Think about when you choose your major in college and then later went on to choose a career (and maybe even change it). How did you make those decisions? You weighed out the pros and cons, you went with your intuition, you researched or talked it over with the important people in your life. You gave it time and eventually made the right choice for you.
But what if you didn’t have time? What if you were put on the spot and had to make big, important, emotionally invested choices that would change your path? And now let's throw in a catch, it’s not just your decision, it’s a choice that affects the people you love most. How do you do that at a moments notice?
For pregnant and laboring families, it happens all the time.
Labor is a whirlwind, parent and baby work together with one common goal - to become two (separate) people! Detroit Doula Co owners have a combined decade as experienced birth doulas in Metro Detroit and can clearly declare that no two labors are exactly alike.
Unexpected situations come up in labor that can steer away from your birth plan and into uncharted territory. Of course, each situation is unique, but this can leave many parents feeling completely uninvolved and out of control. It's obvious that every parent wants the best and most healthy option for their baby and they trust their OBGYN or midwife, but sometimes you're stuck between a rock and hard place.
We know that childbirth experiences can leave long and short term affects on gestating parents, and that a large factor in having a satisfying birth is feeling in control.
Alright, so how do you feel in control of something that can be quite out of your hands?
We help our clients feel informed and confident with a series of questions condensed in one simple acronym. The BRAIN acronym is a beneficial decision-making tool for parents who are faced with tough choices in childbirth and pregnancy.
The WHAT? Let’s explore! You and your birth partner are in the hospital and you've been in labor for a little while before your contractions start to space out. You wonder 'what should I do if my labor stalls?' before your doctor comes in to suggest a route of care. You can always choose to go with the flow if that's what helps you feel in control, but for some being part of the decision-making process helps them feel like they're in the driver's seat.
So, you or your birth partner will ask....
Benefits - What are the benefits of this procedure or course of action?
Risks - What are the risks related to this procedure of course of action?
Alternatives - Are there any alternatives to this medication/procedure/course of action?
Intuition - Trust your gut! What do your mama and papa bear instinct tell you?
Nothing/Need Time - What happens if we do nothing? This is also an opportunity to ask for a few minutes to make a decision. If mom or baby’s safety is in immediate danger, you will not be given this time to make a decision.
Easy enough, right? We’ve even made this little handout for you to print and pack in your hospital bag. Leave it out somewhere around your home where you’ll see it every day before you pack it away.
Tell us in the comments what you think of this decision-making process, or what helps you make big decisions on the spot.