Natural-birth friendly hospitals w/ midwives in DC area? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Natural-birth friendly hospitals w/ midwives in DC area?

I live in Boston but there's a good chance my husband and I will be in the DC area this summer and I'm due at the end of July.  


Can anyone recommend natural-birth -friendly hospitals with midwives in the DC area? (MD, VA OK too)   

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Re: Natural-birth friendly hospitals w/ midwives in DC area?

  • Congrats on expecting and welcome to the DC area. Will you be visiting or moving? Any idea where you'll be located to narrow the focus? Almost any OB will support a med-free hospital delivery, but knowing where you'll be staying / living will help us provide recommendations.
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  • We'll just be there for the summer.  We don't really know where yet - most likely close to Bethesda but also possibly Reston :) 



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  • OK. For Bethesda / Montgomery County, - there are two recent posts on ob/gyns in the area here and here. Hopefully Reston ladies will weigh in, but it seems like ladies who've delivered in the Inova hospital system are satisfied with their care.
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  • I had a med-free birth at Holy Cross hospital. They were very supportive. I didn't have a midwife (I had an OB), but I also hired a doula from this group. My doula was invaluable.
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  • I answered in one of those posts another poster linked to. We did SGAH with Simmonds, Martin & Helmbrecht.
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  • If you end up in VA, Loudoun Community Midwives are fantastic and they deliver at Loudoun Hospital's Birthing Inn. They are known for being a very natural-birth-friendly hospital and have labor tubs in the rooms (can labor in them but no water births). I ended up delivering there very quickly so didn't even  have a chance to take advantage of the labor support before DD was born, but never got a weird look about natural birth at all. There is also great lactation support there. If you are in Reston, it wouldn't be too long of a commute.

    I also had a baby at Reston Hospital and, while I had her mostly naturally (she was induced, but otherwise natural), I would not say that it is an overly natural birth-friendly hospital. Just as one indication, they have a hospital policy against doulas. I didn't plan to use one anyway, but just sort of an indication of how they respond to natural birth there. Still totally possible, but not as natural-birth-friendly.

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  • It will depend on where the provider you choose has privileges. Personally, I would avoid Reston Hospital. We toured Reston and it was lovely, but I found their anti-doula policy to be outrageous. They also take the baby from you to do some of the routine newborn procedures, which we found unacceptable.

    Inova Fair Oaks was doula-friendly, family-friendly, they have some nurses that love low-intervention births, and they have two rooms with laboring tubs. You are not allowed to deliver in the tub and they will not let you take home the placenta--if that is something you would like-- despite state laws protecting "products of conception", but it was the best of the options I had with my insurance.

    I had to go to Fair Oaks Hospital  four times over the course of my healthy-but-difficult PG and the nurses were receptive to our wishes and working with our doula. We had several nurses who were amazingly positive and supportive.

  • If you end up in Northern Virginia, I second the recommendation for Loudoun Community Midwives and the Birthing Inn at Inova Loudoun Hospital.  I'm due in June, so I can't speak for the hospital part of things, but LCM has been great.  We took a birthing class offered by one someone connected to the practice and it really helped us feel prepared.  They are 100% willing to go with your plan, whatever it is. 
  • Midwifery Care Associates, they are in North Bethesda.  They are WONDERFUL!  They deliver at Shady Grove and they have really worked with the hospital to make it as close to a birthing center experience as possible.  I liked every midwife that I met during my pregnancy and ended up having a delivery with the one midwife I did not meet, who was also wonderful.  The L&D nurses at Shady Grove were super supportive.
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