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#1 of 5 Old 04-09-2008, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay I'm the coordinator for a child birth education class that a homebirth midwife and chiropractor teach. Our fliers are all over the place and I talk to people constantly.

So, the way they want to do things is not have a set time for the class to take place until after we have four paying moms/couples signed up to take the class. So our flier says it's a 4 part class and will take 5 weeks to complete. We will have the class two weeks in a row, then one week off, and then the following two weeks. Do you guys think this sounds confusing or strange not to have dates until after we have enough couples? So far I have two moms signed up but I cannot get anybody else to join us! We would have liked to have already started the classes but we can't until we get enough people.

So far I have take the flier to all the local poster boards, baby related store, chiropractors, and places where people who consume/purchase natural products congregate. What else should I do? I'm thinking about sending it out like doulas do their information, to doctors offices. It's just that our class teachings directly challenge many of the things they routinely do.

Any ideas?

Sav
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#2 of 5 Old 04-09-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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Yes, I would contact doulas, make time to have coffee with them or something, so that you can talk to them about the contents of your course, and ask them to help you promote it. I would also contact the midwives in the area. The midwife with whom I work REQUIRES that a couple take an out of hospital CBE class and then takes the cost of the class out of the cost of the birth. They're not paying any more, but they are making her job easier. Yoga studios, if you haven't already done so, might also be a good place to go. LLL meetings. Some of the groups in our area have yahoo groups or community boards where people can advertise. We can't specifically endorse one practitioner or another but if the groups have a community bulletin board, it may be worthwhile to try. Also are there any hospital based midwives around? My midwife with my first was the one to suggest hypnobirthing to me. It was a surprise, but helped me a GREAT deal during my births. You might be surprised, they might suggest your class instead of the hospital one. If I were you, I might just do the class now so that you don't worry about losing the clients you already have. I have a friend who teaches Bradley classes. She says that they will start by Xx date, but the first person to call gets to set up the day and time that is convenient for them. It seems to work well. The class fills up almost every time. But she will do a class for just one couple f she has to, because that one couple is worth her time, it could change the outcome of their birth.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-09-2008, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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courtenay thanks for your reply. I should have been more clear. There are no yoga studios.The midwife teaching the class is the only homebirth midwife within a 70-100 mile radius. I am the only doula in that distance. She just started working in the area about two years ago, and I just starting working here about two months ago. There are two CNM's in the area and I hear they are both Med-wives. But I should probably go to them anyways, you never know until you try I guess. I was told by the IBCLC's in the area that as a doula I better not say anything to a client that would be different than what their doctor would advise and get back to them. If I do I could expect to be black listed and refused in the hospital. So, thats pretty much the climate here. We are a small farming town secluded from other towns, without a city nearby. It's two hours to a hospital from here that allows VBAC's.

Thanks for your suggestions I'm going to try meeting the CNM's and taking our flier to the LLL meeting. But I'm only one of 5 people who attend that, two are the leaders and not of childbearing age, and the other two have newer babies. But just in case some one calls them or shows up to the meetings it would be nice. There is a Yahoo group in our area, I used to co-lead that too, so I could put an add up there as well. Good thinking! I'm also thinking I should try WIC again. But the problem with that is the director of WIC is one of the IBCLC's I talked about earlier and she also teaches the hospital class. It's like they have a monopoly on birth here.

As far as just starting the class anyways, I can't, since I don't have control over it. I just help you know. But I can suggest that the midwife give some sort of discount to her clients. She only does four births a year at this point though. Gosh I feel limited!

thanks

Savannah
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#4 of 5 Old 04-09-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IrelandsMama View Post
Do you guys think this sounds confusing or strange not to have dates until after we have enough couples?
Yes, I do think it seems confusing. I understand where they're coming from -- they want a minimum of four couples to run the class. I TOTALLY get that. But when I first started teaching I had a series with only two couples. It's just part of building a business -- you start small. That was in 2006, I just filled my April class (starts next week) with 8 couples. I have always found it best, even in the beginning, to set a steady night of the week (e.g. I teach on Thursdays), then a month to begin in. The exact week of the month that class begins can flex a bit, but the month always stays rock solid. That gives me something to work toward, and something to propel couples to actually make the call (i.e. "Oh, she starts in April, I'd better call now!"). It's about setting goals and expectations for yourself and the community, kwim? "We'll do one whenever we have enough" is too wishy washy to set the standard for an ongoing, professional, reliable class.

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Originally Posted by IrelandsMama View Post
So far I have take the flier to all the local poster boards, baby related store, chiropractors, and places where people who consume/purchase natural products congregate. What else should I do?
Make sure you have a web site, so that if people search "natural birth YOUR CITY", your site will pop up. It doesn't have to be fancy, just SOMETHING. Make sure it's listed here, and on any free childbirth class listing sites.

Are there places where you can do some free one-time promo classes? That has helped me to get the word out, people come out of curiosity and then end up taking my full 8-week class. Also sending news releases to the paper for the class, and also any freebies that you do. Participate in any expos, health fairs, get a booth at the farmer's market, etc. More than just sending flyers to chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc., make time to actually meet with them and tell them about what you're doing. That will go a lot farther than just another piece of paper arriving at their door.

And finally, TEACH THE CLASS with two couples. Just get going, set a regular schedule, commit and make it work. If you have a good product, word of mouth will spread and soon your delighted "alums" will be sending all their friends. Seriously, of my upcoming class of 8 couples, more than half will be there because they were sent by a friend who had a good experience. Had I not started with those two-couple classes, I wouldn't have been able to build.

Best wishes! I remember the early days when it all felt pretty discouraging. It took about a year of smaller classes to really build word-of-mouth and recognize which events/outreaches resulted in students. Now the process is rolling and it feels really smooth.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-09-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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Oh, also, I would contact any problem pregnancy centers in the area and ask if they have any mothers who are looking to have a natural birth, and if they would tell THEM about the class.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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