My birth center practice is really growing and we're finding that prenatal days that don't have consults are much smoother than prenatal days with consults. We are already doing appointments twice a week and I don't really want to add another day just for consults, but I'd like to do something that will ease the flow of our prenatal day.
I've thought of doing a group tour at the end of every prenatal day (or every other or something...I feel that once a month would not be often enough). Or a group orientation for clients between the consult and the initial (b/c the initial also takes quite a bit of time). I'd like to streamline these parts of the practice without feeling impersonal but I'm not sure it's possible--we have a lot of personal questions at consults and initials and I feel that in a group setting those questions wouldn't come out. I still want to answer them, of course, and give the client the opportunity to ask them, but I'd like to be able to do the things we do with every client (paperwork going-over, tour, discussion of what our services entail) in a group setting if possible.
Am I crazy? Cutting corners? Or does anyone have an idea for how to make this work?
I also like the idea of fostering a sense of community among clients. The clients who attend childbirth classes together really "click" with each other and continue to follow each other t/o the rest of their pregnancies. I'd like to find a way to offer them more opportunities for those connections if they want them. And if I can do it while making my life a little easier, that's even better.
the BC I assist at does a weekly open house and private consults for those moms who aren't comfortable w the grup open house. or who have lots of risk factors, vbac etc. The open house is on an evening, and there is a person who leads it (was me before I had my baby!) and the midwife aswell. we do a movie give out a folder of info, and also a tour, then have additional time for questions at the end, and space/time to let people meet privately w/ the midwife for questions as well.
additionally, you might want to look into centering pregnancy for some things...
And I teach there a healthy pregnancy class for mamas in the first and early 2nd trimester that is a great thing to incorporate. We offer it 1x per month.
Mama to and
Thank you so much for your reply. I LOVE the idea of centering care and have for a long time. I don't think my practice is quite "there" yet, but I do want to work toward it.
The healthy pregnancy class is a great idea. Is it required?
What is the volume at the birth center you're working with? We're consistently busy, but still qualify as small...20-25 active clients at a time.
the BC I assist at does just 2 centering meetings.. at 28 weeks for the GTT, class on labor/birth prep and then at 36 weeks for a postpartum/breastfeeding group.
Hmmm. not sure how many active clients... we have typically 6-11births per month it seems.
no, the healthy preg class isn't required, but is highly recommended.
Mama to and
I think it could work really well to do a group tour and info night maybe 2x a month (or more if you need) and at this you could hand out the paperwork, discuss the typical FAQs, go over how the entire process works, etc. And then maybe you could still offer consults for those who are interested after the the tour, but they could be about 1/2 the length as they currently run because most of the big questions would be answered, so it would be just getting a feel for one another in person. I think it could probably streamline things a lot more. It would also keep from your time being wasted if you had people who wanted to check out the birth center more out of curiosity rather than really planning to birth there.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
I'm gonna work on a few of these ideas. I'll post back in a few months and let you ladies know how it's working.
I had my second and third babies at two different birth centers and they both had group orientations with a tour and group question session. It seemed to work well for them.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds 10yo dd 8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds
The birth center where I had my daughter actually required that you attend their group tour and Q&A before you could schedule a prenatal appointment. I know it sounds heavy-handed, but for them I think it weeded out a lot of people who realized that the birth center wasn't what they were looking for. We actually did the tour before I was even pregnant, since we were planning to TTC. I found it really valuable. At the group session they provided info about the childbirth ed class and the breastfeeding class they offered. Neither were required, just encouraged.