The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Getting Clients/Starting a Practice

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Subsections on this page:

Starting A Practice

Building A Practice -  This course was created by Laurie Posey M.Ed. and Jen Page M.Ed. at Partnerships for Training in collaboration with Julie Marfell ND, RN, CS, FNP at The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing.


Building a Practice In Your Home Community
Thinking of starting your own practice? This site is designed to help certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others set up and run their own healthcare practice. Here you will find a wealth of resources to help you plan, grow and sustain a successful healthcare practice in an underserved community.

Put up A Web Page - All Ob/Gyn physicians and health care providers are welcome to add their own page at:


The NAPSAC directory (National Assoc. of Parents and Professional for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth) is a great directory to find doctors, midwives, resource people, etc.

NAPSAC International
Rt. 1, Box 646
Marble Hill, MO 63764

If You Have a Publicity Problem, The Publicity Hound Has Your Solution


There is an outfit found in many states called Pathways To Well-Being. This is a holistic group of health practitioners.

ALACE Contact

The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators
P.O. Box 382724
Cambridge, MA 02238
Phone (617) 441-2500
e-mail: jessica@alace.org

Info Night

The teachers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Dexter, one of the little towns next door, started doing group promotions and group activities to promote childbirth options in our area. We started doing an info night the first Wednesday of every month, where we showed a video, had a couple in to talk to prospective folk, and had brochures for all the teachers. After about 6 months the various midwives in town gave us their business cards to put out, and teachers of all sorts as well as various midwives would show up at the info nights. We usually had 3-8 couples per month come at mid point and by the end of the first year we had 10-12. 

We offered a birth choices fair that summer where all the local hospital birthing centers, the 3 birth centers run by midwives, all the various kinds of childbirth teaching orgs, and so on had booths, etc. We had about 100 couples come through in 2 hours. For the first ever, this was a great start. And the community feeling and support was wonderful. I hear that the year after I left they did it again and had about 5 times the numbers of folk come through.

make up pamphlets and put them in every childbirth related book in the libraries and bookstores. Also make up a T-shirt saying... pregnant? ask me what a doula does or something.

Advertising - General

Here are some of the things we are doing...

In starting my own practice, I have budgeted several hundred dollars for marketing, which will include an ad in the Yellow Pages, an ad in the local newspaper at least one Sunday a month (the ad will usually be a congratulations to such and such a family on the homebirth of their baby .... complete with a baby picture), a brochure on the practice (describing both midwifery and homebirth), and business cards. And incidentally, the newspaper article that favorably discussed my first local homebirth client and my practice last month was done after I wrote a letter to the editorial staff suggesting that this might make an interesting topic - have to say I was surprised when they responded, but it might be worth a try if some of your live in smaller towns and want the publicity.

Childbirth Preparation Classes

In times past I found that offering a free class in homebirth was the best advertising I could do. I moved around quite a bit and this allowed me to get known quickly in the community. I used to do H.O.M.E. classes, 4 sessions, The advantages of Home birth, complications, how to set up and prepare, and I can't remember the last, but it usually only took about 2 sessions to make lots of contacts. 

Public Speaking

I do a lot of public speaking to get my name out--nursing school, college, high schools, LLLI, home school groups, women's groups. 

Press Releases

I have found the use of newspaper ads to be very low in return. May I suggest sending a press release with this same information (w/picture). You may have to send more press releases to get the same amount of coverage but it certainly cost a lot less.

Press releases are a very inexpensive way to educate your local community. Then once compiled they can also be used in other ways.

Birth Announcements in local papers

I think it is very important to have the birth announcements put in the paper. Free advertising is always good and its good for the cause also. I now have a system set up that works great. I have a letter on my word processor with the Born At Home announcement on it. Every time I have a birth I just change the name and date and fax it over to the paper. I can do that in the middle of the night when no one would be in the office to accept a call. Many people have commented on the fact that they have seen it in the paper. 

I've been considering having my card put in our church bulletin, since there always seem to be pregnant women at our church.

I always pay the $25 or whatever for my card to be in the school paper or temple bulletin. I never advertise in the big time papers, too costly. It gets my name out there, and my logo, and since I support the PTA and the temple anyway, it kills two birds with one stone.

My partner and I have used flyers. We have really put up only a few, but the response seems good. I don't know how many actual clients we have received because of them yet, but I have heard.."I saw your fliers in ___, they look great!" countless times. I think that LLL leaders would be hesitant to hand out fliers because they probably shouldn't be promoting private businesses through LLL.

I remember posting this a long time ago, but my idea is to put literature (cards/pamphlets) in every childbirth related book at the library. (and if you're daring, bookstores)

Wedding Fairs

We've had good return from going to wedding fairs at malls; often the booths are cheap or free!  We hand out information on the pill and other birthcontrol choices.


What Clients are Looking For

We conducted a market research study at Maternity Center Association this summer, running 6 focus groups of consumers, 4 of whom had hospital births and 2 of whom had birth center births. We wanted to know what they like and didn't like about their birth experiences. I can share some of the results with you if you are interested. We also did a client satisfaction survey of about 160 birth center clients and got further suggestions from them.

Bottom line:

I am looking for input on how to (low-budget) market our birthing services. . . . Our biggest easier for the occasional transport in to the hospital. competition is actually moms who choose to drive into Eugene to the big medical center as opposed to our 21 bed community hospital. . . .

Hold some community education classes about antibiotic-resistant bugs and implications for pregnancy and childbirth; be sure to mention that the worst nasties are to be found in teaching and university hospitals. Point out the ways in which each intervention increases the risk, especially in an environment where the bugs have been cultured on door handles and bedrails. Then point out how your midwifery care reduces moms' needs for those interventions.

Ideally, you could get some stats about rates of infection at the various places. Interesting stats would be numbers and types of infection in general in the hospital, and in NICU.

Oh, for full effect, be sure to show some pictures of flesh-eating bacteria, i.e. necrotizing fasciitis, but be sure to call it flesh-eating bacteria. :-)

Oh, of course, be sure to mention the horror or having an antibiotic-resistant something set up residence in your spinal space.

And be sure to end with a nice, calm video of birth-center type births . . . "Gentle Birth Choices"?

Clear Communication with Clients

Interview Questions for Midwives to Ask Clients

"Getting Clear" Questionnaire

Homebirth Disclaimer by Joan Mershon CP

Midwife's Financial Agreement / Informed Consent

Home Birth Financial Agreement


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