Saturday, December 29, 2012

Birth options and recommendations in the D.C. area

A blog reader recently asked me for recommendations for providers and birth locations in the Washington D.C. area. She lives in Falls Church, VA and is open to considering all of her options, from home to birth centers to hospitals. She had her first children with epidurals and would really like to have her next baby unmedicated (although she's a bit nervous about how she's going to do it!).

Please add your recommendations in the comments or, if you'd like to keep things more private, via email.

Thanks so much!


  1. We used with our son. They offer both home and birth center births. We ended up in the hospital due to going into labor at 35 weeks but was mostly happy with my pre and post natal care. The midwife actually drove me to the hospital and waited til both my doula and partner had arrived. It is a rather large practice and I was having trouble meeting all the midwives and really only developed mush of a relationship with one. Which would have been a problem if I had had to deliver with a different one. But if a larger practice isn't a problem for you they are a great choice.

  2. My second and third children were born at the hands of Special Beginnings midwives, who really let me catch my own babies. I had great experiences with them. It was worth the long drive from our house to their office in Annapolis. It is quite a trek from Falls Church, but if you called them they would be able to recommend their peers who were more local for you.

    When my second child was breech at 36 weeks they were more than willing to recommend midwives who were able (allowed) to deliver breech babies. In the end he flipped on his own.

  3. There's quite a few options in the DC area!

  4. Seconding the recommendation for BirthCare! The midwives are all competent CNMs and they attend home and birth center births.

    They're busy though! If she's not pregnant yet, it's a good idea to start well-woman care with them in advance.

    There's also the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, D.C. Also a good option.

    Good luck!

  5. In addition to the great recommendations already made, there are also a number of good CPMs in Virginia not available to those of us in the rest of the area (DC and MD only allow CNMs to attend HBs). I hear excellent things about Tammi McKinley!

  6. I really liked my experience giving birth at the Birthing Inn, with the Loudoun Community Midwives. I have heard a very enthusiastic recommendation for Birthcare from a woman in my church who had several home births with them (and they are much closer to Falls Church).

  7. I'm also interested in this topic. Living in Rockville (near DC)

  8. If she's wanting a hospital birth VHC is my favorite. Karen King, CNM is an awesome midwife allowing moms a lot of time to progress. 5 times the normal time, course mom and baby were fine. Other doctors in her practice have the same mindset. They also believe in delayed cord clamping no will circ, but really prefer not to.

    My other favorite hospital is Fauquire with Dr Bell. He is a man that allows the birth to progress at its pace. He helped my student/client, a VBA2C, to go to 42 weeks, *without* pressure for a repeat csection. He even offered to induce once she hit 42 weeks. He *never* pushed an epidural, nor did she get one. Fauquire offers labor, birth, and postpartum rooms, so you never have to move rooms. They also have labor tubs and telemetry monitoring so moms are free to move.

    For homebirth I'd have to second Tammi Mckinly. She will offer you the full hands off approach supporting a family birth experience with a midwife's support. Her birth assistant is also a seasoned doula. She won't use dopplers since babies do respond adversely to them. She believes less interventions keeps birth safer, that includes not doing internal exams and breaking bag of waters. If I didn't have a family birth, going unassisted, I would have had Tammi attend my birth.

    The nurses at Fairfax have always said if moms are wanting an unmedicated birth their best hope is with Kaiser, I've experienced that as truth too.

    Please don't let cost stand in your way of a birth that you need, but also your baby needs. A hospital birth will welcom your baby with a blue bulb, scrubbing baby, and baby crying. I've had 7 hospital birth I've wanted. Then I realized I was having births I needed, but my babies were not. So the 8th had the birth he needed to.

    I wish you a very happy birth day.

    Warm regards,

  9. I would have her join the yahoo group She can post questions about specific local providers and hospitals. They also have a website with a provider list.

    I had my second homebirth with Marilee Pinkleton ( loved both experiences. I couldn't recommend her enough! If she is looking for a hospital birth I would HIGHLY recommend Wisdom Midwifery at GWU Hospital. As a doula, I have attended more than 2 dozen births at GWU Hospital and more than half of them with the midwives. Many of those births were waterbirths and even a couple of them VBAC waterbirths! Even if she can't get in with the midwives, the nurses at GW are used to intermittent monitoring and women laboring in the water so she won't have to fight with the nurses.



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