The business of birth
We carried out a survey to see how the economic downturn was affecting birth professionals. The results showed women’s birth choices are being affected by their financial situation.
It is hardly news that when women are making birth choices their finances will factor into their decisions. What was surprising was that more women were choosing midwifery care and homebirths, options known to be lower cost than obstetric and hospital care. The downside is that birth professionals are finding it difficult to make a living and some are choosing to find alternative employment to make ends meet.
Economy affects birth choices
We asked respondents to tell us whether they had noticed changes in the past 6 months in terms of the choices women were making for their births. They identified several key areas that had changed:
- 51% of respondents said more women were planning midwifery care and/or homebirths
- 45% of respondents found the number of inquiries had decreased significantly in the last 6 months
- 42% noticed more women were asking for discounts
- 20% found that less women were choosing planned epidurals and/or cesareans
- 20% had noted an increase in the number of uninsured women they were working with
- 13% of respondents were having increased numbers of clients not paying their bills
Economic downturn reduces income
We found that many birth professionals were finding they were making significantly less money and this was causing some to have to contemplate moving into other jobs as they could no longer manage on their birth income. While many respondents stated that the income from their birth business was a minor source of family income, a staggering 77% wanted their income to become the main or a significant part of the family income.
In a previous survey carried out by Childbirth International, more than 50% of respondents said they would like to have further training in establishing and building their business. The issues they identified as being areas of concern included:
- increasing the number of clients
- help with business forms and sample contracts
- managing financial and legal aspects of a business
- website development and advertising
- making their business profitable
- contributing to a significant portion of the family finances
Many birth professionals have never run a small business prior to moving to this field of work. Being self-employed requires learning a host of new skills, including marketing, sales and financial management.
Childbirth International launched the Get More Clients! course to address these needs. Carrying out additional training to help develop new skills and increase knowledge can have a significant impact on your business. Imagine you are able to increase the number of clients you have by just 1-2 a month and you make a profit of $200 for each client. In a year you will have paid for the course 25 times over!
How does Childbirth International training address this?
Childbirth International has a course that addresses all the concerns related to running a birth professional business. Written by birth professionals with experience in several successful birth businesses, the course is packed with tips, ideas and practical suggestions on growing and developing a birth related business. It can help you develop a new business, grow an existing one, or give you a boost if you feel you are not heading in the direction you wanted.
Childbirth International is a truly diverse international training organization. With students in 75 countries, from every corner of the globe, we celebrate the differences, similarities and uniqueness of each culture, religion and race. Providing the most comprehensive and flexible training available for birth professionals you can truly make a difference within your community.
Childbirth International offers training programs for Birth Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Breastfeeding Counselors. We also have an advanced training course available for birth professionals to help you build and grow your business.