Ottawa Hospital to stop prenatal classes
Published Monday, June 25, 2012 4:53PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 25, 2012 7:09PM EDT
Expecting mothers will have to look to the private sector as of September if they want to take prenatal classes.
The Ottawa Hospital says it will stop offering them at the end of August.
"They were a great opportunity for me to learn how to care for my baby before the baby actually came," said new mom Anne Pilon.
But those classes Pilon appreciated so much won't last much longer. And while they are available through private instructors, some worry the private sector will struggle to pick up the slack.
"Unfortunately with only two months notice, some couples won't know where to turn so they'll be looking at the last minute," said childhood educator Erin Shaheen.
Shaheen is an instructor at the hospital and also offers private prenatal lessons. She says it is a serious concern that other support groups won't be able to handle the extra demand.
"I think it's going to be a struggle to accommodate everyone and I think we're going to find people who aren't able to take a class before their birth and that's going to impact their birth," said prenatal instructor Britt Pegan.
The Hospital says there are not enough couples taking the classes, blames low enrollment for the program's cancellation, and says it will work with the private clinics to help parents.
Pilon, however, still believes the best part of her classes was having them at the same place where she gave birth.
"Knowing you're having a baby is overwhelming so having to research where to go or put the links together, you know makes it more difficult," said Pilon. She added "having the hospital was the go to place; we didn't even explore any other options."