Don't Forget to Use Your BRAINS for Informed Consent in the birth space

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

informed consent, brains, the statesville doula,
"Don't forget to use your brains in the birth space"

"Use my brains in the birth space? What does that even mean?"

Well, I can't wait to share with you, something that is easy to remember and extremely helpful in almost everything you need to decide on. Specifically, using your BRAINS in the birth space, will provide you the knowledge and time needed, to make truly informed decisions, resulting in either informed consent OR refusal.

Have you ever heard the doctor or nurse say "I will break your water in 15 minutes if ____ hasn't happened." Or, "I need you to lay back so we can get a cervical check." If you have, you may notice that instead of asking you for your consent, they word it in a way that sometimes feels like you don't have the option to say no, or yes. Of course, this doesn't always happen, but it happens more than it should and it is worth a discussion.

I'm not here to blame the doctors, nurses, or assistants; I value and respect them and the hard work they do on a daily basis. I think sometimes it comes as second nature to them as our work routines do to us, but being equipped with the right tools may help you get that consent you deserve.

There is a quote from Birth Monopoly that I truly love:

And I think we forget that. The birthing person is in control and they have all the rights in the world to make sure they truly understand what may be about to happen to them. Furthermore, they have the right to either consent to what's being asked of them, or refuse.

Asking these questions when faced with a statement of authority ("We need to get you on your back", "We need to get this cervical check now", "It is time to break your water", etc.), will help you make your decision with confidence.

So, without further ado, never forget to use your BRAINS for informed consent or refusal in the birth space.

B - BENEFITS What are the benefits of this? How will doing this help me?

R - RISKS What are the risks of this? How could this hurt me or my baby?

A - ALTERNATIVES Are there any alternatives to this? Anything else we can do, instead?

I - INTUITION What is my gut telling me? How do I feel about this?

N - NOTHING What happens if don't do anything? Can we wait an hour before deciding? If no, why?

S - SPACE Can you give us time to talk about our options privately? Can we have space to discuss?

Like mentioned above, asking these basic questions will hopefully provide you with enough information to make an informed choice on what they're asking.

So, don't forget to use your BRAINS and to help you remember, save this image!

And finally, here is one more quote from Birth Monopoly that may hit home with some of you:

Let me now your thoughts regarding your birth experiences. Did you use BRAINS during your birth?

Thanks for reading!

Peace, love, and babies,


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