I’m having a baby, now what?
Congratulations! You’re pregnant or planning to adopt and you are living in one of the best neighborhoods in the United States! Of course you will have many questions and many decisions to make before your new baby arrives. I’ve created this website to help you in every possible way I can.
If you’ve lived in this area for a while, you may already have a Gynecologist or an OB/Gyn. For those of you that are new to the area, you may be wondering how to find an Obstetrician or Midwife to deliver your baby. If you’re like me, you may want to ask all of your colleagues who have kids who they recommend. Another idea is to look upWashingtonian Magazine’s Best Doctors on the web or by going to your local library and finding the annual Best Doctors issue. That’s precisely how I found my OB/Gyn.
Going to one of the “Best Doctors” in the area has it’s pros and cons. In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. The biggest pro for me was that I was with one of the BEST medical professionals not just in the DC area, but in the entire country. The biggest con for me was that I had to compete with others on a wait list, which meant scheduling appointments weeks upon weeks in advance and waiting a very long time on days I had scheduled appointments. I’m a very organized person and had a pretty flexible schedule during my pregnancies, so it worked out.
Once you’ve made a few selections to choose from, check with your insurance to see if any of the doctors are covered by your health insurance. Afterward, you should call the doctor’s office and schedule a consultation. Consultations are key to determine whether or not you vibe with each other. The birth of your child is going to become one of the most important days in your entire life and you will want to make sure that you and your doctor have “matching energies” and ideas about your pregnancy and delivery.
Here are some questions you may want to ask at your consultation:
1. With which hospitals are you affiliated? You may be looking for a doctor who is affiliated with a certain hospital
2. Are you part of a group practice? If so, will I be able to see only you or will I be on rotation to see the doctor who’s available at the time of my appointment?
I am the type of person who likes to have just one specific doctor and doesn’t like to be on rotation. However, there are some benefits to being on rotation. One of the benefits is that you may actually get to know another doctor that you actually prefer over the primary doctor you visited. Another benefit is that in case there’s an emergency and your primary doctor can’t make it to your appointment or delivery, you will have a “back-up” that you’re comfortable with and someone you actually have met before.
3. What are your thoughts on natural childbirth, the risk of labor induction and the risk of ceasarean section?
4. What type of pre-natal tests do you recommend and how often? I was considered high-risk, so I preferred a doctor who ordered an advanced level blood screening and also an advanced level of sonograms. Some mothers may prefer the minimum amount of testing.
5. If I have an emergency or a random question, how should I proceed? Does he/she offer a 24 hour hotline? Does he/she have a reputable nurse on staff that yields important phone calls?
Complete Blood Count (CBC)–this will test you HCG levels to see how well your pregnancy is progressing
Ultrasound/Sonogram–Most doctors recommend two to three ultrasounds. The first is usually is ordered between the eighth and twelfth week of your pregnancy in order to confirm your pregnancy and determine the due date. The second sonogram is normally ordered between the eighteenth and twentieth week to determine the sex and the development of internal organs. The third and last sonogram is done around the thirty sixth week to determine the baby’s size and position.
Nuchal Translucency Screening: This is also called a nuchal fold scan. It determines a baby’s risk for Down’s Syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities and congenital heart problems by measuring the amount of clear space in the tissue at the back of the neck of your developing baby. This test is a very good indicator as to whether or not you should undergo more intrusive diagnostic tests.
CVS (Chroionic Villus Sampling): This test is performed in the hospital and is done between ten and twelve weeks.
Amniocentesis: This test is performed in a hospital. An ultrasound image of your uterus is taken while a medical technician inserts a long hollow needle through the abdominal wall and withdraws a small amount of amniotic fluid. The doctor is able to test the extracted fluid for chromosomal abnormalities that can cause birth defects and other conditions such as Down’s Syndrome and Mental Retardation.
Virginia Hospital Center
1701 North George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA 22205
Virginia Hospital Center is a state of the art medical facility with luxurious ammenities featuring Wi-Fi, Spa Services and a Family Lounge.
Pre-natal and Postnatal Yoga
CPR Instruction and Training
INOVA Fairfax Hospital
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
INOVA Fairfax is the most popular hospital in the Clarendon and DC area. It delivers more babies than any other hospital in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. It is one of the top ten busiest obstetrical oriented hospitals in the United States.
New To Parenting
INOVA Alexandria Hospital
4320 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22304
703-204-3373 (Women’s Center)
INOVA Alexandria offers services from pre-pregnancy genetic testing and a high risk perinatal department.
The Birthing Inn
Loudon Hospital Center
44045 Riverside Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176
The Birthing Inn combines a birthing center with a traditional hospital. It offers a holistic approach to childbirth while providing all the most advanced modern technology available. All rooms are private with a soaking tub for labor. Both OB/Gyns and Midwives assist with labor and delivery. They have a neonatal department to assist with high-risk births.
Cesarean Section Preparation
All Natural/Non-Medicated Vaginal Birth
George Washington University Hospital
900 23rd Street NW
Washington D.C. 20037
GW specializes in high-risk delivery and neonatal care. It offers “couplet care”–one nurse may provide care for both the mother and the baby in the postpartum room or inside the nursery. It is a “teaching hospital” where student “resident” doctors assist in all aspects of your experience. I am partial to this hospital because I had the privilege of birthing both of my children here and I enjoyed my experience immensely.
Cesarean Section Preparation
New Mommy Preparation
Georgetown University Hospital
3800 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington D.C. 20007
Georgetown University Hospital specializes in high-risk pregnancies and has one of the most highly regarded NICUs in the area. They offer LDR suites with Jacuzzi tubs.
Sibley Memorial Hospital
5255 Loughboro Road, NW
Washington D.C. 20016
Sibley offers private rooms.
Many women find the atmosphere and amenities of a birthing center more appealing than the conventional hospital.
The primary difference between a Birthing Center and a Hospital is that you will not be hooked up to an IV or any monitors or medicated. You will also be more free and mobile before the labor begins.
Birthcare and Women’s Health
1501 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Birthcare Birthing Center provides a warm, home-like environment for women with low-risk pregnancies to deliver. There is a labor and birthing area with two private rooms. Both have private bathrooms with access to a larger bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. Birth Care is not affiliated with a hospital. However, if hospital intervention becomes a priority, a safe and effective transportation procedure is in place.
Most mothers want the best, healthiest and painless way to deliver their babies. It is a good idea to take a class to prepare you mentally and physically. Here are the Top 5 Methods I could find:
1. The Lamaze Method
This method combines a breathing technique (“the hoo-hoo-hoo, hee-hee, hee”) used during contractions with relaxation exercises designed to help you get through labor more comfortably.
2. The Bradley Method
This method is based on a calming pattern of relaxation, deep abdominal breathing and close teamwork between partner and mother. Bradley’s goal is a completely un-medicated pregnancy, labor and birth. Classes are usually for 12 weeks with 12 individual units of instruction.
This technique combines hypnosis with pain management. Hypno-Birthing technique teaches relaxation techniques and how to overcome fear of pain related to the birthing process through the medium of hypnosis.
4. Water Labor and Water Birth
This method promotes the use of a water filled tub to comfort the body during labor. The baby takes his or her first breaths while most of his body is submerged in water–which is supposed to simulate a gentle, womblike environment for the baby.
5. Birthing From Within
This method provides a holistic approach to natural childbirth and is based on the book by Pam England, Birthing From Within: An Extraordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation. It includes: self-hypnosis instruction and breathing exercises.
Doulas & Baby Nurses
Once you’ve had your baby, you may need some extra help to help you transition to being a new parent. One option is hiring a Doula. Another option is to hire a Baby Nurse. These types of professionals are quite helpful, especially if you are new to the area and don’t have family or friends available to help out. Here are a few of the Baby Nurse and Doula Agencies in the area that work within our area.
Capital City Nurses
Baby Nurses work with new parents to help them learn to care for their newborns while making the transition from hospital to home. They offer meal preparation, housekeeping and help with older siblings. They help to maintain a level of privacy while providing in-home care for the mother and the baby.
Child Birth Care
This company provides doulas and offers competitive services and fees.
This company provides doulas and baby-nurse services. Doulas and baby-nurses can provide help with feedings, bathings, etc. around the clock.
Mother and Baby Matters, Inc.
This service provides services from consultations to day and overnight plans. Travel doulas are available as well for both domestic and international destinations.
All-American Nanny, LTD
A Choice Nanny
Nannies & More
Special Care Nannies
White House Nannies
Au Pair Services
Au Pair In America Online, Inc.
Au Pair USA
Chi AuPair USA
Cultural Care Au Pair
The Breastfeeding Center For Greater Washington
International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
La Leche League International
Mother & Baby Matters
Northern Virginia Lactation Consultants
PRESCHOOLS & CHILDCARE CENTERS IN NORTHERN ARLINGTON
(Clarendon Moms Official List)
PRESCHOOLS & CHILDCARE CENTERS IN NORTHERN ARLINGTON (Clarendon Moms Official List)
Arlington Children’s Center: The primary goal of their teachers is to nurture each individual child’s emotional and educational needs, as well as provide a sense of routine, opportunities to be creative, and prepare the child for primary education.
Arlington Montessori House (also known as Hippo House): The school is affectionately referred to as Hippo House by staff and families. They offer two classes of 28 students (of mixed ages), one teacher and one assistant. Both teachers hold Association Montessori International (AMI) certification. The program is a three-year program: two years of pre-school and kindergarten. We expect new families to enroll with intention of keeping their child in the school for three years–through kindergarten. This third year is the culmination of the primary level Montessori experience where children reap the benefits of the past two years, facilitating entry into a new school with a high degree of self-confidence, independence and enthusiasm for learning.
Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool: Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool is a child-centered cooperative with the mission of developing and encouraging social, intellectual and physical development in the children entrusted to its care.
Ballston Children’s Center: Their philosophy is to provide a quality day care program in a learning and loving environment. The primary goal of our teachers is to nurture each individual child’s emotional and educational needs, as well as provide a sense of routine, opportunities to be creative, and prepare the child for primary education. Our teachers will bring unconditional love and emotional security, a sense of routine and an opportunity to be creative and resourceful.
Blue Bird Day School: School should provide a happy, relaxed and supportive environment that contributes to the development of the child. This development should occur physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. Each of these areas combined form a puzzle that all persons are required to have to understand the world and their place in it. They believe children need many chances to excel in these respective areas. We hope to achieve this through the questions we ask, goals we set, information we provide and by the behavior we model.
Clarendon Childcare Center: Their curriculum is “emergent”. Topics of study, the selection of materials in the room, projects and field trips are carefully planned from the children’s interests and needs. Children are encouraged to observe, to experiment and to make their own discoveries, and all activities are seen as opportunities for learning to problem-solve.
Early Steps Bilingual Preschool: The vision of this center is integral development in which children age two to five can develop basic knowledge and fundamental skills to succeed in life by enriching the minds of young children as they grow within a society that demands bilingual/Spanish language capabilities.
Early Years Preschool: Early Years Preschool provides a nurturing environment that promotes the development of a child’s emotional, social, intellectual and physical skills. Creative, stimulating activities allow each child to develop and learn at his or her own pace through exploration and play.
Embassy School: No website available. Call 703. 525.2144
Finding Dreams In Children Child Development Center aka Bright Horizons Preschool & Education Center Opened in Fall 2006, the center serves 92 children on a full-time basis. Their emphasis is on preparation for success in life, academic excellence and a rich and rewarding childhood.
Little Ambassadors Academy: Little Ambassadors’ Academy offers premier and quality childcare with a curriculum based on engaging our students to learn through discovery. Little Ambassadors’ offers full days of multiple activities that create a foundation to help children develop into lifelong learners. Starting at the age of two, our students will be exposed to Spanish as a second language. All students will learn different aspects of various cultures to help them understand the benefit of possessing a multicultural education.
Faith Lutheran Preschool: Their mission is to empower each individual child to investigate his or her interests within a loving community of peers and adults by providing a safe, playful environment where children are free to discover, explore, question, and express their own experiences, predictions, and evaluations in myriad “languages.” They offer a variety of materials, tools, concepts, and equipment to help children see alternatives, to problem solve and make their own decisions. They are committed to observe and listen, and then to react to and validate their students ideas with respect, imagination and tenderness.
First Baptist Church of Clarendon Child Development Center: (also known as CDC) Child Development Center was initiated in September, 1969 as a non-profit ministry of the First Baptist Church of Clarendon. Since that time, the Child Development Center has experienced steady growth and is now one of the largest Child Development Centers in Arlington County.
Full Circle Montessori: Their principal mission is to foster a Montessori learning community that supports the development of the whole child – emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically – through a dynamic partnership among staff, families, and the greater community. Their core values are: kindness, empathy, love, respect, openness, tolerance, peace, humor and laughter.
Kindercare: KinderCare Learning Centers are designed to be a home away from home for children where they can learn, laugh, grow and have fun. Kindercare child care centers offer a mix of large spaces for group learning and several smaller age-specific classrooms for age-appropriate learning so your child gains social skills as they develop academically.
Kinhaven: Kinhaven School, a parent-governed, independent preschool, provides a rich community of involved parents, highly educated teaching professionals and school staff. Kinhaven School’s unique model harnesses the professional expertise of experienced faculty along with the parent power generated by their membership organization to offer parents a wonderful opportunity to influence their children’s early education.
Lee Center Cooperative Playgroup: This is a play group cooperative that is fully parent-run without paid teachers or staff. Parents work the play-group 1/3 of the days the play group is in session. Parents have the option of dropping off their children on days they’re not working at the play group. These are licensed play groups of 12 students ages 1 to 4. There are 6 play groups that meet once or twice for 2 hours. Tuition is for a 12 week term.
Madison Center Playgroup: This is a play group cooperative that is a parent-run and parent-funded program for children ages 1 to 5. It is licensed for child care by Arlington County and the state of Virginia. During morning groups, parents take turns supervising the children. During afternoon groups, parents stay with their children for the entire play session.
Mount Olivet Preschool: They believe that their developmental philosophy allows them to provide children in the community with stimulating experiences consistent with the best principles and purposes of early childhood education. They strive to do this in a safe, loving, Christian environment with a low teach/child ratio.
Overlee Preschool: is a parent-run preschool since 1945. They seek to provide a stimulating and happy environment that will help children to learn to respect themselves, to respect the feelings, ideas and rights of others; to make choices, resolve conflicts and solve problems; to explore new ways of doing things while developing confidence as a whole individual.
Rock Spring Preschool: is a parent-run school, with a teacher-led curriculum, and children-led play. Founded in 1943 by a group of caring and inventive mothers, Rock Spring is the oldest cooperative preschool in Arlington offering age-specific classes for one to five-year-olds, as well as an Extended Day Program and Summer Camp.
Tender Roots: Tender Roots is a cooperative toddler program inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. Tender Roots hopes to provide an engaging and nurturing environment for one and two year old children, while in the daily security of their parent/caregiver. Teachers guide the day, supporting children and parents in the learning process.
Trinity Presbyterian Preschool: Established in 1957, Trinity Preschool has earned a reputation for providing a well-rounded, nurturing environment that helps children blossom by offering smaller classes.
Westover Baptist Preschool: offers a nurturing environment that encourages a feeling of success in children attending their school, by designing learning activities that are developmentally appropriate and centered around play. Children experience a variety of wonderful activities throughout the year, and family friendly events.