This blog series is designed to help you attract clients by outlining strategies for introductory workshops. This article focuses on hosting a Labor Comfort Workshop. Check out the whole series for more workshop ideas.
Labor Comfort Workshop
One of the most popular topics for expectant parents is how to cope with labor and positions to use. This is also one of the most engaging and fun workshops for educators.
Although childbirth classes cover comfort techniques, a Labor Comfort Workshop provides an opportunity for parents who have not yet enrolled to get to know you, your services and learn how this information ties into the content they will learn in a full childbirth class.
Benefits for Parents
A workshop on comfort measures tends to attract parents that may not have planned to enroll in a traditional full class but would still like this information. Often, this workshop helps them see that there is a lot more to learn, prompting them to go ahead and enroll in a full childbirth class. Whether they seek out further education or not, this workshop helps parents feel calmer and better prepared for their upcoming birth experience.
Benefits for the Educator/Facility
This interactive workshop is often a favorite of educators. It is an ideal workshop to host in partnership with other birth professionals in your area. For example, doulas can participate and assist parents with labor positions or coping techniques. They get to promote themselves to a variety of prospective clients and the educator gets another set of hands to help during class. Building relationships with other birth professionals is beneficial for everyone.
There are many other ways a labor comfort workshop can help you and your business:
- Boost enrollment in your childbirth class or other classes that you offer.
- Learn about support services your business may offer such as doula services, massage therapy, photography, prenatal fitness, etc.
- Grow sales for equipment or supplies such as birth balls, labor kits, belly casting supplies, etc.
- Provides an opportunity to partner with colleagues or complementary businesses.
Topics to Consider
Parents often enjoy the hands-on practice that this workshop provides, so be sure to maximize practice time. Use these ideas as a starting point when you develop your lesson plans:
- Identifying your typical stress response
- Techniques that help reduce stress
- Fear and safety cycles
- Ideal labor environment
- Massage for labor
- Breathing techniques
- Visualization techniques
- Positive affirmations
- Productive labor positions
Activities to Try
There are many fun activities that can be used to create an engaging and interactive workshop:
- Stations for labor positions
- Stations for coping techniques
- Step-by-step breathing practice
- Massage demonstration and practice
- Do a labor rehearsal with mock contractions (30, 45, 60 and 75 seconds each)
Each station should include helpful directions and visual examples, if possible. (Our Childbirth Education Curriculum includes printable cards that can be used for stations.) Be sure to have tools parents can use, such as birth balls, fans, massage tools, etc.
Launching Your Workshop
There are many ways to format and market a labor comfort workshop. First, identify your target market (i.e. parents in their second trimester who live/work in certain areas of your city). Focus your marketing to reach them. You can write blog articles, share information on social media, post fliers in local business that cater to pregnancy and/or partner with health care providers to get the word out.
Some formats to try:
- Offer a short (one to two hours), low-cost workshop that introduces parents to topics that you will cover in more detail in your full childbirth course. Be sure to collect contact information from attendees and let them know of your upcoming class schedule.
- Include this workshop in a series about birth that are available independently from one-another or as drop-in workshops.
- Schedule the workshop during the lunch hour, a weekend afternoon or before another event/class to maximize attendance.
- Volunteer to teach the workshop at a local OB/GYN or midwifery office, pregnancy wellness studio or other complementary business.
- Host an open house where you partner with people or organizations that can benefit all parties (massage therapists, birth photographers, doulas, etc.).
Use a creative title to draw people in:
- Get Comfortable!
- Hands-On Comfort Measures
- Labor Skills
- Progress and Comfort in Labor
- Birthing Beautifully
Provide incentives to encourage people to sign up:
- Offer a discount on other classes for attending this workshop.
- Offer door prizes and/or a grand prize drawing. Bingo, Jeopardy or other games can be played and prizes given to the winners.
- Have a collection of comfort items on hand for parents to try (birth balls, rebozos, massage tools, etc.). One of these comfort items can also serve as your grand prize for a drawing.
Use these tools to encourage learning and interaction during the workshop:
Parent take-home resources:
- Finding Comfort booklets
- Labor Comfort Pocket Guides
- Positions for Labor or Labor Support handouts
- or Custom Branded Handouts for more marketing impact