Effective communication with your care provider is one of the keys to having a good birth experience. But how can you know if your care provider is suggesting is the best, safest, and evidence-based course of action? Fully informed consent before any test, procedure, or medication is a legal requirement, but that doesn't mean it always happens. And without it, you can't gather all of the information you need to make a decision about your care.
Lamaze educators teach parents an effective decision-making tool using the acronym BRAIN. This tool allows for collaborative decision making between you and your providers. It also helps you ensure that practices and procedures are being done for the health and safety of you and your baby.
Use the acronym BRAIN to work through the following steps when faced with a decision:
Benefits: How might the recommended procedure help/benefit me and/or my baby?
Risks: How could the recommended procedure harm/pose risk to me and/or my baby?
Alternatives: What are the alternatives to this procedure? What are the benefits & risks of those alternatives?
Intuition: What is my intuition/gut telling me about this course of action? Don't ignore your gut instincts!
Nothing: What would happen if we choose to do nothing right now?
Using BRAIN allows you time to gather information in order to make an informed decision about your care. If you add an "S" to BRAIN, you can also ask yourself, will this procedure increase the safety and satisfaction of birth for me and my baby?
Using the BRAIN questions will help increase your confidence when making choices during labor and birth. Plus, BRAIN is that it's a tool you can use all throughout your life for you and your children!
If you haven't already signed up for a childbirth education class, consider signing up, whether a virtual/online class or in person. Lamaze classes teach life skills, not just labor skills. In a Lamaze class, you learn breathing, relaxation and massage, all of which can be used outside of your childbirth experience. Classes also build your confidence in your own abilities, including learning how to talk to your care provider and express what you want and need. Click to find a Lamaze class that's right for you.
TagsBirth Decision Making Lamaze Class BRAIN