Have you heard of B.R.A.I.N? I’m not talking about the huge thing in your skull, or the mouse that's trying to take over the world. I’m talking about the acronym. If you haven’t, it stands for Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and Nothing. B.R.A.I.N! This acronym was designed for informed consent and decision making. It is preached a lot in the birthing world, and understandably so. Let’s take a closer look at this.
Benefits - what are the benefits for me and my baby?
Risks - what are the risks to me and my baby?
Alternatives - are there any alternatives to what you are suggesting/recommending? If so, what are they?
Intuition - how do I feel about this for me and my baby? (This is where you trust your gut on the best decision for you and your baby!)
Nothing - what happens if, for now, we do nothing except wait?
Use B.R.A.I.N in your prenatal appointments to get answers to any questions that may come up in your pregnancy or birth. Use B.R.A.I.N in labor if your provider is recommending any type of intervention that you are uncertain about, no matter how minor. Any provider worth his/her salt should be more than willing to answer these questions for you. If in your prenatal care - or even in your birth - you have questions that your provider is reluctant, apprehensive, or refuses to answer all together, that is a HUGE red flag. It might even be cause for you to switch providers (trust your intuition on this one). It is your right to ask questions, and it is your right to say no. Keep in mind that the word “no” is a complete sentence and you do not have to explain your decision to anyone if you don't want to.
So remember, when circumstances call for it … use your B.R.A.I.N!
Bloom Mama Doula Services