A realistic view of birth keeping potential
In a world where childbirth is often seen through a medical lens, birth keepers offer a unique and invaluable perspective. Birth keepers are individuals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to expectant parents during pregnancy, labour, and postpartum. They are there to ensure that the birthing process is a positive, empowering, and transformative experience for families.
In this blog post, we will delve into the multifaceted rewards of being a birth keeper. Beyond the financial aspect, we will explore the profound emotional gratification that comes with this role. Birth keepers witness the miracle of life, build lasting relationships, and find personal fulfilment in supporting families during one of the most significant moments of their lives. We will also touch upon the challenges and sacrifices they face and how they navigate the delicate balance between passion and profit in this important and rewarding profession. So, let’s embark on this journey and discover the rich tapestry of rewards that await those who choose the path of a birth keeper.
Birth keepers, in their role as trusted companions and guides, often form deep and meaningful connections with their clients. This bond is forged through the intimate nature of the birthing process and the unwavering support birth keepers provide. Here’s how birth keepers create and nurture these strong relationships:
Trust and Vulnerability: Expectant parents place their trust in birth keepers during one of the most vulnerable and intimate moments of their lives. This trust forms the foundation of a strong connection. Clients often share their fears, hopes, and personal stories with their birth keepers, creating a sense of intimacy and understanding.
Continuous Support: Birth keepers are there throughout the entire journey, from pregnancy to postpartum. They attend prenatal meetings, are present during labour and delivery, and offer postpartum support. This continuity allows for a deepening of the relationship as they witness the entire transformative process.
Personalised Care: Birth keepers tailor their support to the unique needs and desires of each family. This individualised care demonstrates a deep commitment to the well-being of their clients, strengthening the emotional connection.
The Satisfaction of Supporting Families Through a Transformative Life Event
Supporting families through childbirth is an incredibly rewarding aspect of being a birth keeper. Here’s why birth keepers find immense satisfaction in this role:
Empowerment: Birth keepers empower families to make informed decisions about their birthing experience. They provide knowledge, tools, and emotional support, enabling parents to take an active role in the process and make choices that align with their values.
Witnessing Miracles: Birth keepers have the privilege of witnessing the miracle of life. Being present as a new life enters the world is a profound and awe-inspiring experience that brings immense satisfaction.
Positive Impact: Birth keepers play a crucial role in creating positive and empowering birth experiences. They help reduce the likelihood of medical interventions, caesarean sections, and birth-related trauma, which can have lasting effects on families’ well-being.
Long-Lasting Impact: The support birth keepers provide doesn’t end with childbirth. They continue to offer postpartum care, helping families navigate the early days of parenthood. This ongoing support allows birth keepers to see the lasting impact of their work as families grow and thrive.
Birth keepers form deep connections with their clients through trust, continuity, and personalised care. The satisfaction they derive from supporting families through the transformative journey of childbirth is immeasurable. This profession allows them to witness life’s miracles, empower families, and make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of those they serve.
Being a birth keeper is not just a career; it’s a calling—a deeply fulfilling and purpose-driven path that offers both personal growth and the opportunity to make a profound impact on others’ lives. Here’s why being a birth keeper can bring such a strong sense of personal fulfilment:
Fulfilling a Passion: Many birth keepers are drawn to this profession because of their deep passion for childbirth, maternal health, and supporting families. This alignment between personal passion and professional role is a source of constant motivation and satisfaction.
Making a Difference: Birth keepers have the privilege of positively influencing the birth experiences of the families they serve. They help individuals and couples feel informed, confident, and empowered during a pivotal moment in their lives. This sense of making a tangible difference is immensely fulfilling.
Continuous Learning: The field of birth keeping is ever evolving, with new research, techniques, and practices emerging. Birth keepers often find fulfilment in the ongoing process of learning and growth, which allows them to better support their clients.
Connection and Community: Birth keepers become part of a supportive community of like- minded individuals who share their values and dedication to childbirth. This sense of belonging and collaboration adds to the sense of purpose.
Personal Experiences and Testimonials
To illustrate the personal fulfilment experienced by birth keepers, here are a few testimonials from individuals in this profession:
“As a birth keeper, I’ve found my true calling in life. Every time I witness the strength, resilience, and love that families bring to the birthing room, it reaffirms my belief in the power of human connection. My work isn’t just a job; it’s a source of deep fulfilment, knowing that I’ve played a part in helping families have a positive and empowering birth experience.”
“Becoming a birth keeper was the best decision I ever made. It’s more than a career; it’s a vocation. I wake up every day excited to support and empower expectant parents on their journey. The relationships I’ve built, the lives I’ve touched, and the personal growth I’ve experienced have enriched my life beyond measure.”
“As a mother myself, I understand the significance of childbirth. Being a birth keeper allows me to honour that sacred process and offer the kind of support I wish I had during my own pregnancies. It’s deeply fulfilling to witness the transformation of families and to be there when they need it most.”
“Since leaving midwifery and working as a birth keeper, I am truly able to be ‘with woman’, as opposed to ‘with system’. I am now doing the job I envisioned when I started my midwifery training many years ago. The individualised care I can now offer is a major factor in reducing birth trauma and in turn, improving the health and wellbeing of whole families. Supporting women during this period of immense transformation is honestly the best job in the world!”
These testimonials reflect the deep sense of fulfilment and purpose that birth keepers find in their work. It’s a profession that goes beyond a pay cheque, offering a profound sense of meaning and satisfaction through the service of others and the celebration of life.
Challenges and Sacrifices
Being a birth keeper comes with the unique challenge of dealing with unpredictable schedules. This aspect of the job can be demanding, but it’s also an essential part of providing effective support to expectant families. Here’s how to navigate this challenge:
Irregular Hours and On-Call Nature:
- Birth keepers must be ready to respond to calls and attend births at any time, day, or night. This on-call nature of the job can disrupt personal plans and require a high level of availability.
- It’s important to have a reliable support system in place, including backup birth keepers who can step in when needed.
- Some people choose to support women and families through antenatal and postnatal support only and do not attend births, this suits some birth keepers better as they don’t have to commit to being ‘on-call’.
Flexibility and Dedication:
- There is a real need for flexibility and adaptability in this role. Birth keepers should be prepared for long hours and sudden changes in plans.
- Dedication to the well-being of the families they serve can help birth keepers find motivation and purpose in the face of irregular schedules.
- There are also the benefits of managing your own diary, not having to request time off and being able to plan your working hours when not on-call to suit your lifestyle.
Being a birth keeper can be emotionally taxing at times due to the intense and sometimes challenging situations encountered. It’s essential to address the emotional toll and provide strategies for self-care:
- It needs to be acknowledged that witnessing childbirth, especially when complications arise, can be emotionally taxing. Birth keepers may experience a range of emotions, including joy, anxiety, and sadness.
- It’s important that birth keepers to seek support from peers, mentors, or therapists to process their emotions and prevent burnout.
Tips for Self-Care and Emotional Well-being:
- It’s important to undertake regular self-care practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, or journaling, to help birth keepers manage stress and emotions.
- Setting boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance, is of great importance. Birth keepers need to recharge and prioritise their own well-being to provide effective support.
- Birth keepers should engage in regular debriefing sessions with their clients or a support network to discuss their experiences and feelings in a safe and constructive environment.
- All birth keepers who train at Artemis Academy are continually supported throughout their career by peers and mentors, there is also monthly online meet ups and regional in- person meet ups where birth keepers come together to share stories, experiences and offer support to each other. It really is a wonderful community to be a part of.
Being a birth keeper is a rewarding but demanding profession that requires a commitment to flexibility and dedication, given the unpredictable schedules and on-call nature of the job. Additionally, addressing the emotional toll through self-care and seeking support is crucial to ensure the well-being and longevity of birth keepers in their vital role of supporting expectant families during childbirth.
Financial Compensation: Understanding the Compensation Structure
Birth keepers can earn income through various avenues, each with its own considerations and benefits. Understanding the compensation structure is essential for birth keepers to set fair prices and manage their finances effectively. Here are some key ways birth keepers can earn income:
Fees for Services:
- Hourly Rates: Birth keepers may charge an hourly rate for their services, which can cover prenatal meetings, labour support, and postpartum care. This is a straightforward way to ensure they are compensated for their time and expertise.
- Perinatal Education Classes: Some birth keepers offer perinatal education classes, such as childbirth preparation or lactation consulting, for a separate fee. These classes provide additional income and enhance the overall support provided to clients.
- 1-2-1 services: Some birth keepers will offer a 1-2-1 service, this can be just a one off meeting with a client who needs some additional support. This could include things such as, support writing a birth plan, writing a letter to a hospital to advocate for a client’s wishes eg) when home birth in their area is suspended.
- Additional offerings: Many birth keepers also offer additional chargeable services which can boost their income. For example, reiki, complementary therapies, pregnancy and newborn massages, placenta encapsulation, birth photography etc
- Comprehensive Birth Packages: Birth keepers often offer comprehensive birth packages that include antenatal visits, continuous labour support, postpartum care, and additional services like childbirth education. Offering packages can provide clients with a clear understanding of what they’ll receive and may be more cost-effective for them. I’m UK based and there is a link to my pricing for birth packages here, to help give some idea of what I offer to my clients.
- Postpartum Support Packages: Birth keepers may offer separate postpartum support packages, which can include assistance with newborn care, breastfeeding support, and emotional support for the new parents during the postpartum period.
- Professional Liability Insurance: Birth keepers typically carry professional liability insurance, which is a crucial expense. This insurance provides protection in case of legal issues or malpractice claims and is essential for the peace of mind of both birth keepers and their clients.
- Additional Insurance: For birth keepers offering additional services in particular complementary therapies, they would need to be insured separately according to what they are offering.
- Payment Plans: Birth keepers may offer payment plans to make their services more accessible to a broader range of clients. This can include options for instalment payments throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
- Sliding Scale Fees: Some birth keepers offer sliding scale fees based on clients’ income levels, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, has access to supportive care.
- Barter or Trade: In some cases, birth keepers may consider bartering or trading services with clients. This approach can be mutually beneficial but should be carefully negotiated to ensure fairness.
- Continuing Education: Birth keepers should also budget for ongoing education and training to stay updated with the latest evidence-based practices and certifications relevant to their field.
Understanding these various ways to earn income is essential for birth keepers to set competitive and fair prices, manage their finances, and provide transparent information to clients about the costs associated with their services. This clarity helps build trust and ensures that both birth keepers and their clients have a positive experience throughout the childbirth journey.
Challenges in Financial Sustainability
While being a birth keeper can be deeply rewarding, achieving financial stability in this profession can present some challenges. Here are common financial challenges birth keepers may face:
- Income Variability: The income of birth keepers can be irregular and unpredictable due to the on-call nature of the job. Some months may be busier than others, making it challenging to budget and plan for expenses.
- Lack of Benefits: Birth keepers typically don’t receive employee benefits like health insurance, retirement contributions, or paid time off. They are responsible for covering these expenses themselves, which can strain their finances.
- Self-Employment Taxes: Birth keepers are often considered self-employed, which means they are responsible for paying self-employment taxes. These taxes can be significant and impact their overall income.
- Business Expenses: Running a birth keeping practice involves various expenses, such as liability insurance, continuing education, transportation, and marketing. Managing these costs can be challenging, especially during slow periods.
- Balancing Passion and Profit: Birth keepers are often deeply passionate about their work and may struggle with setting appropriate fees for their services. Undervaluing their expertise can lead to financial instability.
Insights on Navigating Financial Challenges
Navigating the financial challenges of being a birth keeper requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some insights to help birth keepers achieve financial sustainability:
- Create a Detailed Budget: Develop a comprehensive budget that accounts for both personal and business expenses. Consider using accounting software or hiring a financial advisor to help manage finances effectively.
- Diversify Income Streams: Explore additional income streams, such as teaching childbirth classes, offering postpartum doula services, or writing books or articles related to childbirth. Diversifying income can help stabilise finances.
- Set Fair Pricing: Determine your worth and set fair pricing for your services. Consider your experience, training, and the market demand. Don’t undervalue your expertise, as this can lead to financial strain in the long run.
- Emergency Fund: Establish an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or periods of low income. Having a financial safety net can provide peace of mind and reduce financial stress.
- Professional Associations: Join professional associations for birth keepers, which may offer resources, networking opportunities, and discounts on liability insurance. These associations can provide valuable support and advice on financial matters. All candidates at Artemis Academy are automatically added to the amazing community of birth keepers.
- Tax Planning: Consult with a tax professional to understand your tax obligations and explore deductions and credits available to self-employed individuals. Proper tax planning can help you maximize your income.
- Continual Learning: Stay informed about financial management and business skills. Consider taking courses or workshops on topics like budgeting, marketing, and financial planning. The Artemis one year training course offers education on establishing and managing your own business alongside ongoing support.
- Seek Financial Advice: If you’re struggling with financial stability, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a financial advisor or accountant. They can provide personalised strategies and help you achieve your financial goals.
It’s important for birth keepers to remember that financial stability is achievable with careful planning, a realistic approach to income, and a commitment to their professional and financial growth. By addressing these challenges proactively, birth keepers can continue to provide valuable support to expectant families while maintaining their own financial well-being.
Balancing Passion and Profit
Finding the right balance between passion for the work and meeting financial needs is essential for birth keepers. Here are some strategies to help birth keepers navigate this delicate balance:
Determine Your Financial Needs:
- Start by assessing your personal financial situation. What are your essential expenses, including bills, insurance, savings, and retirement planning? Understanding your financial needs will help you set realistic income goals.
Value Your Expertise:
- Don’t undervalue your skills and expertise. Recognise the unique value you bring to the birthing process, including emotional support, knowledge, and experience. Confidence in your worth is key to setting fair prices.
Research the Market:
- Research the local market to understand the going rates for birth keeping services in your area. Consider factors like demand, competition, and the cost of living when determining your pricing structure.
Create Transparent Pricing:
- Develop clear and transparent pricing packages for your services. Provide potential clients with a breakdown of what is included in each package. This transparency builds trust and helps clients understand the value they are receiving.
Offer Payment Plans:
- To make your services more accessible to a broader range of clients, consider offering payment plans. This allows clients to spread the cost over several months, easing the financial burden.
Diversify Income Streams:
- Explore additional income streams related to birth keeping, such as offering childbirth education classes, writing books or articles, or providing consulting services. Diversifying your income can provide financial stability.
Set Aside Emergency Funds:
- Create an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or periods of low income. Having this safety net can reduce financial stress and allow you to continue pursuing your passion.
Regularly Review and Adjust:
- Periodically review your pricing and financial goals. Adjust your rates as needed to keep up with market changes and ensure that your income aligns with your financial needs.
Invest in Your Business:
- Invest in tools, technology, and marketing to help grow your birth keeping practice. A well-invested business can lead to increased income over time.
Seek Financial Guidance:
- Consider consulting with a financial advisor who specialises in working with self-employed individuals. They can provide personalised financial strategies and help you make informed decisions.
- Remember that taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is essential for long-term success. Burnout can have financial consequences, so prioritise self-care to maintain your passion and energy for your work.
Consider your attitude towards money and abundance:
- People can place self-limiting beliefs upon themselves and project energies that repel abundance. Changing your mindset to one of worthiness and abundance can create huge changes. This is a book that really helped me when starting my birth keeping business.
Balancing passion and profit as a birth keeper is achievable with thoughtful planning and a commitment to your financial well-being. By implementing these strategies, you can continue to provide invaluable support to expectant families while also ensuring that your financial needs are met.
In this blog post, we have explored the multifaceted world of being a birth keeper—those compassionate individuals who provide unwavering support to expectant parents during the transformative journey of childbirth. We’ve examined the various aspects of this profession, from the profound emotional rewards to the challenges faced by birth keepers.
For those of you considering answering the calling and becoming a birth keeper, I can honestly say that for me personally I can’t imagine myself ever doing any other kind of job. I am grateful everyday for the opportunities presented to me in my role as a birth keeper. I am privileged to witness new life entering the world and supporting the transition of women into motherhood. Watching families be created is truly magical!
To learn more about birth keeping, why not attend on of our webinars, try the ‘Introduction to birth keeping’ free course or take the plunge to your new career by signing up to become a member of Artemis Academy and training with us in our comprehensive 1-year programme.