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Pair admit practicing midwifery illegally

July 21, 2018

Two women who admitted practicing midwifery without a license in Adams County will serve no more than six months behind bars if a judge accepts their plea agreements.

Sylvia C. Eicher, 74, and Lydiann S. Schwartz, 73, both pleaded guilty this month in Adams Circuit Court to felony practicing midwifery without a license in separate cases.

Both women will serve up to 180 days behind bars and be placed on probation for two years if a judge accepts plea agreements with prosecutors.

Eicher will be sentenced Aug. 24. Schwartz will be sentenced Aug. 31. As part of their plea deals, charges of practicing medicine without a license would be dropped.

Investigators say in court documents that both women examined and gave drugs to pregnant women in 2016 and 2017. The women worked out of their homes, and Schwartz’s hours were posted on the front door of her home, court records said.

One woman told authorities Eicher injected her with medication twice to help her unborn baby’s lungs in May 2017. The pregnant woman went to Adams County Memorial Hospital’s emergency room that month because of high blood pressure and a severe headache, court records said.

Eicher assisted in child birth but proclaimed to be a “mother’s helper,” not a midwife, court records said.

She told police she received syringes in the mail.

In Schwartz’s case, a woman told Berne police that Schwartz gave her a small intravenous injection in the spring of 2016 because the woman previously had a cesarean section. Schwartz told her that because of the previous C-section, she would be in labor longer when giving birth. Schwartz also collected blood from the woman’s baby’s heel and had the blood tested, court records said.

The woman told police she paid Schwartz $550 for her services. At first, Schwartz said she did not accept the payment and then claimed it was a donation, court records said.

The baby Schwartz helped care for died after 14 days from congenital heart disease, court records said.

jchapman@jg.net

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