So, you're sitting with your care provider and they tell you they want to induce you tomorrow. Now what? What are you feeling? Scared? Relieved? Unprepared? All of these would be normal, or even none of these. Some feel numb and detached at such information. You wander out of the exam room in a daze and make your phone calls only to be able to answer the deluge of questions with "I don't know" or "I'm not sure".
This is where informed consent and informed decision making come into play. You have a right to know why things are being suggested or even mandated regarding your care, in pregnancy and beyond! What does having informed choices look like? How can I achieve this in today's medical climate? Let's discuss!
Steps to Informed Decision Making:
You are told of ALL of your options. Preferably this would come directly from your care provider, but also a nurse could provide these details.
An explanation of the benefits and risks of each option is provided. And yes, this includes NOT doing the recommended treatment!
You're provided time to think and discuss with your support team. The only exception to this would be immediate (clearly stated) risk to you or your baby.
The chance to ask questions. No matter how trivial they may seem, you and your partner or support person should be able to ask questions around each option.
The responses and answers are to your satisfaction. Not theirs.
Ultimately, your decision is respected and honored by your provider. Even if it's not their first choice in your care.
One big thing to keep in mind, sweetheart, is that along with informed consent...informed refusal is just as important. Understanding your rights in a medical space is so important. Ask for second opinions, find alternative care, and advocate for yourself and your baby!
Do your best to keep the conversations and vibe positive and collaborate with your providers! Never assume the worst case scenario, expect the best possible outcome of that discussion. If you're already in the hospital and you can't come to an agreement, request to speak to a Patient Advocate to help mediate the situation.
Use your B.R.A.I.N!
Nothing...what if we do nothing?
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
How will you know _____ situation is happening?
What if we try some other methods or techniques and then see where we are?
If I meet certain milestones or progress points, can we avoid ______ option?
Remember, dear one, that ultimately you have legal right to autonomy over your own body and your baby. No one can force you to do something against your wishes unless they go through the proper legal steps to do so. Reach out to me if you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of an advocate, or lets get you prepared to stand up for yourself with a empowering childbirth course! You deserve to feel heard and seen, my friend!