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  1. #1
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    Default Instructor Never Showed Up to Childbirth Class through my Hospital

    Hello, I've been a long term lurker but have never had a need to post until now.

    Basically I signed up for a Lamaze class offered through the hospital I plan to have my son at. It was supposed to be a two day course, 4 hours tonight, 6 hours tomorrow. I should also note this was not a free course, and one of several I signed up for at the hospital, but the first one I was scheduled to attend.

    DH and I arrived and found that the instructor had not. We waited along with the other couples there for an hour. The instructor never showed up. A security guard wished us luck, because according to him it is common for the instructor to no show. Several people tried calling the hospital in an attempt to find out where our instructor was and what to do, but to no avail.

    DH and I left. A few hours after we got home the instructor called, apologizing for not showing and saying it never got on her schedule for whatever reason. She said they'd be having a condensed version of the class the next day, that I could reschedule or I could get a refund. I'm going with the refund option, and I'm canceling the other classes I have scheduled with them because I don't want to have to play a game of guess whether or not the instructor will show.

    Here's the thing. DH and I toured the hospital early in my pregnancy because I'm nervous about hospital births as a whole and wanted to make sure it aligned with my philosophy and that they had a good support system. I chose this hospital because I liked their emphasis on bonding and the support they offered after birth for breastfeeding mothers. However, I have never actually had any experience with their services until now, and I'm not impressed. I know that classes are different from labor and delivery and what I will find there, but I'm worried. I'm thinking about switching hospitals. However, I'm also scared that I'm overreacting. I will be the first to admit I am hormonal and things tick me off more easily now than they would have before the pregnancy.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this? Are a hospital's educational programs a good indication of what's to come in the labor and delivery room? This is my first pregnancy so I've never encountered this situation before (though I've had my share of bad experiences with hospitals, hence my apprehension).

    Thanks in advance.
    My first child, Brent, is due the day before Thanksgiving! I have two furry children, a tuxedo cat and a German Shepherd.

  2. #2
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    IMO, I wouldn't blame the hospital for this. They usually "sub-contract" this kind of stuff out to self-employed instructors. In our area, it's almost like the instructors rent space in hospital meeting facilities, esp when it comes to Lamaze or more natural birthing methods, since the hospitals are in the business of making money (which means they want you to know ALL ABOUT epidurals, IVs, fetal monitoring, C-sections, etc--not how to aviod them).

    By the way, I'm due the day after you! We start our first birthing class (held at a church, but only b/c that's where the instructor "rents" space) next week. We have our hospital tour this coming weekend. They are run by completely different entities, though. Our birth instructor is a little scatterbrained (I never got the email w/ directions to the location of the church until I called), but the hospital tour is run by nurses and admin staff.
    Muffin, 2010
    Bubba, 2013

    "You've probably heard the expression 'I believe in God, just not organized religion.' I don't think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to 'I can't deny what the church does, but I don't believe in their God.' At least then they'd address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat." Francis Chan

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Even if the class was offered by someone on staff, I wouldn't worry too much. Scheduling mistakes happen. I'd be inclined to go to the class, not get the refund. Though, it might let you find better classes though if you don't go to the hospital. What matters most for the birth experience you hope for is your Dr. or midwife then possibly the nurses you get. If you get a bad fit of nurse, request a different one. I fond showing up with a doula made them assign me a nurse that was in tune (and in support) with what I was hoping for.

    There are so many fabulous independent childbirth courses out there- ones that are leaps and bounds better than your average hospital birth class. Maybe look with the Lamaze website or ask at your Dr. or mw office if they recommend anyone not with the hospital.

    I despised our hospital birth class though. Anyone who had read anything ahead of time would have been bored. And if you were informed it'd tick you ff about how they glossed over decisions and gave incomplete information. I didn't feel like they really wanted me to be truly informed. Of course, it was pretty obvious that few of the other parents there had read anything and were going to take what she said as the Truth. The instructor rubbed me the wrong way and I hoped up a storm that she wouldn't be a nurse at my birth (she was an L&D nurse).

    You might get a great class though. If you don't have any other options, you should go instead of get the refund. But, if you have any other choices you might look into them. Don't skip them unless you are going to do some reading on your own with your dp.

    Beth

  4. #4
    Uno-Mom's Avatar
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    Our class wasn't so great. And the hospital experience couldn't've been better. The hospital tour itself was more indicative, for our experience, of what the actual hospital culture.

    Our lame class issue may have been because it was an evening class and the couples didn't mesh so well. But the instructor wasn't exactly great, either. I'm a trainer myself (totally different specialty) and I know that a good teacher can create chemistry within a classs most of the time.

    Not knowing why you express concerns about hospital births ... can I suggest you consider a doula? We had one and she was a blessing. It would have been ok without her, too, but she was a blessing.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone. I've calmed down a bit, though I did find a much cheaper class that a local doula was offering, so hopefully that will work out. It's a relief to hear that the classes aren't a reflection on the hospital.

    bostonsmama: Cool! We'll both have something to be extra thankful for at Thanksgiving. How are you feeling right now? I'm exhausted but other than that fairly comfortable.

    Beth: I've been researching like mad, so probably one lead by a doula would be better. One of the reasons I got so ticked off is because I do take education so seriously, so if I felt they were withholding stuff I'd definitely think my time/money was wasted.

    Uno: I go back and forth on getting a doula. I'd really much rather do a home birth with just a midwife and DH, but DH is scared that something will go wrong because of some medical issues I've had in the past. I see birth as a private thing and the less people around the better, so if I have to do a hospital birth, then the doula becomes one more person who is there. If that makes sense. For example, I'm really close to my mom and know she'd back me up, and even though she would love to be there during the birth, I don't want her there.

    At the same time, I'm concerned about the high rates of unnecessary c-sections and the dispensing of pitocin when it's not necessary (especially since my due date is around a holiday). Combined with the fact that I have some rare anesthesia resistance, both are things I REALLY want to avoid. And I've heard that a good reason to get a doula is that it helps avoid a lot of those interventions. I guess I'll see how the class goes and how well we mesh.
    My first child, Brent, is due the day before Thanksgiving! I have two furry children, a tuxedo cat and a German Shepherd.

  6. #6
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    The doula could be one more gate keeper though- someone to keep extra bodies out b/c she can remind you to ask questions about why they are all there. Plus, by that time you know the doula and her presence likely won't make things feel less private. I do understand though. Loved my birth center birth with dh, CNM, RN and I. But, my hospital birth was dh, CNM, RN, doula and I so not really a much different feel. So long as the people there are respectful and understand your wishes the number isn't always a factor.

    The best protection you have against unnecessary stuff is really being on the same page with your careprovider. Have you gone over your birth plan with them?

    I hope the class goes well!

    Beth

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Himiko View Post
    Thanks everyone. I've calmed down a bit, though I did find a much cheaper class that a local doula was offering, so hopefully that will work out. It's a relief to hear that the classes aren't a reflection on the hospital.

    bostonsmama: Cool! We'll both have something to be extra thankful for at Thanksgiving. How are you feeling right now? I'm exhausted but other than that fairly comfortable.

    Beth: I've been researching like mad, so probably one lead by a doula would be better. One of the reasons I got so ticked off is because I do take education so seriously, so if I felt they were withholding stuff I'd definitely think my time/money was wasted.

    Uno: I go back and forth on getting a doula. I'd really much rather do a home birth with just a midwife and DH, but DH is scared that something will go wrong because of some medical issues I've had in the past. I see birth as a private thing and the less people around the better, so if I have to do a hospital birth, then the doula becomes one more person who is there. If that makes sense. For example, I'm really close to my mom and know she'd back me up, and even though she would love to be there during the birth, I don't want her there.

    At the same time, I'm concerned about the high rates of unnecessary c-sections and the dispensing of pitocin when it's not necessary (especially since my due date is around a holiday). Combined with the fact that I have some rare anesthesia resistance, both are things I REALLY want to avoid. And I've heard that a good reason to get a doula is that it helps avoid a lot of those interventions. I guess I'll see how the class goes and how well we mesh.
    I don't know where you live, but we're really lucky and have a small independent birth center which is where we are planning to have our first in October. It's literally across the street from the hospital in case there are any surprise issues which is a huge comfort to my parents.

    Have you read Ina May's book on childbirth, I'd highly recommend it. We're in a class right now (being taught by a doula) which I am mostly enjoying, but I admit Ina May's book has been a wonderful education and full of all sorts of advice I'd not thought about before. I only wish I had read it before we conceived and not around week 26/27 >>;

    good luck with your upcoming birth!
    Mother to DD 10/2010

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Himiko View Post
    Thanks everyone. I've calmed down a bit, though I did find a much cheaper class that a local doula was offering, so hopefully that will work out. It's a relief to hear that the classes aren't a reflection on the hospital.

    bostonsmama: Cool! We'll both have something to be extra thankful for at Thanksgiving. How are you feeling right now? I'm exhausted but other than that fairly comfortable.
    I think you'll like your doula-led class. I've had another doula visit our prenatal yoga class and she taught us some cool exercises/postions. Our doula is teaching our birthing classes, so it's extra awesome.

    I'm just now going through a "growth spurt" with baby that is really uncomfortable. I'm not sleeping well at all at night, and I wake up with the worst back ache, but a friend told me that it's common to reach certain milestones for growth and find discomfort during them...but that the real discomfort doesn't come til the end. We'll see!

    I tell everyone that DD has no intention of coming on time, so I fully expect to be able to eat my Thanksgiving dinner and even do Black Friday shopping...perhaps in hopes of jinxing things into coming early, but I really don't care. All's great otherwise. How 'bout you?
    Muffin, 2010
    Bubba, 2013

    "You've probably heard the expression 'I believe in God, just not organized religion.' I don't think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to 'I can't deny what the church does, but I don't believe in their God.' At least then they'd address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat." Francis Chan

  9. #9
    Uno-Mom's Avatar
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    In my mind, our doula was mainly there to support DH. In his mind, she was there to support me. Isn't that how partnerships work?

    Ours definitely helped me think through the interventions/pitocin stuff. My midwives really wanted to augment early on because of some possible s/sx of distress. She helped me sort through the options. I did eventually accept pitocin after 20 or so hours b/cs we weren't progressing & my midwife finally put her foot down! But I am glad I waited. It was a safe choice for those first 20 hours andI understood it better thanks to our doula.

    Anyway - good luck with your choice! Our hospital was actually pretty awesome about everything.

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