Back in March, DMV area hospital policies changed to restrict doula support. Doulas had to put their heads together to figure out how to continue serving clients. Here’s where we are now with DMV area doula support (DC, Maryland and Virginia) more than three months later. (Wow, has it really been that long?)
- The majority of the DMV area hospitals are allowing a 2nd support person (doula) after the patient’s negative Covid test results:
- Effective November 19, 2020, unfortunately Washington Hospital Center has gone back to allowing 1 support person in Labor & Delivery. This sadly signals that others may follow suit.
- Sibley Memorial hospital has not allowed doulas at all since March. Sadly, this might not ever change back again. (Major cultural issue.)
- Inova hospital system (Alexandria, Fairfax, Fair Oaks and Loudoun) reverted its visitor policy effective June 29, 2020: doulas are not visitors and are therefore permitted in Labor & Delivery, in addition to the primary support person / partner / spouse if the patient / birthing person has a negative Covid test. If you receive differing information from a provider, you can point them to this document (fourth bullet point).
- Virginia Hospital Center is allowing doulas
- GW Hospital is allowing doulas
- Premier Birth Center in Chantilly, VA and Winchester, VA strongly prefers their patients have a doula. This has been the case for the duration of this time period.
- BirthCare in Alexandria, VA continues to encourage doula care through its “birth assistant” program.
- Many doulas, including Hello, Tapestry, are also offering virtual doula support; this may include the option of some in-home support for earlier stages of labor and virtual support through phone, text, and video calls during the hospital stay and postpartum.
- Home birth midwifery care is an option worth exploring for low-risk pregnancies.
- Postpartum doula care is still available in person, if both client and doula discuss risks and feel comfortable assuming them.
We will keep you updated with any new information as it becomes available!