Friday, September 2, 2011

Fact vs. Opinion

Suppose your child comes to you and tells you that 2+3=6....
Now, you know from your studies that this is not correct; 2+3=5.
Is this you being opinionated?

I suppose it is your opinion since you feel you have facts to back it up. But what if your child got mad at your telling him that really, the sum is 5?

I start with this example because I was recently referred to on someone's blog as opinionated and that she didn't agree with me. I have never even met this woman but she called me wanting advice on inductons. She was a first time mom and had an induction date set for 3 days after her "due date" I put on my doula hat and asked her if she wanted to be induced(if she did and knew the risks involved than it would be her choice) I had been told that she wanted a natural birth(found out on the phone that to her, that meant a vaginal birth) She said she was going back and forth. I told her that I knew how she was feeling as I went past my last due date and most women are so ready to be done. I told her that pitocin does cause stronger contractions and that it is average for a first time mom to go to 41.5 weeks(fact). I wanted her to know however if she chose induction that it can make labor harder on the mom and the baby and does significantly increase the mom's change of a c-section.(also fact) I wanted to make sure she knew that if she did not feel right about it, she could always postpone her induction and see if her baby will come before then.(also a fact that unless medically necessary or truly "post dates", a Dr. can not force you to be induced) I told her that if it were me, I would talk about it with her husband and pray about it(she is a member of my church). I told her that the best thing a woman can do is listen to her instincts.(my opinion I guess)
She did postpone her induction date to 9 days after her "due date" and had a vaginal birth.

Here's where my mind is: I DO have opinions. Pretty strong ones too I guess. When I talk to people with my "doula hat" on though, I keep it almost strictly to the facts. The more educated you are on a topic, the more opinions you will naturally have. A dentist may seem "opinionated" to a patient who does not believe in flossing. However, fact is on the dentist's side that flossing really does help prevent cavities.

I often just re-post what other people write out of fear that people will be offended by my opinion. I do have thoughts though. Education does make you biased though.

So my question(rhetorical or not) is: Can someone disagree with a fact?


Jenni and Josh said...

Sure they can, and most people do.
Especially when it comes to things that are very personal to them. IE:birth, religion, family rearing, etc. No matter how much you disagree though with fact, it still remains a fact. Like you said though, let's take responsibility and educate ourselves to make the best decisions for us and our families. When we do all we can to do that, it becomes our responsibility to make a sound decision.

Brooke said...

i wouldn't feel bad sarah. she came to you looking for advice and you gave it to her. it seems if you are to sound like a knowledgeable doula than you would have to have opinions of your own and would need to share them!

Elizabeth said...

facts can vary based on the perspective they were formed upon. Like with your dental floss example, I know of dentists that claim it's fact that flossing can contribute to tooth decay because it's very damaging to the gums and can cause inflammation to the blood flow to the gums and teeth. So facts can be different on each side of the picture! Learning as much of the facts from as many perspectives as we can will help us choose for ourselves what is fact for US.

HM said...

The problem with these specific "facts" is that they are statistics and probabilities, given that every first (or second or third) time mom doesn't go over her due date and every woman induced with pitocin doesn't end up with a c-section. In the end, the only "fact" that matters is that everyone gets to do it their own way. That's what this life is about and hopefully we can all respect each other enough to not get offended when we don't see eye to eye. However, someone should tell this lady that it's not very good manners to seek out someone and ask for their expertise and advice and then turn around and bad-mouth the advice giver. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief!" LOL! It's not like YOU made her go over, sounds like she just wanted to blame someone else for her baby taking its sweet time in her belly.

The Kneese's said...

I agree. I think that she called you for wanting information. You gave it to her. You are a doula which doulas are usually used for "natural" childbirth (or at least that's what I have always seen). So of course you are pro natural. It doesn't hurt to know all of your options especially if this is her first childbirth. You have really researched this and know a lot of facts that I really appreciated knowing before I had Will.