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Current Hospital Policy

As per Alberta Health Services Family Support & Visitation Guidance

Current as of November 17, 2021

"If a patient, or caregiver of a patient, expresses the need for in-person support, then the following applies for designated support person(s) and visitors:

  • Updated Nov. 15 - Maternity – one (1) designated support person can be on-site with the patient. Requests by patients for additional birthing support will be considered by site command posts on a case-by-case basis (see section on additional birthing support below). If your designated support person is a doula, they are expected to be fully immunized. One (1) additional designated support person (for the infant) will be considered in cases of adoption or surrogacy if physical distancing permits. 

  • Inpatient Services - two (2) designated support persons can be identified however, only one (1) at a time can be on site with the patient unless alternate arrangements have been made with the service area (e.g., personal support worker or care provider), or if requested by the service area.


Requests for additional designated support should be made in advance by patients through communication with the delivering site. Requests should be forwarded for review to the Site Command Post (or delegate) by the service area during business hours. Approval decisions do not sit with frontline staff and rationale to deny an additional designated support person is based on the individual situation and the ability to maintain a safe environment for the staff, patient, and infant.


Requests for an additional designated support person will not be approved if:

  • The designated support person is a hired caregiver/support/doula who is not fully immunized as of Dec. 1, 2021;

  • The designated support person is symptomatic, awaiting test results, or COVID-19 positive;

  • The designated support person is not immunized or partially immunized and has had recent close contact or exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, and they have not completed the AHS facility access 14 day or 10 day quarantine as required by AHS policy;

  • The designated support person has ANY influenza or respiratory like illness symptoms; and

  • Considerations for adequate space to physically distance already identified in this guidance cannot be accommodated."


Hospital Specific Guidance

Standard Protocol (See "Current Access Protocols" Below)

  • Rockview General Hospital

  • Peter Lougheed Centre

  • South Health Campus

  • Foothills Medical Centre

  • High River Hospital

  • Lethbridge Regional Hospital

Alternative Protocol

  • Royal Alexandra Hospital: Certified (trained) doulas are permitted. Bring a training document and/or proof certification with you to the hospital. Pre-approval is not required. Be prepared to present proof of immunization after November 1, 2021. 

  • Grey Nuns Community Hospital & Misericordia Community Hospital: 2DSPs are permitted in maternity provided that they pass additional screening procedures. No pre-approval is necessary. Subject to change.


Current Access Protocol

As per Alberta Health Services Acute Care Visitation Committee

Current as of November 17, 2021

“A patient should have the ability to request a Doula attendance as a second DSP and that the request NOT be unreasonably denied. ... [ A request for doula support ] should not be arbitrarily dismissed without strong grounds."

It has been asked that the DAA reinforce to doulas and client families that patients should advocate to have their doula present as a second Designated Support Person, and to make their wishes and their doula's credentials known well in advance of arrival.


In order to best support their request, patients should:

  • Notify their primary care provider that they would like to request a DSP exception for their doula, and re-affirm this request within 3 weeks of their due date.

  • Ensure that their Primary Care Provider submits a request to an additional Designated Support Person by submitting a pre-planning form and/or having direct communication with the birth site. Requests should include vaccination status of support person as well as any relevant professional credentials (eg: training / certification status, insurance coverage, PPE compliance training).

  • If patient's Primary Care Provider is unwilling to make this request in writing to the unit and verify acceptance/rejection, patient may call their Labour & Delivery site directly to make a personal request.

  • Approved requests will be provided with a letter or indication on their patient chart of approved exception, which shall be observed upon site access.

  • Midwifery patients anticipating a home birth are encouraged to apply in advance for approval in case of emergent transfer.

  • During business hours: requests for an additional Designated Support Person should be forwarded for approval to the Site Command Post (or Executive Director).
    After business hours / Labors actively in progress: requests can be approved through administration on call. 

  • If patient receives a denial without justification, they may request rationale as well as ask that a Director or Site Command Post adjudicate their request. They may also engage AHS Patient Relations (for advance planning only; not relevant in active scenarios) by calling 1-855-550-2555.


  • DAA has prepared a simple doula information template that may be edited in Canva and provided to clients for the purpose of requesting access. GET YOUR TEMPLATE HERE.

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