Use your BRAINS...
First, I want to point out the in Australia, you have the right to consent, or decline consent, to any test, procedure, or medication, even if your caregiver believes it is in your best interest to have it. You are entitled to receive information about the benefits and risks of any of these, and then make an informed decision. The only time this may not happen is in an emergency where you are unable to make decisions, or there is not time to go through all the options.
You are the keeper of your body and you have the right to ask as many questions as you want, so that you can make decisions you are comfortable with.
All too often I hear ‘I wish I had asked that question’, or ‘I wish they had told me….’. They did not know that they were allowed to ask questions, they didn’t know that they had options.
You may have every intervention available and have a positive experience because you were able to ask questions and make the decision to proceed, or not.
So what does BRAINS mean, and how can it help you make a decision?
B – what are the BENEFITS
R – what are the RISKS
A – are there any ALTERNATIVES
I – what do you INSTINCTS tell you
N – what if we do NOTHING
S – please give us some SPACE to decide
If you ask these questions you will hopefully have the information needed to make an informed decision. I believe that the S is most important – it can be difficult to make a decision with someone watching you. It also gives you a chance to maybe go away and do your own reading about the topic
I would also add that if someone says ‘there is evidence that….’ and it goes against what feels right, or what you’ve heard before, ask to see that evidence. I’ve made the mistake of repeating information that was given to me by a more senior nurse or doctor and then I’ve found out later that it is incorrect….others can make the same mistake.
You can learn more tools to empower you to make decisions by attending a 5 week HypnoBirthing course. I start new sessions every second month from January (private sessions are also available, and extra sessions may be put on if there is high demand). They are best started between 20 and 30 weeks, but if you’re a bit further along, do not despair – we may be able to work something out. Click the picture for more information
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