There are many hospitals to choose from in the Washington DC area, and Doulas of Capitol Hill has been to them all! While we would never tell you which hospital was right for you (a key factor in our non-judgmental support philosophy!) there are pros and cons to all hospitals when considering where to deliver. Here are a few things to think about when making the decision.
Hospitals in and around the DMV:
The first choice you will have to make is a care provider. Are you interested in obstetricians or midwives? You can find OB’s at every hospital, but in the DMV area George Washington University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, INOVA Alexandria, VHC, INOVA Loudoun, INOVA Fair Oaks, Ft. Belvoir, Anne Arundel, Shady Grove and Prince George’s Hospital Center have midwife practices as well. Care providers tend to deliver at only one (or sometimes two) hospitals, so that could influence your decision.
How close is your hospital? Do you live in a place with a lot of rush hour traffic and events? Do you anticipate staying home a long time or going into the hospital early? Will your doula come to your home so you don’t have to rush? These things can impact the decision of delivering at various hospitals.
The next thing to keep in mind is the availability of options during labor and birth. Here are a few local examples:
Sibley Memorial has a state of the art, brand new facility with a nursery that is accessible at all times so your baby doesn’t have to stay in the room if you need to rest and recover.
Washington Hospital Center and INOVA Alexandria have the option to use nitrous oxide as a pain management tool to avoid or wait to receive an epidural.
George Washington University Hospital has three rooms with tubs for labor and in some cases, birth.
Anne Arundel has a birth center attached to the hospital for ease of transfer if needed.
Other things you may want to ask about: Does your hospital have mobile fetal monitoring abilities so you can move or shower during labor? Do they have a policy about eating? How many people are allowed in the room? If you have a known high risk pregnancy, what level NICU is available?
Doing a tour and hiring a doula will make any hospital experience better. We are happy to talk about options in a complementary consultation and support your choice for care provider, hospitals, and your desired birth experience!