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When Professionals Are Wrong

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

Have you ever experienced a time when you had a feeling something was wrong- off- not right- and you brought it up to a professional in that field, and they negated it? They explained up, down, and sideways why your theory doesn’t check out and they have a compelling argument proving you wrong. And then you walk away feeling 80% convinced you’re wrong...and 20% unsettled... Maybe you spend time down the Google rabbit hole researching the professional’s theory and eventually you are 98% onboard- with only 2% haunting suspicion you were right in the first place. Does this sound familiar??

The thing is, when a professional tells you you’re wrong, you’re wrong! Right?? So usually you bury those intuitive feelings you had originally and you follow the lead of the professional. We get it! You chose them because you inherently trust them. Maybe they came highly recommended, maybe people you trust had excellent experiences with them, maybe you have a history with them. For many reasons, when those we put our faith in give us answers, we listen, sometimes despite our own intuition.

As Doulas, we often get asked if we advocate on behalf of a client to their provider. For some doulas, the answer is Yes. For us, we prefer to empower our clients to advocate for themselves. We work together to come up with language to use when/if you need it. We support partners to build relationships with the provider. And of course we are there by our client’s sides in the moment to support their self advocacy (and more!). We know, as professional Doulas ourselves, that it’s critical for clients to speak up. It’s critical for clients to express their concerns and thoughts. And it’s critical that providers and professionals listen! Our voice is our power! Our intuition is gold! Together they are not to be ignored.

So what happens when the professional is wrong? And how did you find out? Did you get a second, third opinion? Did you research it yourself? Did they come to you and tell you? Wow what a wide range of feelings when you come to learn they were wrong. When you come to realize you knew the answer all along. When it hits you that things could’ve been different in the time it took to figure this out. Oof.

Oh the anger. The rage. The sadness. The despair. The confusion. How did they miss that? How could they have questioned it? “I knew it from the start!!!” Maybe you turn it inwards and beat yourself up about it. Maybe you want to turn it outwards but don’t know what to do or say. We’ve been there.

First things first- fix what needs fixing. Change what needs changing. And hopefully you even can. We know that some wrong decisions leave no room to go back. We see you. And if you can make a change, do it. Waste not. another. minute. Then, get closure with the professional. There is absolutely a respectful way to express your frustration, disappointment, anger, to the provider. We all rise when we all do better. The professional can learn- and we can learn how to speak up for ourselves. It may take time to find the language or the courage, but we know it’s possible.

The thing is, we have to maintain trust in the professionals we choose. It keeps this world turning. And we have to maintain trust in ourselves that our intuition- our gut, is valid and worth listening to. And, professionals need to respect clients/patients enough to listen and address their thoughts and ideas.

If you have found yourself in a situation where the professional was wrong, we see you in your anger. We know the feelings of lost time, lost energy, and endless frustration in all directions. And we hope you find the closure you deserve to move forward.

Interested in learning more about how a Doula can help support your preferences and decisions during Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Postpartum? Reach out!!

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