I just wanted to write a quick post about the recent experience I have had with the hospital in Morges, Vaud. I am currently 7.5 months pregnant. I know that many of us who are, "pregnant in a foreign land" fret, worry, consider, research and freak-out to the nth degree about how we can possibly get through this in a different language and different country. This is my first baby and it's true that I haven't actually given birth yet...but I must say that in my opinion this would be a bizarre (albeit amazing) experience in any language and even at home. Anyhow, I've received loads of wonderful advice on how to deal, what to think, where to go, who to call...etc. etc. However, as I have searched the forum for specific information on birth preparation classes and what to expect, I've haven't turned up a lot. Especially information that refers to Vaud. Therefore, I thought I would say that:
My birth preparation course at the Morges Hospital has been absolutely phenomenal. The class cost 250chf, 100chf of which is reimbursed by your health insurance (assuming you only have the basic coverage like me). My husband has attended every course with me. The first 3 courses were with a Sage Femme (midwife) where we discussed the birth, breathing, pushing, merits of medication or not, pain management, etc. During the first class the Sage Femme took everyone to the maternity ward to check out the L/D room, recovery room and then the rooms where we will stay once everything is over. (btw, I'll do a post when it is over...but goodness me...the L/D rooms are SUPER nice, they even allow for a water birth which is practically unheard of in Suisse Romande) An entire class with the Sage Femme was dedicated to teaching your birth partner to massage, position and support your every need during the birth.
The next 2 courses were with a "nounou" who is the person who helps take care of the baby when he/she first enters the world. She let us know what to expect when the baby first arrives, etc. Additionally, she spoke and trained extensively about breastfeeding and what the heck to do once you take this tiny being home with you, i.e. swaddling, rocking, pacifiers, baby-wearing, crying, sleep problems, etc. It's basically, Baby 101...which was much appreciated.
Finally, the last 2 classes were with a Pediatrician and Chief of Gynecology/Obstetrics respectively. The pediatrician spoke about how to choose a great pediatrician for your 'planned' parenting style, things that might concern you about your baby -- but shouldn't, what happens during the worst-case scenario, etc. The OB/GYN discussed overall care of the body during the last months of pregnancy, what they are doing to reduce the number of c-sections, what YOU can do to reduce your chance of having a c-section and after care of your body (including birth control whilst nursing).
I am sure that, as always, there are those who had an entirely different experience than we did. However, in my opinion...this was a great course, filled with information. Everyone who spoke with us actively diffused the fear levels and treated us with respect. They stated the facts regarding epidurals, pain management and coaching. They went above and beyond to not attempt to sway any of us in one direction or the other. It never felt, "preachy" or annoying. For anyone looking for a birth preparation class in the Vaud region, I would really, really recommend Morges.
More information here: http://www.ehc-vd.ch/jahia/Jahia/pid/312
As I said, once the baby arrives I will write a post on my birth experience at Morges.