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus.

“My experience at the Family Birth Place was great,” Pikul shares.

“The nurses were so nice and accommodating. They made us very comfortable, which made everything else feel less scary,” she says regarding the change in her birth plan.

The Family Birth Place is dedicated to providing the highest level of care to expectant women in a family-centered environment. It is internationally recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital, the first and only in the area, for offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding after birth. The designation signifies that HealthAlliance Hospital and its Family Birth Place are committed to evidence-based, best-practice maternity care. It also ensures that every mother is supported with her informed choice about infant feeding. HealthAlliance has also earned the top-grade, gold-level “Certified Safe Sleep Champion” credential for demonstrating the highest commitment to promoting the safest sleep practices for infants.

Pikul also found it helpful to receive all of her care in the same location at the Family Birth Place, a standard practice for the hospital’s LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum) protocol. Preparation for Pikul’s surgery was done in her private room, the same room she and her family returned to after delivery in the C-section Suite, also located at the Family Birth Place.

“Dr. Bloch dimmed the lights and all of the staff had really nice, calm conversations during the procedure,” Pikul says of surgery. “Everyone seemed conscientious of the atmosphere and focused on both the babies’ and my needs. That made it very peaceful.”

Pikul and the newborns were able to go home two days after her C-section.

Pleasantly surprised to learn they were having twins, the Pikuls were not entirely shocked. They had three embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Daughter, Ever, was their first pregnancy with one of the embryos. They chose to transfer the two remaining embryos for this pregnancy and were successful with twins.

Now three weeks postpartum, the Pikul family looks forward to experiencing life as a party of five. “Big” sister, Ever, enjoys talking to her newborn siblings and taking their photos with her parents’ cell phones. Pikul and her husband, Randy, an independent electrical contractor, are both taking time off from work to “enjoy all that life has to offer,” she says.

New and former patients of Dr. Bloch can schedule appointments at WMCHealth Advanced OB-GYN’s Kingston practice. The practice provides comprehensive obstetric and gynecologic care and a full-time midwife practice with licensed midwives (LMs). The practice is located at the Broadway Medical Pavilion at 373 Broadway. The phone number is 845-303-1132.

The Family Birth Place is located on the fourth floor of HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus at 396 Broadway in Kingston. The hospital’s phone number is 845-331-3131.


From left, newborn twins Emmie and Elle Pikul are the first babies delivered by OB-GYN Dean L. Bloch, MD, since his return to HealthAlliance Hospitals in Kingston, NY.

Dr. Bloch, left, holds newborn Emmie Pikul. The twins’ mother, Mary, center, holds Elle, with husband, Randy and daughter, Ever, 3, at right.