Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: too far from the Emerald City
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Good luck! Hope things work out for you! I am trained as a teacher, but I haven't had my baby yet or taken my childbirth class(es) yet, so that's the perspective I'm coming from.
•How long would you like it last (in terms of weeks)?
Probably 6-8 sessions/weeks, that would be similar to other non-Bradley classes.
•What information would you like covered?
This really partly depends on your audience - hospital, birth center, or home births. What I look for:
Information and reassurance about giving birth, Information for partners who haven't been obsessively reading pregnancy/childbirth/newborn books, how the partner can help during labor and birth, Information and tips about breastfeeding, how to avoid medical interventions & how to make informed decisions when you can't avoid them, how often birth happens different than planned and how to feel OK with this, how to relax during birth and a realistic view of whether this is possible to do when you're in labor, birth stories and videos, lots of time for questions and discussion. The class I signed up for also includes a reunion potluck after the births, which I thought was a pretty cool idea!
•What information would you prefer not covering in class?
I think information is great to have. I wouldn't focus on negative birth stories, I guess, but OTOH try to be realistic. I hear that some classes talk about early pregnancy, and I'd just skim that or let people talk a little about their experiences (as an icebreaker) rather than doing a lot of that.
•Is an informational web site, serving as a resource for the class, important to you?
I think that's a great idea! Especially if classmates can discuss things together on a forum or a mailing list.
Also, a website that includes your curriculum and information about your class is a big bonus for people looking for classes to take. I am much less likely to sign up for a class if I can't easily get that information without having to call.
•Would you find a binder of articles and studies to be a useful resource for you?
Absolutely! Especially if it's well organized and professional looking, I think that would impress your students and be helpful for later reference. Especially include what to do in emergencies - signs of premature labor, breastfeeding troubles, etc.
•Is the class location important (in or out of a hospital setting)
I personally prefer out of hospital and think you have more flexibility with your curriculum that way. Again, it depends on who you are trying to aim your class toward. I think a lot of people take the hospital classes because they're busy with work and that's where they're giving birth. I agree that you should try to get involved with local doulas, midwives, and family-friendly OBs. I based my childbirth class decision on recommendations. Maybe you could offer to have some of them come to your classes for free.
•Would you prefer an instructor who is accredited with a particular method?
That really doesn't matter to me, I am happy with a class that prepares me for birth and helps to empower me and my partner.
•What would you be willing to pay for your “perfect” childbirth class?
Well, when people sign up for a childbirth class, they don't know if it is going to be perfect, especially if you're just starting out on your own, so I would try not to look at it that way if I were you. I would *definitely* not charge more than $200 (remember, we're talking less classes than a Bradley class), and preferably not more than $150 unless you're in very high demand. Unless there's a lack of birth class instructors in your area, you *might* even want to start at $100-$125 in the beginning, just to encourage people to sign up for your class, then when you're more established and get some good recommendations, you can increase that. This also depends on the going rates of other instructors in your area, I'm in a pretty urban area.
Hope this helps!