Last year, I was looking for ways to promote my business and midwifery. My little brother also owns his own business in Nevada. He owns Orbis Tech Services which does audio/visual and security installations. He was telling me about how he had joined an international business networking group with chapters everywhere. He had tripled his business since he had joined BNI and recommended that I look into joining a local chapter. So I took visited one of the local groups that met at a time that fit my schedule. I really enjoyed the networking. Each chapter only allows one of each type of business in it. So there can only be one CPA, one mechanic, one electrician, one midwife, etc. It locks out competition. Each week, we get 60 seconds to basically do a commercial for our business. It gives me an opportunity to tell a little snippet on more about what I do and what kind of referrals that I am looking for. Periodically, we also get the opportunity to a 10 minute presentation on our businesses. I have gotten to do three of those talks over the last year. I have always felt that much of what I do as a midwife is educating people about pregnancy, home birth, and why midwives are still relevant today. Being part of BNI has really reinforced that. Between the two ways that I present information, I feel like it has also made me a better speaker in public. I am finding that I am finally starting to get less nervous when I talk in front of a room full of people.
Trying to figure out what to talk about each week has been challenging at times. One day, I was struggling with what I was going to say. BNI’s founder Dr. Misner does a weekly podcast on business networking topics. I had been listening to some of his podcasts, so I decided to look for one on the 60 second presentation for more ideas. In this podcast, he talks about breaking your business down into the smallest parts and talking them. That gave me the idea to do a series on tools of the trade. I am going to transfer that series of talks about the tools that I use in the care of my clients into a monthly blog post.
The picture at the top of this post may have already given you a clue as to what tool I wanted to talk about first. In America, you can’t watch tv without hearing about how important it is to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol low. We are bombarded with commercials about drugs to help us to that so that we can avoid things like strokes and heart attacks. Blood pressure is equally important during pregnancy. Out of control blood pressure can lead to pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. These can cause seizures and strokes.
Have you ever been to the doctor’s and had your blood pressure go up just because you were there? Has fear over what a doctor will do or say caused your blood pressure to rise? My 2nd son once failed a sports physical for football because he was so nervous about the hernia check that he knew was coming up. Did you know that this is called white coat syndrome and that is a very real thing? So while blood pressure is very important during pregnancy, your comfort is just as important. I strive to make my office a warm, friendly, and fun place to be for many reasons. I want to make sure that if my client is having an issue with blood pressure that it is because something is legitimately wrong with her health and not because she is afraid of me.
In my post about what happens at a prenatal, I talk about how I give my clients a whole hour of my time. This time ensures that you have time to warm up to me if you are more introverted. It gives me time to listen to how your week is going, so that I can see if your blood pressure is stress related and could go down once the stress has been reduced. That time and attention also helps me to rule out or verify if your blood pressure is becoming a health risk. If necessary, I remind the at risk client of the nutrition tips discussed at the previous appointments and advise to supplements that can help reduce the blood pressure.
Tell me. Have you ever had a problem with white coat syndrome? Did you hire a midwife because you were more comfortable with her than with an OB? Have you ever had problems with your blood pressure? What did you do for it?