When making a decision about your health care…

February 4th, 2011 § 0 comments

I found this little acronym on Rixa Freeze’s “Stand and Deliver” blog. I thought it was good, and might be helpful to some mothers and fathers. So often the “routine” procedures, tests, and ways pregnancy and birth are managed are viewed as absolutely essential—when actually, they aren’t always necessary. So for the thinking mothers and fathers who truly want to be involved in their care…here are some questions to help you determine (along with your care provider) what tests and procedures are truly of benefit, and those that are just “routine”.

(Disclaimer: Although she does have some excellent articles on various pregnancy and birth topics, I do not endorse everything on her site.)

Trying to make a decision? Get BRAINED!

Ask yourself, and your caregivers, these questions:
Benefits – How could the recommended course of action help me or my baby?
Risks – How could the recommended course of action harm me or my baby?
Alternatives – Are there any other courses of action I could consider?
Intuition – What are my gut feelings about this?
Nothing – What happens if I do nothing?
Evaluate – Can you give me some time to consider my choices? Then…
Decide – Now that I have the information I need, I’m ready to make a decision.

Benefits- How will this procedure benefit me and my baby?
Risks – What are the risks to me and my baby?
Alternatives – What are some other things we might try instead?
Instinct/Intuition – What is your gut telling you?
Now/Never/Nothing – What if we don’t do the procedure right now? What if we never do it? What if we do nothing?
Safety/Satisfaction – Will this procedure increase the safety and satisfaction of the birth for me and my baby?

(At the end of her post, she adds this addendum.) To give credit where it’s due: the BRAINED acronym comes from a handout that someone gave me from “Lucina Birth Services.” The BRAINS acronym was passed around on a doula list serve.

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