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Taking Care of Baby and You

Please download and use this booklet as a valuable resource for everything you need to know about maternity care at VBMC.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center Maternity Unit

The Vassar Brothers Medical Center Maternity Unit offers a specialized, caring environment to bring your baby into the world.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) has one of the largest maternity unit between New York City and Albany. It is designed to meet the needs of you and your family in a highly specialized environment, while offering the care and compassion of a birthing center. Housed in the same building are the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which takes care of high-risk, premature and ill newborns, and Maternal Fetal Medicine for high-risk pregnancy care.

Important phone numbers:

  • Vassar Brothers Medical Center (845) 454-8500
  • Admitting Office (845) 431-5648
  • Prenatal Classes (877) 729-2444
  • Center for Breastfeeding Support (845) 483-6178
  • Center for Bloodless Care (845) 483-6405

Schedule a Tour

Please call (877) 729-2444 to schedule a tour of our maternity unit.

We also offer a Virtual Tour of the birth center. Click here to start the tour.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center offers breastfeeding classes including:

A Family-Centered Approach

The birth of your baby involves every member of your family. Our family-centered approach at VBMC is designed to help everyone in your family — grandparents, siblings and other loved ones — bond with your newborn.

  • Rooming In. Our rooms support our family-centered approach by providing you with the privacy and space to allow your baby to stay with you 24 hours a day.
  • A Supportive Environment. Family-centered care provides more opportunities for you and your family to learn how to meet your baby's needs. Your nurse will be there to assist you at your bedside and to provide instructions about caring for yourself as well as your baby.
  • Breastfeeding Philosophy. VBMC supports a mother's decision to breastfeed her infant. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies throughout their first year of life. Breastfeeding mothers should be supported with competent, consistent education throughout this experience. For breastfeeding information, international board certified lactation consultants are available prenatally, during your hospital stay and after discharge. Please feel free to consult with them for any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Breastfeeding Support.At the Center for Breastfeeding Support at VBMC, our goal is to assist you in making your breastfeeding experience successful.
  • Skin-to-Skin. This is a special time for you and your baby to get to know each other. Skin-to-skin contact offers benefits to both of you, including a more satisfying birthing experience, easier initiation of breastfeeding, increased bonding and a greater sensitivity to the baby's needs. If you have a cesarean delivery, skin-to-skin time can take place with the baby's father or other family members of your choice, if you are not available.
  • Admission/Checking In to the Hospital. The Maternity Unit at VBMC offers a private entrance for expecting mothers in order to provide the most comfortable and seamless admission process. All maternity patients, whether they are arriving for outpatient services or for admission, will come directly to the maternity unit. For your convenience, VBMC provides free valet parking upon arrival at the hospital.
  • Infant Security. As parents, you can never be too careful — even in a hospital. VBMC has a state-of-the-art infant security system that will protect your infant during your stay with us. For your baby's safety:
  • Visiting hours. Vassar Brothers Medical Center supports open visiting hours for friends and family.
  • Infant Car Seat Information.

Give your baby a healthy start in life by breastfeeding.

As a mother, it is your decision whether to feed your baby breast milk or formula. At Health Quest we warmly encourage new mothers to breastfeed and to that end, provide a variety of support services such as private consultations with lactation specialists, breastfeeding equipment to rent and monthly prenatal breastfeeding classes and support groups.

Lactation Cookie Recipe

Benefits of Breast Feeding

Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding because breast milk gives your baby the best nutrition as well as protection against infection. While one year is recommended, shorter breastfeeding periods also provide health benefits.

How babies benefit:

  • Breast milk is easier for babies to digest
  • Breast milk is readily available
  • Breastfed babies have fewer colds, flu and ear infections, less diarrhea and less constipation
  • Breastfeeding helps protect against SIDS, diabetes, allergies and asthma

How moms benefit:

  • Decreases post-partum blood loss when breastfeeding begins immediately after delivery
  • Builds close bond with baby
  • Burns more calories for faster weight loss
  • Reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancers
  • Increases bone strength to decrease the risk of fractures in old age

Board Certified Lactatation Consultants

For pregnant women who are patients at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, board certified lactation consultants are available for private consultations. After leaving the hospital, new moms can also receive follow-up support by phone and/or by appointment. Patients can call Vassar Brothers Medical Center at (845) 483-6178 for appointments and fees.

Breastfeeding Products

New mothers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center have the option to rent breastfeeding pumps to help them breastfeed. Medela Symphony hospital-grade breast pumps can be rented for $70 per month or $30 per week. Pump parts and other supplies are also available. Please call (845) 483-6178 for more information.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

High-level care for your baby, compassionate support for you

If your newborn is facing a critical medical emergency, you want to be sure to choose a hospital staffed with experienced caregivers using state-of-the-art equipment. And you want care delivered in a supportive environment where you and your family are part of the team. That's the kind of care that you'll find at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC).

As the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Mid-Hudson Valley, we treat infants of any weight and preterm infants at more than 22 weeks' gestation. The subspecialists on the VBMC medical staff provide support in pediatric cardiology, neurology, genetics, gastroenterology, pulmonology and hematology. The team is uniquely qualified to care for babies who require:

  • Respiratory support
  • Blood transfusions
  • Chest tubes
  • Feeding tubes
  • IV therapy
  • Surgery

Special treatment for our littlest patients
Annually, VBMC's NICU admits approximately 400 infants weighing as little as 400 grams (0.8 pounds).

  • A multidisciplinary team of experts will be supporting you and your baby in a 15-bed facility staffed with neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, physician assistants, neonatal nurses, lactation consultants, respiratory therapists and case managers.
  • Our NICU team is available 24/7, which means your questions and concerns can be addressed any time, day or night.
  • Your baby will be supported by neonatologists from Hudson Valley Newborn Physicians, PLLC, who understand the unique needs of newborns.
  • To maintain the special connection you have with your baby, we provide a parent room for overnight stays prior to discharge, as well as a lounge where you can pump breast milk or relax between feedings.
  • If your baby is born elsewhere and requires transport to the VBMC NICU, we have a transport team uniquely trained to respond.
  • You are embraced as part of the care team and encouraged to participate in the NICU team's daily review of your baby's progress and plan of care.
  • You and your baby will become part of our family: More than 400 former patients and their families attend the annual NICU reunion, with 'graduates' who are 6 months old to those who are 16 years old.
  • A neonatologist is a specialist in newborn intensive care.
  • A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with years of additional training in the care of high-risk newborns.
  • A physician assistant has specialized training in newborns and functions under the direct supervision of a neonatologist.

Learn more about facing a high-risk pregnancy.

If you have any questions about Neonatology Services at VBMC, please contact us at:

Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 431-4810



Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Maternity Unit
45 Reade Place
Poughkeepise, NY 12601
(845) 454-8500
(800) 421-1220