Here’s a quick guide to preparing for a hospital birth during the covid-19 pandemic. Join our Doula Support for the DC Metro Area | Prenatal, Birth & Postpartum Support on Facebook for a video. By and large in the DC metro area, there aren’t too many restrictions currently in labor and delivery. But it’s still helpful to think through a few specifics. You probably want to know what to ask about covid restrictions in labor and delivery. Here’s what we’d recommend:
- Who can I have with me in labor & delivery? Most hospitals in the DC area allow you to have your primary partner as well as your doula, but no other visitors. See this post for a more detailed breakdown on locations. It may be helpful to know that some locations are asking doulas to provide proof of training upon admittance. Digital or hard copy should both work fine.
- Will I need a covid test when I arrive? Many locations in DC are requiring the patient (person giving birth) to undergo a covid test prior to having their doula join them. Partners and doulas are also expected to wear a mask.
- What’s the in / out policy? Particularly if you’re being induced, you’ll also want to ask what’s permitted in terms of a support person leaving and coming back. Most are requiring the support persons to stay in labor & delivery for the duration. Most are not allowing more than 1 support person in the postpartum area.
- Is there any risk that these policies could change before I give birth? I think we all know the answer to this one and of course it’s always yes. But I do have a hunch that doulas are less at risk for being turned away than we were back at the very beginning of the pandemic. Most labor & delivery units have been happy to welcome doulas back for extra support during these stressful times. But still it makes sense to have a plan B in terms of how your doula will be able to support you virtually should the need arise. You could also consider seeking care with a midwifery practice that considers doulas essential, such as a home birth midwife or a birth center.
The doulas at Hello, Tapestry hope this post about what to ask about covid restrictions in labor and delivery has been helpful. Let us know how else we can support you!