When it comes to pregnancy, delivery, and taking care of babies, parents can be faced with some really big decisions. And these decisions can be overwhelming sometimes.
Often our clients look to us to help them figure out what to do. But here's the thing. As doulas, we do not make decisions for our clients. We do not advocate for them either.
Instead, we help our clients advocate for themselves and make decisions for themselves that are the best for their family. This can involve educational resources, referrals to other providers, or sometimes just a sounding board as our clients figure out what to do.
And as our clients ponder these big decisions, we remind them to use their BRAIN.
BRAIN is an acronym for the critical thinking components that go into making an informed decision. It stands for the following:
B - Benefits
R - Risks
A - Alternatives
I - Instincts
N - Nothing
So when you use your BRAIN, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Benefits: What are the benefits of this procedure, decision, course of action, etc.?
Risks: What are the risks of this procedure, decision, course of action, etc.?
Alternatives: What alternative choices do I have if I decide to do something different?
Instincts: What is my gut or my intuition telling me to do in this situation?
Nothing: What will happen if I decide to do nothing?
We find that when our clients use BRAIN it allows them to stop and really consider all the angles involved in any big decision.
Is your care provider recommending an induction? Would an epidural help with a stalled labor?What should you do if your baby has been diagnosed with a tongue tie?
These are all big decisions and can seem scary in the moment. We cannot make these decisions for our clients, but we can be there as a listening ear, to remind them to use BRAIN, to talk over all the different options, and then be there in the end to support whatever decision is best for them.
So the next time you really don't know what to do, use your BRAIN.