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Mastering Your Empowered Birth Journey: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions"

Learn the secrets to getting the birth you want by understanding your rights, options and a powerful framework for informed decision making

Are you feeling pressured to make decisions about your birth that don't align with your values and needs? One key to getting the birth experience you want is understanding your rights and options, and having a framework for making informed decisions. In this article, we'll share a powerful decision-making framework and provide tips on how to navigate the birth process with confidence. Whether you're a first-time mom or a experienced parent, this information can empower you to take control of your birth and make choices that align with your values and goals.

Ask Questions

First, you want to ask why this is being offered or why it’s being recommended. You also want to ask what the immediate risk is to you and your baby, so you can determine how much time you actually have to make a decision. In my coaching programs, I focus on educating my clients on their options and rights, so they can make informed decisions during their birth.

One way to do this is by using the BRAIN model which asks: What are the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and if a decision needs to be made Now or if Nothing can be done. Additionally, I teach a variation of BRAIN called NABRI, which adds an emphasis on assessing the level of risk by identifying if a situation is a complication, deviation, or variation.

Knowing the difference between these can help you make quick decisions, and understand that not all situations require immediate medical attention. Furthermore, it is important to familiarize with possible complications and make backup plans, so you can feel empowered in your birth and have the best outcome for yourself and your baby.

What is the Actual Evidence?

Many routine practices and recommendations in childbirth are based on weak evidence or assumptions that our bodies are defective. It's important to question the evidence and use tools like BRAIN to make informed decisions that align with your intuition. For example, if you're being told to induce labor, but your pregnancy is healthy, it may be worth questioning the need for intervention.

It's important to understand the basis of where the evidence is coming from and not be afraid to question it and research more. Remember that every time you interfere with the birth process, additional complications can arise, so it's crucial to make informed decisions that are best for you and your baby.

What Experience Do You Want to Have?

It is important to prioritize your desired outcome and experience during childbirth. A terrible birth experience can lead to birth trauma and physical harm. Inducing labor or using interventions can be harder on your body and may not align with your desired environment or postpartum recovery goals. It's important to consider what you truly desire and what you want to avoid, and make informed decisions that prioritize your well-being. Remember, having specific desires or avoiding certain things is not selfish, it is human. You are allowed to choose what is best for you.

What's the Worst That Could Actually Happen?

It's important to understand the actual risks and numbers associated with any proposed treatment or recommendation during childbirth. Care providers should provide true informed consent and not just speak in generalizations. Assess the likelihood of certain risks and have contingency plans in place. You are your own best decision maker and any care provider who supports you will respect your choices. If you feel coerced or threatened into agreeing to a course of treatment, it's important to report this behavior and consider finding a new care provider. Your rights to informed consent and refusal should be respected.

Are There Options You Are Overlooking?

When presented with limited options during childbirth, it's important to remember that you can create your own options. For example, setting up a birthing space at a family member's house or traveling to a more supportive hospital. It may require extra work, but it's worth it for the desired outcome. By using the 5 steps of a decision making framework, you'll become more confident in your choices and approach your birth from a place of power rather than fear. These skills can also be applied to other areas of your life.

Bottom Line

Making informed decisions during childbirth is crucial for having a positive birth experience.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to make informed choices and have the birth you desire.

By understanding your options, rights, and the evidence behind different recommendations, you can make choices that align with your desires and values. It's also important to remember that when presented with limited options, you can create your own.

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