Induced labor is not physiological, spontaneous labor. While some of the physiologic patterns may be present, the circumstances, environment and context are completely different and require more sensitivity of the doula in supporting their clients both prenatally and at the start of the induction process. With the release of the ARRIVE Trial in August 2018 and ACOG and SMFM issuing subsequent practice advisories stating: “ .. it is reasonable for obstetricians and health-care facilities to offer elective induction of labor to low-risk nulliparous women at 39 weeks gestation..”, doulas must be prepared to support increasing numbers of families choosing to induce their labors.
Induced labors have been trending up since the mid-2000s. With induced labors at 25.7% nationally (2017), it is critical that doulas serving today’s parents are exquisitely aware of how context changes the timing of their three key roles: Emotional, physical and informational and self-advocacy support.