[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”80″ gutter_size=”3″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shadow=”std” shadow_darker=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading text_weight=”100″ text_space=”fontspace-210350″ separator=”yes” separator_color=”yes”]Use B.R.A.I.N. To Help You Make a Decision![/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

Here we are in pregnancy and suddenly there feels like a million decisions to make! It can be overwhelming and this feeling can increase as you get close to your estimated due date. So what do we do? As a doula, there is one tool that has proved to be very effective to use with my clients in helping them navigate the process of decision making. This is not a new tool, and certainly not made by me, but an important one to share. 

When going to make a decision (usually we talk about this in terms of a medical decision, but let’s be honest: this tool is wonderful in any situation!), we can use this helpful acronym.


B – Benefits: One step of this process is to ask ourselves, “what are the benefits of making this decision?” This can help guide us in exploring why this option is being suggested to us. Why is this on the table? What do we hope to gain from this option? 

R – Risks: An important one to ask! What are the risks of this decision? A lot of times this aspect is not presented when talking about a decision. If a provider has not addressed the risks with you, do not hesitate to ask! 

A – Alternatives: Taking ourselves out of the “black or white”, “yes or no”, type thinking, we can ask ourselves or our providers:  “What are the alternatives?” Considering other options may help take the pressure off this one option, or it may confirm that we do want to continue with the choice presented. 

I – Intuition: Yes, yes intuition. You have it! It is there and it is there to guide you. So make sure to ask “What is my intuition telling me?”. We will be looking at facts, at science, at the opinions of others, but make sure to also take some time to consider what your body, mind, heart, spirit is telling you. 

N – Nothing: Again, trying to expand the way we think about decision making, we can ask “What would happen if we chose to do nothing? Where would inaction lead us?” Sometimes this option may not be on the table for you, but sometimes it might. And it is a piece to the puzzle we often do not consider. This could even mean doing nothing for the next 30 min (delaying a decision). 

I want to be clear that these do not have to be explored, talked about, or considered in this order! Do what feels right for you. But do make sure to touch on all points to ensure you are making a well thought out choice. The acronym BRAIN can be a helpful way to remember these important aspects of making those tough decisions. 

In most instances where a decision is needing to be made, there is always time to consider the options. You can always ask a provider for some time to think about a decision before committing to it. It can feel intimidating sometimes to ask questions in a medical setting. Take a deep breath and remember that these questions are important. Being an informed decision maker during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can give you tools to help navigate this experience. 

And a very, very important point to remember: You are the main participant in your care, this is your birth, and you should be involved in the decision making process at all times if possible. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image media=”1209″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

April is a birth photographer and certified birth doula in the Pasadena/Glendale/Los Angeles area. Interested in  birth services? Let’s connect!

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