If you aren’t sure what this means then don’t worry … we are going to explore this so that you can be on top form when it comes to making decision either before or on the day that your baby decides to arrive.

You and your partner are going to quickly realise that you hold the power to make the decisions that are right for you and your baby and the care that you receive.  You won’t just be placed on the proverbial conveyor belt at one end and come out the other end with a baby and subjected to whatever processes were ‘necessary’ through that journey.

From the moment you see those lines or the word “Pregnant” you are bamboozled with all the things that could  possibly go wrong. There are scans, and blood tests and rules about what you can and can’t eat, do, drink etc.  Your internal scanner – your intuition and instinctiveness have become reliant on the external factors to tell you that everything is ok.  We really need you to ‘listen’ to and trust your body.’
Often we see women seeking permission and guidance for everything from the ‘experts’ and effectively hand control of their bodies and their birth over to the “experts”.  YOU are the best expert on YOU!  Listen to your instincts and intuition when being asked to consider an intervention.

B R A I N S  is a useful tool for pregnant women and their partners to decide if an intervention is really necessary for or whether it is to do with hospital guidelines.

The first question to ask is:
“Am I/Is my partner and/or baby in danger?”

If it is a genuine emergency, it will be quite clear, and it is in these circumstances we’re grateful medical knowledge is as developed as it is.

However, if the answer is ‘no’ or ‘we’re not particularly happy with the answer then the following questions can be asked:

So here goes:

B what are the benefits?
An intervention is being offered ask what are the benefits? How do you feel about that? Would this intervention be a positive thing for you? As an example reading your waters to get labour started.

R – what are the risks?
The intervention they are offering what are the risks for that procedure? You will want factual information here – the RESEARCH!!

A – What are the Alternatives?
Are there other options?
Are there other pathways?
What are they? Use BRAINS here …

I – What does your instinct/intuition say to do and what happens if you do the intervention what could be the next intervention if that doesn’t work?

N – What if we do Nothing? Does it have to be right NOW?
What if you decided to wait and see what happens, so do nothing and negotiate to wait and see what happens over x amount of time.

SSmile or Second Opinion or Sod Off
With a lovely smile accept their offer and just say you would like to proceed without the intervention and review further down the pathway. – We shouldn’t have to but we want to stay amicable and keep the environment relaxed.
Asking for a Second opinion is not a negative it’s important to have a balanced view.
You could just tell them to Sod off!

You are well within your rights to ask these questions in your hospital setting.  Yes it can feel intimidating but an awareness of these questions helps you and your partner to process and understand the advantages and disadvantages of any suggested interventions.   If your birth journey does go down a more medical route, you’ll feel so much better understanding any risks and knowing you had informed choice.