Use your B.R.A.I.N.
for informed decision-making
During pregnancy, labor, and birth, LOTS of decisions need to be made.
B.R.A.I.N. is a great acronym to help you get the full picture, so you can figure out the best course of action for your specific circumstances, and make the decisions that are right for you.
What are the benefits for labor, for the baby, and for the birthing person?
What are the risks for labor, for the baby, and for the birthing person?
A note on risk & benefits:
Sometimes a benefit for one part of the equation (say labor), can be a risk for another (say birthing person or baby). Take into account how they all play off each other.
Can we try something different instead?
What does your gut say? Keep in mind that labor is happening inside the birthing person’s body. Sometimes they know something is “off” before anyone else; or they know things are moving much faster than is apparent. Trust their instincts!
Do you need more information? If you still have questions, ask them.
Indications: Is there anything in your particular situation that indicates you need this? This can help you discern the “protocol” interventions from those specific to your circumstances. For example, if the water breaks, the timeline for when your should head into the hospital will depend on whether contractions are happening (or not) or if the birthing person is GSB positive.
What happens if you do nothing?
If you go forward with the intervention, what happens next?
If it doesn’t work, what happens next?
A word on emergency vs. non-emergency situation:
When a medical intervention is suggested, know that you most likely have ample time to ask all these questions and get the information you need, as well as time to think about it.
If it’s an emergency, you will know.
The room will fill with people, all moving around very quickly and decisively.
Otherwise, there’s always time.
So take the time you need to make your decisions together.
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