Updated February 5, 2021
When the covid lockdown hit in March of 2020, one of the most devastating effects was that birthing people were being restricted from having their support people at their labor and birth in Portland.
From March to September 2020, Portland hospital covid restrictions allowed only for the partner to attend their birth.
In September 2020, Portland hospital covid restrictions were updated to allow doulas to attend. HOORAY!
Something interesting happened. Birthing people were bring their sister or mother to their birth, along with their partner, saying that family member was their doula. Truthfully, I think a friend or family member could be your doula – they know you, they may be able to provide you with emotional and physical support to a degree.
But this didn’t sit well with hospital administrators.
Now, only doulas with a legitimate doula training certification are allowed to attend as the 2nd support person, in addition to the partner. Doulas are required to wear a face mask universally – and at Legacy, they must also wear a face shield.
At hospitals and birth centers, doulas must pass the health screening upon entry. They must not have a fever or any symptoms of covid.
Effective January 1, 2021, The Legacy hospital system is requiring that the birthing parent bring a copy of their doula’s certification prenatally – showing up with it in labor is too late. If you’re planning to birth at a Legacy hospital, make sure to have your doula’s certificate on file by 36 weeks gestation. Doulas must wear face mask AND face shield/glasses. Doulas must provide their own eye protection.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Providence hospitals in the Portland area with proper proof of certification. Doulas must stay in the labor room, they can’t come and go. There will be a temperature check upon entry and they must wear a face mask the entire time.
Update 2/5/2021: Doula reports they were allowed to come at go at St Vincent.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at OHSU in Portland and Hillsboro with proper proof of certification.
Birthing people are allowed two support people in Labor and Delivery at Kaiser hospitals (does not necessarily have to be a certified doula) as of 1/29/2021.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Portland, in addition to the partner.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Dundee, in addition to the partner.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Alma Birth Center in Portland, in addition to the partner.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Aurora BirthCenter in Aurora, in addition to the partner.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Canyon Medical Center in Portland, in addition to the partner.
Doulas are allowed to attend births at Midwifery Birth Center (Women’s Healthcare Associates) in Portland, in addition to the partner.
Updated February 5, 2021
Natalie Broders is a birth photographer, birth filmmaker and birth doula located in Portland, Oregon. She lives on a farm with her husband and 2 kids. They raise chickens and love to garden. Natalie loves babywearing, cloth diapering and is passionate about her work as an advocate for birthing people. She had one of her babies at a birth center and her second baby was born at home, in water.