5K to support midwifery on L.I. held at Heckscher State Park

Runners and walkers descended on Heckscher State Park in East Islip Saturday for the second annual Miles for Midwives 5K.

The cool and damp weather and muddy earth didn’t stop the participants, many of whom were pushing baby carriages through the park.

The event was sponsored by Long Island Midwives, a group of professional midwives dedicated to educating people about midwifery and resources in local areas.

“The ultimate goal was to let people know that we’re here to help,” said Laura Jabbour, a race coordinator and midwife at Huntington Hospital. “We want to improve visibility of midwifery on Long Island.”

The race wasn’t just to let people know about the different birthing options that women have available to them in local hospitals.

Miles for Midwives also benefited two local groups – the Long Island Doula Association, Inc., Families in Crisis Fund and the Birth Justice Warriors.

Local race groups came by to enjoy the positive run and scenic views, while midwives, doulas and expecting moms jogged through the brisk air at the 9:30 a.m. race, their families cheering them on.

Even the kids got involved, running alongside their parents — or in their own little race a half hour before the grown-ups took off.

“I had my children with a midwife, so I came out to show my support,” said Jessica Dennehy, a birth doula from Bay Shore. “Coming out today was important because it helps raise awareness that midwifery is a safe option for women.”

Registration for the race was just $25, money that other racers were happy to spend.

“We do a lot of races together,” said runner Chris Grando. “We want to help support different local groups and support local causes.”

Top: Jessica Dennehy, a birth doula from Bay Shore, trekking through Heckscher State Park on Saturday with two of her three daughters. (Credit: Julianne Mosher)