What Happens If You Don’t Get Induced?

By: Jennifer Cole | Induction | September 5, 2021

As we like to teach to our expectant families here at the Birth Education Center, “no” is a complete sentence. Just because your care provider has scheduled an induction for you doesn’t mean that you have to consent to it or show up at the hospital on the prescribed day and time.

For more detailed information about the conditions that arise during pregnancy that most often result in induction—and how justified the reasons for an induction may or may not be given your situation, please read this blog.

Depending on how well your conversations with your care providers have been goingor notyou might feel like the two of you aren’t on the same page when it comes to the plan for getting baby here. You might have had a hunch early on that you and your OB weren’t aligned in your philosophies and yet you were constrained by insurance providers (or other practicalities) that made it difficult to switch providers.

So now you are in the position where your doctor is recommending you be induced and your first thought is to say no. You can chalk it up to instinct or the fact that you have done research on the subject and don’t agree with the conclusions your doctor has drawn to justify this procedure. Either way, you are probably curious what happens if you flatly refuse to get induced.

What Your Care Provider Might Say

If you decide to hold your ground and not go along with the induction, there’s no hospital police that will come to your house and arrest you. Ultimately you hold the power to accept or decline treatment, whether it’s an induction or any other procedure. 

There is a possibility, however, you might get some blowback from your care provider. You can expect follow-up calls from their office and perhaps more than one terse voicemail from the OB directly pressuring you to reconsider your decision or risk dire consequences. 

The thing is, doctors aren’t accustomed to their patients pushing back all that often. As patients, we’ve been conditioned to believe that our care providers are infallible authority figures who are always right and should never be questioned. Care providers, in turn, are used to this authority and may become deeply offended when we don’t comply with their orders. 

Whether or not you decide to go rogue and decline your care provider’s recommendation is completely up to you, but here are some things to consider first. 

How Do You Feel About Your Decision?

If you decide to say no, the question then becomes, what’s your comfort level being a contrarian? Are you OK with shedding the deeply ingrained belief that doctors always know best? 

As distasteful as the idea of an induction is to you, consider for a moment what saying no will feel like in your body. Standing your ground and—frankly, showing defianceis akin to the fight or flight response that activates your sympathetic nervous system.

When you’re in this adrenaline-producing mode, it’s the polar opposite of what brings about labor. In fact, adrenaline is kryptonite for labor, so you will need to weigh the pros and cons of digging in your heels when labor is imminent. The last thing you want is for your body to be working against you and decreasing the likelihood of going into labor naturally prior to the date of your induction.

If, however, you feel certain in your body and mind that you’re making the right decision without second-guessing yourself, then stick to your guns. Making this decision should feel empowering and foster a sense of strength as you flex your mamma bear muscles. If that’s not how you’re feeling, then you may want to explore other options.

Is It Really Too Late To Change Providers?

Sometimes we assume that we have no options once we select a provider to oversee our perinatal care. However, believe it or not, some pregnant people have successfully switched their providers last minute after realizing in the latter weeks of pregnancy that their current provider isn’t the right fit. 

It might be worth it for you to at least explore whether or not it’s a possibility despite the inconvenience that may arise. Compared to the alternative of sticking with your current provider and the limited options they’re offering to you, it could be worth the hassle. Of course, you would need to make sure that the care provider you’re considering is on board with a different birth plan before officially jumping ship.

Being faced with induction is an experience that can unravel your preconceived notions about care providers and the authority they hold over you. While there’s no easy, one-size-fits-all path for navigating this difficult choice, careful consideration and weighing all of your options will hopefully reveal the best decision to make.

The Birth Education Center offers an online Induction 101 Course. Click here for more information.

To become an affiliate for this course – drop your details here: CONTACT US

About the author:
Jennifer Cole CD(DONA) DONA Certified Birth Doula and Hypnobabies Certified HypnoDoula supporting families throughout San Diego County.


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