I can do that — most of the time. As a truly independent childbirth educator, I set my own schedule. Birth work is all I do so I, most of the time, can create a class schedule that fits the needs of the student. I don’t like hearing expectant women talk about how they wanted to take a class but there wasn’t anything available that fit their schedule and/or budget.
I do have a family and so I do have to make sure the requested class day and time will work and thus far we’ve been able to make it work. I’ve taught daytime classes as well as evenings and weekends. I’m willing to travel (up to 1 hr) to the student’s home to teach childbirth classes or complete a 3-hour, whole house birth rehearsal (travel fee may apply). I’m willing to teach the 8-class series in less than 8 weeks and have even taught some very condensed classes for those who needed a class but didn’t have much time before the estimated due date.
There are some childbirth educators who set size requirements for their classes. For instance, they will not teach a class unless there are a certain number of students confirmed. I’m happy to teach childbirth to one expectant woman and her birth partner. I have never turned anyone away and I do not expect the class tuition to be paid in full before class starts but I do require 1/3 of the current tuition be paid at the first class. I understand how much is involved in this process and try to make it as “painless” as possible. I’ve negotiated the class fee with students and I’ve created a package rate for those who want to take my class and hire me as their birth doula.
I cannot give my classes away for free. I am not able to obtain grant funding like a hospital, which is why they can afford to offer classes at such a reduced rate (or not rate). I will (and have) start a new class if the one I’ve already scheduled does not fit the needs of a student and her birth partner. Far too many make this more difficult than it needs to be.
If you are an expectant woman, you really do need to know what to expect. You probably have some idea of what to expect from the birth process but do you know what to expect from your chosen care provider or birth place? A truly comprehensive childbirth class will teach you this information as well. If you are an expectant woman but this is not your first you still need to take a class so you can learn what might have changed in how birth is handled by your chosen care provider and birth place.
The bottom line is that when you are expecting to bring a human life into the world, it is your job, as a responsible parent, to learn everything you can so you are as prepared as possible for the upcoming event.