Five Key Reasons to Conduct a Series of Prenatal Coaching Sessions
Becoming a birth support figure is more than an exciting career choice – it’s a calling. We feel called to empower, support, and lead people during their journeys of pregnancy, birth, and beyond, toward achieving their satisfying and empowering experiences. We are called to take part in their journeys of growing into parents. This is true for childbirth educators, doulas, prenatal yoga teachers, and most medically trained professionals such as midwives and L&D nurses. Sociologist and maternal care researcher Christin Morton states in her book “Birth Ambassadors” that when trained birth professionals begin to practice, they notice that “the impact shown in the early trials has not been realized for most practitioners today” (p. 75). This gap between our desired impact and the reality of our practice can be closed by a series of prenatal coaching sessions. Integrating strategies and models of transformational coaching into birth support is the key to achieving our goals and fulfilling our calling. Here are the five main reasons to conduct a series of transformational prenatal coaching sessions:
Here are the five main reasons to conduct a series of transformational prenatal coaching sessions:
#1: You want to have an impact!
“Impression without expression causes depression”
When passionate professionals fail to be as impactful as they want to be, it leads to burnout and doubt. According to Morton, this is the case for both doulas and childbirth educators, in light of the dramatic drop in childbirth education class attendance. The number one reason for not being as impactful as we wish to be is that we neglect to address the most important components of behavioral change – personal beliefs, attitudes, motivations, limiting beliefs, and internal resistances. We can only lead the long-sought cultural and behavioral change surrounding childbirth prenatally, and solely by using strategies that facilitate behavioral change. Therefore, conducting a series of prenatal coaching sessions is the key to your successful and impactful practice. It is crucial to your client’s success and your success as their leader and support figure.
Join our 4-hour workshop to learn the basics of transformational prenatal coaching
#2: You want your clients to take charge of their birth experience and own it!
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. She is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things”
One of the biggest hurdles expectant individuals encounter throughout their journey is their submission to authoritative medical caregivers. People tend to be submissive in their relationships with medical professionals, especially in situations they perceive to be emergency by nature. Such is the case with childbirth. What your clients don’t know is that the community of medical caregivers acknowledges that practicing from an authoritative position is less safe than building partnerships with patients and their families and providing patient-centered care. The coaching relationships are client-centered. It’s a partnership. When you form this partnership with your clients, they learn to perceive themselves as experts in their own lives. As experts, they establish a new balance of power with their medical caregivers, and they take charge of their experience.
#3: You want to increase your income and be successful!
“It’s simple arithmetic: Your income can grow only to the extent that you do”
When you grow professionally, your income grows with you. The hourly rate of birth support figures has been always low. It is often the case with people who are driven by their passion or calling, and unfortunately, is also true for professions that are feminine by nature. You can increase your income by offering a series of prenatal coaching sessions; a service that can be scheduled and involve no stress or physical hardship. This additional service generates additional income. This expansion can also lead to new professional and monetary opportunities, such as coaching clients who struggle in different areas of life. Executive coaches make 6 figure annual incomes; why can’t you? Is their contribution to people’s lives more valuable than yours? Of course not! You can reposition your work and your practice in the field of coaching and grow your income.
You can increase your income by offering a scheduled series of prenatal coaching sessions. It can also lead to new professional and monetary opportunities
#4: You aspire to individualize maternal care
“Individuality is freedom lived”
Birth support professionals and advocates emerged in the early 80s to individualize maternal care. Ever since, we’ve been trying to achieve this goal by informing expectant individuals – either about their rights or about different evidence-based practices. Four decades later, we need to look at the data and admit that this strategy failed: Only 5% of all birth givers, many among them well-informed, give birth with no major medical intervention. One must conclude that evidence-based information doesn’t lead to individualization of care. On the contrary, by providing data and calling practicing evidence-based advocacy, we neglected to bring to the fore the particular needs, situation, and desires of the individual birth giver. I developed a new framework with which you can conduct a series of prenatal coaching sessions that will focus on your client. This new framework aims to help individuals find their way to give birth, develop strong convictions, and to claim their unique experiences.
New formula: A scheduled series of prenatal coaching sessions that will elevate your professional status, increase your income, and allow you to spend less stressful and demanding hours in L&D.
#5: You want to avoid professional fatigue and burnout
“Burnout occurs when passionate, committed people become deeply disillusioned with a job or career from which they have previously derived much of their identity and meaning. It comes as the things that inspire passion and enthusiasm are stripped away, and tedious or unpleasant things crowd in”.
Your passion led you into birth support. You’ve been committed to change the culture around childbirth and lead healthy and empowering birth experiences. Much of your identity relies on being the advocate, the protector, the warrior, and the resistance to the obstetrics authority. I know how it feels because I’m a seasoned doula and childbirth educator holding 24 years of experience. There was no way for us to know how it would feel once we launched our practice and began providing “continuous support” throughout long hours of childbirth. Or how it would feel to have a childbirth class reunion and learn that half of the group gave birth in a cesarean birth. Being a birth warrior is an idealistic and noble idea, but in reality, warriors suffer PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Combine this hardship with the long hours of physical and emotional support while being away from your families, and wrap it all with low professional status and income. That is the perfect recipe for professional burnout. I developed a new formula: a scheduled series of prenatal coaching sessions that will elevate your professional status, increase your income, and allow you to spend less stressful and demanding hours in L&D. When expectant individuals are coached, they are confident, committed, accountable, and in charge of their birth experience. And when they conduct themselves beautifully, you celebrate them.
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