Recently I had a doctor tell me "You need to make your patient do XYZ!" This is not an uncommon sentiment. This was also not the first time this has happened. It really bothered me this time more than in past instances because of the tone and words this doctor used and the harassing way this practice worked (we had 12 contacts phone calls, email and our social media within 48 hours). So this is an explanation to my clients, and to those who question why one client will and another won't make any particular choice.
I am hired as an employee to my clients. I am contracted to do a specific amount of education and monitoring. They are the boss. I respect their thoughts and ideas; they may not be mine but that is not why I was hired. It's their baby, not mine or any doctor's. They are working out their own family. I am hired as a guide, not a bully. I am an encyclopedia, I am the translator so they know what comes next, I am the guide in the beautiful and scary waters of pregnancy and birth, I am the one who tries to help with the trauma that can be left in their lives, I am stability. At no time am I to override their choices. I can lay them out but they are the decision makers.
Am I passionate about my points of view? YES. And that is why they hire me. I don't YES my clients, I tell the the pros and cons and then encourage them to research more. I do not ever want my clients to take my word on anything as a choice maker. I encourage self choice or autonomy of choice. I want them to take responsibility for every aspect of their pregnancy and birth! I work really hard to educate all my clients and they enjoy that process. Sometimes they ask my opinion and I share it with the last words being, "Look into it more and then tell me what you want to do!"
If they say no- that's it. There is nothing more to discuss. We move forward in their chosen direction and start making plans and and subsequent choices based off that decision. So an example would be a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). They have chosen out of hospital birth (OOH) and now we decide the best place of birth: home or Birth House? Then we move on to who to have there for support. Then the what-ifs: What if we have to go to the hospital? What if we go past 42 weeks? etc. Again, not my choices. If it gets into a very dangerous place we talk about it and it is still their choice.
I also have a choice of continuing on the path with them. As a guide if you want to see in a dark scary cave I may choose not to go in with you but wait outside. Again CHOICES.
SO if you ask me to bully my clients- I'm going to ask you to try the same with your boss. They are my bosses so when I decline your push to tell them they have to do XYZ, please be understanding. I know my role and respect them to make their own choices that are right for them. And for the doctors, who receive us on the rare occasions that my clients choose to transfer to your care, know that if we are seeing you they have had a lot of choices already talked through before meeting you. If you can come in with humility and empathy for the reality of what is happening for them you will find you are given more respect in return.
My clients are smart, well-educated humans beings. They are fully capable of handling their own lives, family, and choices without being bullied into the "normal" or standard way things are done.
If you are one of the Doctors that allows choice, THANK YOU and this is not about you!