Up until now, you may have decided that your 'Pregnancy Brain' is basically deemed barely functional and only good for the bare essentials. Or, perhaps, you're one of the lucky few is sharp as a whip and on the best game of your life! Whichever category you might fall under, we have a a resource that we LOVE to share with our clients, and even better? It's an acronym that's hard to forget, and will be one the greatest tools you can have in your birth bag.
The acronym is: B.R.A.I.N. You'll be faced with all kinds of decisions and choices throughout your pregnancy and birth. It's important that you feel that you understand every option put in your way; that you are given the information to understand any test, procedure or action you are facing, with the opportunity to ask questions, give it consideration, and make the choice that's right for you.
Your care provider is someone that you trust; you've built a relationship with them over the course of your pregnancy, and you know that they have the best interest of you and your baby. This tool isn't meant to install doubt in the decisions they may present, but to empower you to participate in your birth to the fullest.
How do you use B.R.A.I.N.?
Simply ask: "Do we have time to think about this, or is this an emergency?"
If there's time, ask for a moment to reflect on your feelings about the decision in front of you, and then use the time you have to ask:
B: What are the benefits of this option? How is it going to improve the situation?
R: What are the risks involved with making this decision?
A: Are there any alternatives to the option being presented?
I: Ask yourself: what are your instincts/intuition telling you?
N: What if I do nothing, and revisit this option in an hour, a week, a month?
This tool is a great way to open up dialogue with your care provider, helping you to get on the same page, and empowering you to be an active participant in the choices for your birth. If you feel like it might be challenging to exercise this tool in labour, try coming up with real-life scenarios (related to birth, or otherwise), with your partner or a friend, to help you practice asking the questions you need to feel involved and informed.