Using Your B.R.A.I.N. to Make Tough Choices
During pregnancy and birth, you are given so many different opinions and options of what to do, what not to do, and what to sometimes do, it can be overwhelming. But by simply using your B.R.A.I.N. (and the help of your trusted Doula), the decision process will hopefully be much easier.
So what is B.R.A.I.N.?
B: Benefits. What are the benefits associated with this decision?
R: Risks. What are the risks associated with this decision?
A: Alternatives. Are there any alternatives available?
I: Intuition. What is your gut telling you?
N: Nothing. What would the outcome look like if nothing was done? Can this decision be revisited in a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks?
Using your brain and B.R.A.I.N. will help make decision become more clear, and be able to see all sides of the issue, while still presenting all of the facts. As your doula, we are experts in options. Part of our role is to present these options to you, and help you tease out how you feel. Using B.R.A.I.N makes the process much easier.
Benefits and Risks
Since we know your birth plan and preferences prior to birth, we can help you understand the benefits and risk associate with various decisions that can be mentioned by your medical team. Together, we can talk to your medical team and learn more about the benefits and risk from them, and then we can explore hows those feel to you.
Learning what other options are available to you is also a great way to help you make a decision. In some circumstances, the alternative is nothing, and that is fine. However, there may be another way to achieve the same goal. Understanding the alternatives can allow you to explore which option you feel the most comfortable with doing.
We also really value your intuition. You are your best advocate, and that gut feeling you get from hearing benefits and risks of any situation is valid and definitely needs to be explored. Furthermore, as your doulas, we are not going to push you to make a snap decision, so trust your gut! We certainly trust you to make the decision that seems the best for you and your family.
Sometimes time will make the best decision. Also, it can be overwhelming to make quick decisions. If medically safe, we love to have our clients sit for 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, or 5 weeks (if time permits), and allow them really process the decision.
This wonderful acronym can also be applied to any decision you need to make in your day to day life. For example, what is the benefit of putting your toddler to sleep an hour before his or her bed time? While that extra house of quiet time be worth the early wake up tomorrow? Is the alternative of a normal bedtime a better idea? What if I wait until I finish this glass of wine, and then decide?