Birth support pros have been led for decades to believe that informational and emotional support can reduce induction rates. This notion has been supported by certifying organizations, including Lamaze and DONA, and many others. Yet, induction rates have been on the rise since the ARRIVE study. So why are couples educated and informed about inductions, and the rates keep increasing? The common understanding is that decreasing labor induction rates belong to the broader discussion about couples’ informed consent. However, decreasing labor induction rates can be achieved only when we address expectant couples’ beliefs and ongoing need for reassurance of their and their babies health. Addressing the mindset and predetermined beliefs is achieved by Transformational Prenatal Coaching and not by informational and emotional support as previously thought by birth support pros.
Preventing birth trauma is a much-desired goal, no less than preventing maternal death and reducing cesarean rates. As we have known for many years, birth trauma doesn’t necessarily tie to the unfolding of childbirth but instead relates to how birth givers were treated and how they feel they performed during their birth. Prenatal coaching can increase individuals’ performance levels and empower them to expect patient-centered and respectful care, reducing exposure to birth trauma.
Pregnancy and childbirth are the most profound experiences in human lives. It is the utmost transformation. However, in our culture, the typical conversation about childbirth has been reduced to one topic: labor pain. In social media and blogs, as well as in social engagement or moms’ talks at the playground, we have reduced the conversation to labor pain, the fear of it, or coping with it. With labor pain being so central to our thought process about childbirth, no wonder expectant individuals are preoccupied with the decision about taking an epidural. The community of birth support pros manifests the same culture by constructing ‘Natural/Unmedicated Birth’ with “Medicated birth” and idealizing the first option, leading to many birth givers experiencing “negative emotions related to unmet expectations or a sense of personal failure“ when they as for an epidural (2018). The personal decision about coping with labor pain has social and emotional values attached, presenting individuals with ‘The Epidural Dilemma.’ This dilemma is genuine and can be navigated with prenatal coaching strategies.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in marketing, and as an introvert, I am pretty challenged in this field. However, as a pioneer doula, I had to not only sell my service but to initiate and engage in PR campaigns and give many interviews to spread the concept of hiring a doula. In the 24 years since then, I have overcome my resistance to engaging in sales conversations to enroll potential clients and have a thriving doula practice. I gained confidence by showing up for my potential clients, and in the last seven years, as a doula trainer and the founder of a new approach to birth support – Transformational birth and postpartum coaching, I am committed to helping my students get clients and manifest their thriving practices. So I can’t ignore the fact that although ‘doula’ is a term in the dictionary and a well-known support figure, the most asked question in my Facebook group “The Aspiring and Thriving Doula” is “How do I find Clients? Well, marketing strategies must change and adapt to time changes. For example, I endlessly talked about the benefits of hiring a doula in my PR engagements and sales pitch. But if you do it today, you repeat already known information, right? You don’t add value and leave no impression. So when you put yourself out there as a doula or any other birth support pro, you need to use optimal strategies that deliver the results you want – getting clients. I gathered a few strategies I teach my doula and transformational birth support coaching students here for you.
Every January, I experience a dramatic increase in aspiring doulas’ inquiries, requesting a 20-minute discovery session with me, and …registrations. As a result, every January, I feel called to inspire doulas to fulfill not only their passion but their professional success by claiming their thriving practice. As a doula trainer and coach, I’m committed to helping doulas elevate their status as a professional community and their individual financial and professional success.
These are my three points of inspiration for doulas as we welcome 2023:
Lead your clients to achieve the results they hired you for
Use strategies that empower both you and your clients
Establish a viable and successful practice by focusing primarily on verbal coaching prenatally and in the postpartum period.
If you want to begin the new year with a clear, positive, and achievable New Year Resolution, now is the time to start working on it. Whether you focus on personal, relational, or professional goals, crafting your clear and actionable New Year’s Resolution is a process that takes time. And when you master the art of clarifying your goals and visions, you can better serve your birth and postpartum clients by facilitating clarity about their desired experiences and helping them to commit to SMART goals.
Spiraling, rocking from side to side, shaking the extremities, curling the toes, changing positions constantly, chanting, moaning, and groaning, are just a few manifestations of birth givers’ state of consciousness. Do you know how to utilize mirror neurons to match birth givers’ body language, tonality, and representational system to deepen your connection, build trust and lead birth givers to optimally conduct themselves during their birth?
As a doula trainer and leader of doulas’ communities on social media, I am convinced that the three most significant challenges to having your thriving doula practice are client enrollment, client engagement, and client empowerment. And if you’re open to adopting a new framework for birth support, I know I can help you achieve these three Es with ease. You can learn new strategies for Enrollment, Engagement, and Empowerment in my upcoming Three Keys to YOUR Thriving Birth Support Practice 2-day workshop.
Studies show a dramatic drop in attendance of childbirth education classes since 2000. What used to be a right of passage for baby boomers and generation X feels redundant to Millenials. The main reason for the decline is the overwhelming abundance of information on many different platforms. In events and talks, I often say that expectant Millennials rely on Doctor Google, Doctor Facebook, and Doctor YouTube. But can you see how hard it is for them to navigate the preparation process? To distinguish ‘expert’ knowledge from ‘folk knowledge, or myths from reality?’ So how can we serve Millenials and help them avoid informational overload? How can we help them find their truth? How can we empower them to overcome internal resistance and challenges and have healthy and satisfactory birth experiences? Read and learn why Transformational Birth Support Coaching is the pathway to regaining childbirth instructors’ impact and prestige.
How do I get paying clients, launch my doula website, network, nail clients’ interviews, or lead prenatal sessions? How do I connect with a backup doula, do I join an agency or launch my solo practice? Which handouts do I share, and how do I write a contract? These are just a few common challenges beginner doulas face. And they are not unique to doulas. Everyone who has gone through professional training to become a solo practitioner must have strived throughout this transition from education to implementation. This transition triggers insecurity, self-doubts, uncertainty, frustration, and…loneliness. But there is, I believe, something unique to doulas as they transition from aspiring to thriving doulas. The short training, the lack of internship period, and the lack of follow-up mentoring and coaching for a successful implementation are in my mind historical mistakes that prevent many trained doulas from having a thriving practice. These are core ingredients that are needed to launch a thriving practice. And being a seasoned practitioner, I can share that having a solo practice can be a lonely experience in which you are the engine, the dynamo, and the driver. You need to recommit daily to doing what it takes so that your practice thrives and you’ll feel the way you want to feel.