The Birthplace at Crittenton Hospital

Giving birth is a surreal experience. There are many people who write a birth plan to come up with a plan for every possible scenario. There are others who embrace the unknown and just show up for the big show. I had a scheduled cesarean for the birth of our second child in January so we didn’t really worry about common unknown factors. I did worry about what surgery and recovery would be like this time around as well as the health of our baby. The things I didn’t worry about were the quality of care my baby and I would receive at Crittenton Hospital. I knew that we would be in good hands due to the nurses and other staff as well as classes that are offered at Crittenton.

My first cesarean was such a blur. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted after a day of labor and hours of pushing. Because of that I was not in tune to all the different aspects of my surgery. This time, I was fully aware of each and every step of the process. I have to say it was much more nerve-wracking! Dr. Gonzalez, my anesthesiologist, walked me through the surgery before it occurred. He highlighted certain sensations (headache, difficulty breathing, pressure) and parts of the surgery that concerned me. It’s strange to be awake during surgery and it was so comforting to know what would be happening before it happened. I also had Van by my side, another anesthesiologist, who helped me through the nausea and overwhelming emotions of meeting my child for the first time.  Each staff member had the perfect combination of knowledge and compassion that stood out so strongly to me. Dr. Rao, the neonatologist, took very good care of our Zaydee. Her heart rate spiked high shortly after birth and he wanted her heart looked at immediately. (Upon further inspection it was determined that the high heart rate was due to the trauma of birth and nothing serious.) If there are any health issues with newborns I am confident that Dr. Rao will see it.

Since this would be our second child, most of my concerns were getting better in the hospital so that I could be back to normal as soon as possible. I was worried about my son and the changes he would face when we brought our daughter home. I wanted to be as available as possible to support him. This meant I had to work as hard as possible at getting better as quickly as I could. Thanks to the amazing nurses and the wonderful care they provided me, my recovery went very smooth. At Crittenton they do what is called couplet care or mother/baby care. This is when the same nurse provides care for the mother as well as the baby. I really appreciated this because I felt more comfortable allowing my baby to leave to be weighed, tested and bathed with my  nurse because I already had an established relationship with this person. My questions were answered faster and communication was better and more open. There were also less interruptions because when the nurse would come to check me, she could also check the baby instead of two separate nurses coming in at different times to check each of us. The nurses were very encouraging and helpful. A few actually told me goodbye just before the end of their shift.

Giving birth at Crittenton Hospital has other perks as well. The Newborn Channel is on 24 hours a day with a variety of programming geared specifically for first-time parents. You can tune in and watch how to bathe your newborn, change a diaper and any questions regarding feeding. The Newborn Channel has a lot of information to offer on a variety of newborn care-related topics. You can visit their website at In an effort to aid the Back to Sleep campaign, first time parents receive a Halo sleep sack for their sweet newborns. Not only does this replace the need for a blanket but you can also swaddle the baby with it. Awesome!

Crittenton also has several classes you can take before your birth experience. From regular child birth classes to CPR and sibling classes you will be well prepared for your experience. There is also a free Birthplace Tour on March 21. You can visit for more information.

This past fall Crittenton held its first Baby Fair. I attended the event and loved it! There were a lot of vendors with helpful information and fun freebies for expectant parents. Keep watch for the next one because you won’t want to miss it!

There have been other exciting changes at Crittenton. The OB AirStrip is now available. This is a monitoring system that allows the doctor to receive instant information on how the birth moms and babies are doing. The doctor can monitor the heart rates of the mother and baby as well as the mother’s contractions without having to be at the hospital. This provides up to date information to the doctor and peace of mind for the moms to know that the doctor is keeping up with everything that is happening. Another big change at Crittenton has been the addition of midwifery to the Mother Baby Unit. The addition of midwives to the hospital underscores Crittenton’s sensitivity to all the wants and needs of its patients. Midwifery is a great option for women with low-risk pregnancies who want as little medical intervention as possible for their pregnancy and delivery.

The Birthplace at Crittenton Hospital is a safe, secure and comfortable place to welcome your new little one into the world. You will be surrounded by competent, friendly and knowledgeable staff who will encourage you and support you as you embrace the changes a baby brings. Crittenton has a lot to offer to help prepare you beforehand as well. Take a look at Crittenton for your next birthing experience.

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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