I have never understood the scarcity mindset within the childbirth professional world. Pregnant people are everywhere, and the human race is going to keep reproducing! We are not currently inside the movie Children of Men, though my life would be a lot more swoony with Clive Owen and Julianne Moore in it. But seriously, there are so many people having babies and not nearly enough people to serve them in a childbirth professional capacity. Shifting toward a more abundance mindset will help you think about your business in a new light; focusing on service and connection is a great way to help shift your thinking that all the clients are for you and only you.
A birth doula example:
Start by doing a little doula math for your area. In the 2013 Listening to Mothers Survey, we found that a national average of 6% of births were attended by a doula. In 2018, the same survey in California said that 15% of births there were attended by a doula. That is a pretty massive increase, though admittedly California seems a very long way away from Indiana where I am located. But even if you look at the 6% number in my area, there is no possible way that that many people are having doulas attend their births! You can very easily do a search for official birth data statistics to find these numbers. Once you have the number that is 6%, divide that number by the number of doulas in your area.
# of births x .06 =____ / # doulas =_____
This number will tell you what you need to work on in your specific area! Can the number of birth doulas currently in your area serve that amount of people? If yes, then maybe you should be focusing on increasing demand for doulas through community outreach, social media, and blogging. If no, then perhaps you need to think about hosting a birth doula training.
This math and abundance thinking can work for all childbirth professionals too by the way, not just birth doulas. Far more people will want lactation help and the need for IBCLCs is not going away. How many low-risk pregnancies could use midwifery care instead of obstetrics? The list keeps going, but I think you get the point.
My final point is this: a rising tide lifts all boats. It is not possible for you to serve EVERYONE. There are plenty of clients for all the childbirth professionals in your area. Struggling to find and book clients is not indicative of a scarcity or them rather a lack of creativity and meeting people where they are on your part. Hone your craft and fine tune your message to reach more of your specified target market, and don’t worry about what your direct competition is doing too much. (We can talk about how much in a different post!) The more childbirth professionals there are in an area, the more they will increase demand for them, especially when they are serving their clients with professionalism and empathy.