Ask A Doula: Client wants to be induced

I have a client that is planning to be induced. There’s no medical reason for it, she is “just a planner” and wants to do it. I am happy to support her in this decision, however, I don’t think she’s fully informed about inductions and really understands her options. I want her to feel empowered and confident about how she chooses to birth, but I think I need to help her get more information before she can really decide. We’re having our first prenatal appointment next month and I need to decide how to approach this issue with her. I don’t want her to think I am pushing my agenda, but I also don’t want her to make a bad decision because she doesn’t know the full information!

You don’t need to help her decide. She has already decided and shared her plans with you. As a doula, it’s not up to you to decide if a pregnant person has “enough” information to make a decision about their birth plan. You can help her to feel her own power to birth and to have confidence by respecting her choices.

I caution you to avoid assuming she would not make that choice “if she only knew more…” It’s a common thinking trap doulas can sometimes get caught in. The truth is that our clients often have situations, experiences and factors that play into their decisions that the doula knows nothing about. Sometimes I think “If WE only knew more, we could understand better.” But we can – and should! – respect our client’s decisions even if we don’t have full knowledge of the reasons behind those choices. Just assume your client has a good reason for what they do.

I would advise against anything more than a simple “do you have any questions about inductions, how they work, the benefits and risks, etc?” If she wants or needs more information, that is a way to open the door to the conversation. If she is already confident about her choice, respect that.

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