We’ve gotten A LOT of phone calls this week from expectant parents as things shift rapidly around the coronavirus outbreak. One of the most common questions: “I’m having a baby soon and am worried about the visitor policy at the hospital. Will my doula still be able to come? Will my family birth center’s new COVID-19 policies allow my partner to be with me?”
Before this health crisis, you could literally have a dance party in your hospital room while having a baby if you wanted. You could have anyone — your partner, friends, birth doula, neighbor, Amazon driver — be part of the experience. Party ON! Now, your BIRTH-day party may be a bit more limited as family birth center’s new COVID-19 policies restrict visitors not just in the family birth units, but across the entire hospital as well. Below, find most major Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington family birth center’s new COVID-19 policies.
The Major Portland Area Family Birth Center’s New COVID-19 Policies
These are current as of 3/19/2020 but things may change. Right now, though, there is a consistent message across most Labour & Delivery Units in our Portland Hospitals during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Legacy Salmon Creek, Good Samaritan, Mt. Hood Medical Center & Willamette Falls
There are many Legacy hospitals in the Vancouver and Portland, Oregon area. While they all have different styles and approaches, they are all holding to the same family birth center COVID-19 policies. They allow one (1) visitor per patient in the Family Birth Center. Visitors must be at least 16 years old and in good health. This chosen visitor will be the only visitor allowed in the birth place during their stay.Per their discretion, providers could ask visitors to stay in the waiting room. Click here for full hospital details.
Unlike some of the other hospitals, OHSU has a one (1) person visitor allowance for the entire hospital, not just for Labor and Delivery. They ask for all visitors to be in good health and at least 16 years old. There is no restriction on visiting hours. Click here for full hospital details.
Kaiser Westside & Kaiser Sunnyside
Kaiser has adopted the youngest age for visitors and excited siblings — anyone 12 years old and up can visit. They allow one (1) visitors per patient in the family birth center. People who have flu symptoms are being asked to wait until they are healthy to visit patients at the hospital. Click here for full hospital details.
Peacehealth Family Birth Center/Hospital
Peacehealth in Vancouver, Wa location allows one (1) support people in their Family Birth Center. There doesn’t seem to be an age restriction. This chosen visitor will be the only visitor allowed in the birth place during their stay. At this time the rest of the hospital is not allowing any visitors, so the family birth center is making an exception in allowing one. They will hold this restriction until COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health threat. There are also some restrictions to the Family Birth Center entrance, so research before you go into labour. Click here for full details.
Providence Portland & Providence St. Vincent’s
We have spoken to some contacts on staff but have not seen in writing that the policy is restricted to one (1) visitors.
At this time, this is good news for those pregnant and planning to give birth in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area. It can be nerve-wracking enough to have a baby, so in the middle of family birth center’s new COVID-19 policies, you can have peace of mind knowing:
- You can still plan for visitors
- Your doula can still help (just may be more labouring at home and virtually)
- You can have your partner, or support person be right by your side as you meet your baby
There is so much stress and unknown right now, but remember your birth experience can still be a positive experience with all that is going on. Education, stress relief, and becoming a active participant in your birth preparation and during labour can make all the difference in the world. These are things a doula can help with – virtually! By hiring a birth doula, you can greatly impact the satisfaction for both mom and partner while reducing the risk of unnecessary interventions, especially when tensions are high.
Check for updates from your doula or provider the closer you get to your due date in case there are any changes on the visitor policies at your birth place.
If you’re in the Portland or Vancouver area and you’ve not talked to a doula yet about the support they can bring to both you and your birth partner, schedule a free virtual doula consultation.