One of the challenges that childbirth educators who teach outside the hospital face is answering the question – "Why should I pay more for childbirth classes outside the hospital?" Birth professionals understand why, but first-time parents usually don't question doing anything other than the hospital classes, particularly if they're planning on having their baby there.
In today's guest blog post, Donyale Abe, Program Director of Childbirth Professionals International, shares six selling points to help instructors communicate the value of out-of-the-hospital childbirth classes.
I've taught childbirth classes in my home successfully for 16 years. I will share my tips on how to help families in your community understand the value of paying for an independent birth class that's not hospital based.
Last Minute is OK
A selling point I've emphasized is families can sign up anytime. When someone contacts me about a class I make an opening for them. They are contacting me usually because the local hospital classes are full, so by stating that I welcome last minute enrollments I am able to win customers over.
Offer unconventional time slots. Couples who seek independent classes may work shifts that don't match the hospital schedule. So be flexible and you'll win them over. I offer a range of times and don't mind working weekends. I also ask them to contact me if they don't see the time slot they desire. Having that option available let's families know I will do what it takes to meet their needs.
A la Carte Curriculum
Families come to childbirth classes with specific concerns. As an independent teacher I am able to make their questions and concerns a top priority. I will change the course outline to include what they are desiring to understand.
Small and Intimate
Often I teach one couple at a time. Couples love a private session. They don't have to worry about being judged by others. A private class allows couples to feel safe and secure sharing any fears they might have. Couples love having the teacher's attention all to themselves.
A Neutral Professional
There is just so much pressure regarding childbirth. Families may be overwhelmed on all sides. Independent non-hospital based childbirth classes can offer families a refuge. It is important that educators provide space so couples can explore their own beliefs and draw their own conclusions. The independent educator is not obligated to teach protocol and the rules of an institution so there is a built-in neutrality.
Independent educators are free to build an evidence-based childbirth curriculum. They are able to give families all the facts, stats, research articles, and web links about maternity care practices that lead to both good and bad outcomes. They are free to teach the evidence.
Donyale Abe has been teaching childbirth classes for over 15 years. She is passionate about empowering both families and professionals. Since you only live once she strives to achieve her dreams, be happy no matter the circumstances, and enjoy every second with no regrets. She's written a popular ebook, Make Money Teaching Birth Classes, and her main gig is serving as the Program Director for Childbirth Professionals International.
CPI provides evidence-based training workshops and courses for health organizations and individuals and offers certification programs for Doula Breastfeeding Specialists, Childbirth Educators, Birth Doulas, Birth Yoga Educators, and Doula Trainers.