Start Your New Life in Someplace Special!

Our belief that women’s healthcare needs are unique is seen through our readiness to accommodate your specific birth plan. Whatever plan you and your doctor and/or midwife decide upon, we’re here to work with you to provide the comforts and advantages of home.

+The Maternity Experience

Our Team:
Our caring and attentive childbirth team partners with you to accommodate your wishes for your childbirth experience. There are many members on your team (including nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, technicians and support staff, to name a few) dedicated to keeping you informed and providing the care you need. In addition, as part of a teaching hospital, we have students of all disciplines, committed to academic and medical excellence. Identification badges are worn by all hospital staff displaying names and job titles. If you have any questions about any of our roles in your care, please ask us.

Our Facility:
Soft lighting, soothing colors, and a clean and quiet atmosphere provide a feeling of comfort and home-like environment at Crouse Hospital. We offer more private rooms than any other hospital in Central NY. Mothers go through labor, delivery, and recovery all in the same room, with the most advanced equipment and fetal heart monitoring systems. During the recovery period, you and your baby will be moved to a postpartum unit. Our large rooms are designed to enhance the family experience, feating a comfortable recliner for an overnight guest. Your baby is always safe and secure because of our comprehensive infant security system, which includes HUGS bracelets and our HALO Safe Sleep Program.

Labor Support:
Your choices range from supported, unmedicated birth to epidural anesthesia. Nurses provide labor support with comfort measures, breathing techniques, massage and position suggestions. Other birthing aids include hydrotherapy, birth balls, integrative medicinal arts, and in-hospital midwifery services. A portable fetal monitoring system enables you to walk freely without bed confinement while in labor, which can help progress labor. Anesthesiologists are available 24-hours a day for administering epidurals and intrathecals (walking epidurals).

Expect the Best for the Unexpected:
Although we have the lowest cesarean rate of any hospital in the nation, many cesarean sections are unplanned. In the event the unexpected happens, it is comforting to know that our team of nurses, Board Certified OB/GYN physicians and anesthesiologists, midwives and staff are here to guide you and care for you and your family. Our operating rooms are just steps away from the Birth Center should a cesarean section become necesssary.

It is reassuring to know that if your baby needs intensive care, Crouse Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is one of the most progressive facilities of its kind in the U.S. and serves as a referral nursery with the highest level of specialized care (Level 4) for newborns throughout upstate New York.

Crouse Hospital’s participation in the Central New York Regional Perinatal Program – dedicated to the care and well-being of high risk mothers and babies – provides special obstetric and pediatric assistance during pregnancy and/or the newborn period and promotes healthy outcomes.

+Mom's Place

Sometimes babies need to stay in the hospital a little longer than their mothers. Our Mom’s Place program provides a place for you to stay on 7 Irving, near your baby, on a space-available basis. Please ask your nurse for details.

+Family Birth Program

If you wish to participate in and meet the medical criteria for our 24-hour, short-stay Family Birth Program, you’ll be transferred to a private room on the maternity floor (whenever possible) and “room-in” with your baby and your coach. In order to be approved, you must have previously discussed the plan with both your OB and pediatric providers, and must plan to go home from the hospital as soon after 24 hours as possible. A nurse will visit you at home within one to three days after discharge.

+Breastfeeding Resources

Choosing the way you will feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you will make in preparing for his or her arrival. Doctors agree that for most women and babies, breastfeeding is the safest and most healthy choice. It is your right to be informed about the benefits of breastfeeding, and having your healthcare provider encourage and support breastfeeding.

Crouse Hospital is committed to doing just that. Our lactation consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, a health¬care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.

Crouse Hospital’s Breastfeeding Taskforce has developed a multidisciplinary approach to assist new mothers with their breastfeeding needs. The taskforce is comprised of pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, maternal and newborn nursing staff and our lactation consultants.

Our lactation consultants provide one-on-one education in our Lactation Office or in your room, and are available to assist you before and after birth. Arrange an appointment with them by calling 315-470-7179.

New York State passed Health Law Bill S1107 (effective May 1, 2009), the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights (PDF). At Crouse, we’re dedicated to helping you make the most informed decision about how to feed your new baby.

+HIV Testing

The New York State Department of Health mandates that all mothers are advised to have HIV testing during each pregnancy. An HIV positive mother who is treated with special medications during pregnancy and birth has a much lower chance of passing HIV on to her baby.

If you refuse to be tested during your pregnancy, you will be counseled upon admission to the Kienzle Family Maternity Center. Refusing to test yourself at this time means that your baby will be tested at time of delivery.

You will not know if your baby needs special treatment until the tests results are returned. Accordingly, your baby’s care provider may decide to delay breastfeeding until results are received. The sooner a baby receives any medications related to HIV infection, the better are the chances that he or she will not contract HIV from an HIV positive mother.

+Car Seats

New York State requires any newborn infant to leave the hospital in a car seat.

New York State Traffic Safety Information
Car Seat Information

+Hearing-Impaired/Foreign Language Services

If you are hearing impaired or need a language interpreter, please notify the Admitting Office as soon as possible at 315-470-7361. Our free Language Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you. Also, it is very important to have an interpreter upon discharge and at follow-up appointments. Our TTY line is 315-470-7914.

+RTS Perinatal Bereavement Services

Resolve Through Sharing (RTS) Perinatal Bereavement Services is a program of Crouse Hospital designed to support parents and families who have experienced the loss of a baby due to an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, therapeutic termination, stillbirth or neonatal death.

Because grieving is a normal response to the death of a loved one, our program supports each family’s grief process. When a baby dies, the family may also mourn the loss of their hopes and dreams, and of their lifetime with that child. Caring, supportive hospital staff can help a family through the initial shock and crisis. This is the beginning of adjusting to life without your baby.

For more information about referral options, remembrance activities for families or any questions, please contact Janet Press, CNS, MSN, CT, RNC, Perinatal Bereavement Services Coordinator, at 315-470-7372 or Kathy Gorzka at the Perinatal Bereavement Services office at 315-470-2769. You may also visit the Central New York Perinatal and Infant Bereavement Network website.

+Important Decisions You Will Make for Your Baby

Your Baby’s Healthcare Provider:
It’s important for you to choose a pediatrician to care for your baby. Pediatricians provide preventive care to healthy children and medical care to children with illnesses. If you are looking for a Crouse pediatrician, please visit

Completion of the Birth Certificate:
A birth certificate is an important legal document that will be needed many times during your child’s life. The Birth Registrar will contact you during your hospital stay to fill out the birth certificate. Be mindful that specific information, such as name, social security number, and address may be required.

Whether or Not to Circumcise Your Baby:
Newborn male circumsion is an elective surgical procedure that is performed only by request. You will be asked if you are interested in circumcision for your son.
Analgesia has been found to be safe and effective in reducing pain associated with circumcision. Options for analgesia/anesthesia are available and include sucrose nipple anesthetic cream and injected local anesthesia. Please discuss these options with your healthcare provider.

+Important Hospital Care Provided for Your Baby

Security and Safety:
All Kienzle Family Maternity Center staff wear picture ID badges with pink stripes. Never allow anyone without this proper ID badge to take your baby away from you.

All babies receive a security band (HUGS tag). This tag remains on your baby throughout your hospital stay and is removed prior to discharge. Do not attempt to remove this band yourself. If it becomes loose or falls off, please notify your nurse. Avoid walking with your baby around stairwells or elevators as the alarm may go off.

While you are in the hospital, we provide you with a sleep sack, called a “Halo,” which contributes to a safe sleep environment. In addition, your baby should sleep alone, on his/her back, with the head of the crib flat and nothing in the crib. Continue these safe sleep practices with your baby at home.

When walking with your baby in the hallways, the baby must be in the bassinet. The bassinet should be in the flat position.

Newborn Screening Tests:
Every newborn baby has newborn screening tests to identify if your baby is at risk for rare, but serious, medical conditions. These simple blood tests ensure your baby’s body can break down and use food necessary for health grown. Early detection is key to early treatment. Results will be sent to your pediatrician. For more information, please refer to the pink paper given to you or visit the Department of Health Wadsworth Center website.

Every baby has oxygen levels checked after they are 24-hours-old, which screens for some cardiac diseases. All newborns will have their hearing tested prior to discharge. Some babies will also have eye exams. Results are available at the conclusion of the test.

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of newborn baby skin from high levels of a pigment called bilirubin. Bilichek is a non-invasive way to measure jaundice. The nurse or doctor will share the results of these tests with you.

A Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended at birth for all healthy infants. You will be provided with a vaccination information sheet. We can also explain immunization options for other family members and caregivers.