Models for Childbirth Educators: Teaching in a Business {Part 2 of 4}

An educator contracts with or is employed by a business (such as a birth center, OB/GYN practice, pregnancy fitness/wellness center, community organization or other similar business) to provide childbirth education on behalf of the business.

Certification and Requirements:

The organization may have training and certification requirements for educators. There may be other requirements as well, such as helping with other aspects of the business (e.g. marketing) and/or employment may be conditional.

Resources and Curriculum:

The educator often has more input and flexibility on curriculum than in a hospital, but not as much as an independent educator. In a pregnancy or education center, there may be a variety of classes offered (labor support, refresher classes, etc.) and the educator may be assigned one or more of these topics. Supplies, student materials, and other resources are typically the responsibility of the organization, but there may be input invited from the educator and a limited budget available to their to add resources.


While birth center or OB clinic classes often share space for other uses, a wellness or pregnancy center may be more likely to have dedicated space for education, with more access to supplies such as birth balls, white boards, etc.


Often the educator and organization work together to develop the schedule, but this responsibility may be more on one side or the other depending on the organization.


Usually, the organization does most of the marketing and student recruiting.


Because of the nature of a wellness center, pregnancy center, or community organization, the parents who take a class through these organizations often have a similar education about pregnancy prior to the class. This helps the educator with planning and preparing their materials. There is often access to more potential students through an organization than what an independent educator is able to reach alone.


Various arrangements may be used, including being paid directly by students, being paid an hourly wage as an employee or subcontractor, or receiving a commission or percentage of the course fee.


Expenses will include traveling to and from the teaching location. Other expenses will vary depending on the organization and arrangements made.


Management is often shared, but there is liability and accountability for the organization if they hire or contract with an educator, so there is greater responsibility on the organization if an issue or conflict arises.


May be limited by the organization’s schedule and policies. Flexibility is often greater than in a hospital setting but not as flexible as an independent educator.


May be a little less stable than hospital work but provides more stability than teaching independently.

In summary, the educator and business often negotiate a unique arrangement that is mutually beneficial. Often, the educator has flexibility in the curriculum and class schedule. Income, expenses, clientele and marketing can vary widely depending on the circumstances.

Read part 1, Teaching as a Hospital Employee.

Next up, Part 3: Teaching Independently.

For more information on teaching, see our article Getting Started as a Childbirth Educator.

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