George Washington Birth Stats

As a doula and birth photographer, I have compiled helpful stats and info about the birth environment at GWU.

Check out my photography galleriesdoula services, or learn more about a particular hospital

About GWU

"No matter your age or stage in life, our obstetrics and gynecologic providers offer a full range of quality care with a holistic approach to your wellness." - GWU Obstetrics and Gynecology

"For women seeking natural, unmedicated childbirth, Midwifery Services at GW Hospital offer the best of both worlds—natural childbirth with a certified nurse midwife in a hospital environment." - GWU Midwifery Services 


Births per Month300
Episiotomy*Very Rare
Unmedicated BirthVery common
Vaginal Multiples
WaterbirthNot currently Available

*This is the overall rate. The midwifery program has said their c-section rate is less than 10%.

**Depending on the circumstances, patients may be able to birth a breech baby vaginally. Midwifery patients will be supported by obstetricians with breech experience. It is very rare for the midwives or obstetricians to accept a breech transfer into their practice late in pregnancy.

General Information

Hospital Location900 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Labor and Delivery3rd Floor
(202) 715-4000
ParkingPatient and Visitor Parking
Enter on H Street, between 22nd & 23rd
Daily Maximum $22.00
Weekend Daily Maximum $12.00
Valet ParkingMain Entrance
900 23rd St NW
After hoursUse ER Entrance


Well-baby NurseryNo

Induction Methods

Swiping membranes
Breaking water
Cervical Ripening
Castor Oil*
Nipple Stimulation*
AcupunctureClick to Add

*Midwifery patients are occasionally encouraged by the midwives to use castor oil or nipple stimulation to induce or augment labor. They allow you to use a breast pump, either your own or the hospital's, while you are at the hospital.

Pain-relief Options

Epidural Block
Spinal Block
Local Anesthetic Injection
Pudendal Block
Sterile Water Injections
Nitrous OxideNo

Labor and Delivery Amenities

Private LDR RoomsAll Rooms
Toilets and ShowersAll Rooms
Adjustable lightsAll Rooms
Adjustable temperatureAll Rooms
Jacuzzi TubNo
Birthing TubNot currently Available
Squat BarUpon Request
Birth Balls
Peanut Balls
Wireless EFM UnitNot currently available

Visitation During Labor and Delivery

Siblings allowed during labor
Persons allowed in triagePartner and doula
Persons allowed in LDR*Doula plus 5
Persons allowed during epidural insertion**No one
Persons allowed during c-sectionPartner only

*Additional support persons and siblings may not be allowed during flu season 

**Partners, doulas, and other support persons must leave for 30 minutes during epidural insertion.

Labor Policies

Nurses can accommodate most safe birthing practices. Some alternative birthing practices may need to be approved by your midwife or doctor.

Saline/Hep lockRequired
Drinking*Mother's choice
Eating*Mother's choice
Time Limit after PROMGenerally allow 24 hours
Vaginal examsExtremely Limited
Blood pressure cuffIntermittent
Electronic Fetal MonitoringIntermittent
Typical monitoring**40 off - 20 on
Wireless EFM
Belly Band

*Broth, juice, ice, crackers, jello are provided. Midwives allow mom to eat and drink whatever she is in the mood for, as long as she doesn't have the epidural. OB patients, and midwifery patients with an epidural, are asked to only drink clear liquids.

**OBs typically ask patients to be on continuous monitoring. Depending on the OB, they grant exceptions to this, especially for unmedicated moms. Depending on the midwife on-call, midwifery patients are asked to go on the monitor either 20 minutes out of every hour, or to simply listen through one contraction each 30 minutes. As long as baby looks good and mom is laboring without an epidural, narcotic, or pitocin, she can continue this monitoring schedule until delivery. During delivery, all patients must have continuous monitoring. However, most nurses will hold the monitor in place so mom can push in whatever position is right for her.  

Delivery Positions 

Your doctor has the most influence on which position you can deliver in. Though options are more limited with an epidural, you can still ask for an upright position.

GWU hospital supports mother-led pushing. As long as mom and baby are doing well, mom picks her position and the nurses and care providers support her.

Laying down with stirrups
Hands and knees
Squat on bed
Backward on bed
Squat on floor
Water Birth
Birth StoolNo

Newborn Services

GWU Hospital provides all routine newborn procedures. However, you can opt-out of any procedures and screenings, except the newborn exam, by signing a waiver. 

If you have a strong desire about any newborn procedure, be sure you mention it when you arrive, and remind them again just before delivery.

Newborn Exam
Cord ClampingRoutinely Delayed
Encourage immediate skin-to-skin
Encourage first feeding in LDR room
Delay procedures while mom and baby bond
Vitamin K shot
Vitamin K oral dropsYou must provide
Erythromycin eye ointment
Metabolic screening test
Bilirubin test
Hearing Screening
Hep B Vaccine
Public cord blood collectionNo
Private cord blood collection
Placenta Services*

*Moms can take their placenta home with them the day of delivery. You are encouraged to bring a cooler and have your doula or other support person take it home and process it within a few hours of your birth.

Postpartum Recovery

All visitors must be healthy. Everyone must bring an ID and check in on the third floor at the Women's Center Concierge Desk. 

Length of stay: Vaginal2 nights
Length of stay: C-section3 nights
Postpartum rooming-inEncouraged
Private postpartum recovery rooms
Sleep-chair for partner
Partner visitationUnlimited
Family Visitation8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Other vistors over 12 years old8:30 AM - 10:00 PM

Lactation Support

Nurses can help you get started with breastfeeding. A lactation consultant is available during the day to offer guidance and support.

Certified Lactation Consultants
Breastfeeding supply store
Breastfeeding support groupMeets Fridays 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Colonial Health Center
Marvin Center, Ground Floor
800 21St Street NW.
Breastfeeding Center of Greater WashingtonFree Support Groups
Breastfeeding Classes
IBCLC counsults


Mom, baby, and partner have matching security bands
In-hospital Newborn Photography
Family Waiting Room


Feel free to contact me about photography or birth doula services at GWU Hospital.