Use Your B-R-A-I-N

"Of course I'm using my brain, Lila, get it together!"

No no no, not your brain, your B-R-A-I-N!

Something you'll hear me mention a lot is informed consent. I truly believe that is one of the most important things when it comes to birth. You hold every right to say no to a procedure if you don't want it, and you have every right to ask any question you want. 

When a procedure is brought up, rather than just agreeing to it, why not take a few minutes to learn what would be happening to you and your baby? This is where B-R-A-I-N comes in.

B- Benefits

R- Risks

A- Alternatives

I- Instincts

N- Nothing

Let's break it down shall we?

Hypothetical scenario: you have been labouring for 12 hours and are 5cm dilated, but you haven't progressed further than that in a few hours. Your healthcare professional tells you that they would like to break your waters to speed things along. 

First you would ask either your healthcare provider, or doula if you have one, what are the benefits of breaking my waters? They would say that it will bring on strong, consistent contractions that will bring the baby down.

Next you would ask, what are the risks of doing it? They would say that once your waters are broken you're on a clock. You have 24 hours after your water breaks before it becomes dangerous, so they will keep wanting to speed it up. 

The next thing is to ask, what are the alternatives? In this case, there is no alternative to breaking your water, you either have to wait for it to break on it's own, or have them do it, it's your choice.

Your doula will then ask you, what is your instinct telling you? It's so important to listen to your gut and do what feels best for you.

Lastly, ask what would happen if we do nothing for now and revisit the question in an hour. They will tell you that it is not dangerous to wait to decide, and you have some more time to make a decision.

This will give you the space and time that you need to talk it through with your partner and/or doula. But now you know what you're getting yourself into. Knowledge is power!

You have the right to informed consent and if something does not feel right to you, you do not have to do it

If there is an emergency, it won't be a question. The doctors will do what they need to do to save a life. But if they tell you about a procedure, or ask you if you'd like it, all you have to do is use your B-R-A-I-N. 

Make the choice that feels best for you :)