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What is B.R.A.I.N and how do I use it?


One of my favorite acronyms to use as a doula (and a mom!) It’s a quick and easy way to help us to slow down and make informed, conscious decisions. Sometimes it is easy to react quickly to a situation without thoroughly or rationally thinking it through. Often times, in labor especially, we are given decisions that must be made but can be difficult for a mom to decide. Using "B.R.A.I.N" helps to prevent that from happening.

Scenario: Your care provider comes into the room (while you are laboring) and presents a plan that they would like to move forward with (breaking your water, starting pitocin, considering a cesarean section). Ideally you would ask to have a minute with your birth team (partner, doula, etc.) where you can talk over questions with them and with yourself before communicating back to your care provider upon their return. Utilizing the B.R.A.I.N strategy, you have the time to think and process what is going on while gathering the answers you need to make your decision.

Here is what it stands for:

B- Benefits: What would be the benefits to the task/event/next step they are suggesting?

R- Risks: What are the risks associated with…..

A- Alternatives: Are there other options that we could try or do instead?

I- Intuition: What are your instincts telling you to do?

N- Nothing: What would happen if we waited an hour (or two, or a day, etc.) and revisited the issue then?

Allow yourself to be able to go through these questions with anyone and everyone that you want to before making your decision. Being informed and educated about the birth process and all that comes along with it is very important. Sometimes even after taking an extensive childbirth class some of the things you learn can be hard to remember when in labor. This acronym can help you to ask the questions and perhaps jog your memory of the things that you already know but just needed a little push (no pun intended!).

This strategy along with other helpful tips will be part of our FREE childbirth workshop happening this coming Monday, August 20th at 6:30pm. The workshop is focusing on Natural Childbirth in the hospital setting. Register on our Facebook page!

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