Series: Building Your Birth Business - Five Reasons to Consider an Early Pregnancy Class

Early Pregnancy Class for the Win.jpgIn this occasional series, I and other colleagues present ideas and suggestions that you can use to build and grow your birth business.  Regardless of whether you are an experienced educator, just starting out, work for a hospital, an organization or teach independently, building and maintaining a robust, continuous enrollment of families into your course offerings is always a good business practice.  Check out these five reasons for introducing an early pregnancy class into your class schedule and see how quickly you will reap the benefits.  You can find all the Building Your Birth Business Posts here.

Many families hope to learn of their pregnancy at the earliest opportunity.  They are excited and ready to jump into the process by gathering information and resources.  Unfortunately, the typical obstetrical appointment with a doctor or midwife is normally not scheduled until 12 plus weeks.  For the newly pregnant, especially first time parents, that can just seem so long.

Five reasons to offer an early pregnancy class

1. Families are porous and receptive to information as soon as they learn they are pregnant.  Most turn immediately to the internet, which we all know can be a big, bad place at times for factual info.  Having an early pregnancy class that welcomes their questions and offers resources to explore is a very attractive option.  This fills a big need, long before they have the chance to have their first appointment with a healthcare provider.

2. Meeting with other families going through a similar experience builds community.  It takes a village, and with the gig economy and work habits of millennials, many people have moved and relocated more than once in their adult life.  A chance to gather with other people going through the same circumstances creates common experiences and may be the beginning of a great friendship.

3. Having an early pregnancy class can offer newly expecting families a chance to learn about good nutritional habits and the importance of exercise during pregnancy right from the start.  It takes time to establish good routines and starting off as soon as possible will help them to adapt and continue throughout their pregnancy until labor and birth.

4. This is where the childbirth educator can play a key role and position themselves to be recognized as a source of evidence-based information and useful resources right out of the gate.  Establishing yourself as the expert who is engaging and supportive will increase the desire to continue to learn from you when the time comes to take a class to prepare them for labor and birth.  You can even offer a discount to those who sign up at the early pregnancy class or a coupon code for future enrollment.

5. Teaching an early pregnancy class is just plain fun.  People are excited and eager to learn.  You get a chance to do something different and stretch yourself on some new topics that you may not have tught before.  There is an opportunity to try new activities and create loyal future customers.

What's stopping you?

An enthusiastic, engaging childbirth educator, an evidence-based curriculum and newly expectant families are a great recipe for a successful early pregnancy class.  Why not consider offering one in your community so that families can get their pregnancies off to a great start.  Do you already offer an early pregnancy class?  Are you considering?  Let's discuss in the comments below.

 

2 Comments

Early Prenatal Classes

July 13, 2018 02:51 AM by Linda J. Middlekauff, RN, BSN, LCCE

Although this is a great idea, it's not a new idea.  In fact until about 15 years ago, hospitals offered early prenatal classes for decades.  However, over time, people stopped attending them, so hospitals started offering the same classes at the end of pregnancy.

This created a conflict with CBE classes which the public thinks they're getting when signing up for the hospital class, and the result has been (at least in my area) a decrease in attendance to CBE classes.

The reasons for decreased attendance are more complex than this & also include the almost universal expectation that mothers will "just get an epidural, so why do I need a CBE class?", etc.  

Added to this problem are the issues of where such classes would be held, who would pay for them, would they conflict with the late prenatal classes sponsored by the hospital & offered to the public for free, etc.

Early Prenatal Classes

July 14, 2018 02:30 AM by Patty Ryan, Ryan, RN BSN

I have been teaching an early pregnancy class at the ob/gyn office I work at for the last 20 years.  First time parents are "required" to attend.  I find that the couples are excited to learn and this also offers them an opportunity to ask questions and alleviate many of their early pregnancy worries.  

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