Virginia, Maryland and DC Doula Support During the Pandemic

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) nearly a year later!

Updated: 3/23/21

  • As we understand it, three additional hospitals in the area have opened up to doulas as of March 1, 2021: Washington Hospital Center, Sibley Memorial and Shady Grove Adventist. Please check with your providers as well.
  • Effective 2/11/21, “Two support people are permitted per day” at GW Hospital. “Both individuals can be present at the bedside at the same time and are encouraged to remain in the facility during the duration of labor. Permitted visitation hours: 24 hours, seven days per week.”
  • Inova hospital system (Alexandria, Fairfax, Fair Oaks and Loudoun) 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).
  • 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.
  • Virginia Hospital Center is allowing doulas
  • 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!

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