Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Use your BRAINS

One of the most important things couples learn when they attend Hypnobirthing sessions with me or use my Hypnobirthing Home Study Programme is that they are the ones in control of their birth, that every decision they make should be an informed one, rather than feeling that they have been 'TOLD' something 'WILL' happen a certain way.  

Now this doesn't mean that we never agree with doctors and in fact sometimes couples need to put their baby's birth completely in the hands of the medical team (we are very lucky to have skilled doctors when there are true medical emergencies), but should this arise couples maintain their sense of control by understanding that this is completely the right thing to do.  

To ensure this happens I teach couples to ask questions, not to be adversarial, but to help doctors see them and their baby as unique individuals and for their baby's birth to be viewed appropriately in respect of that.

It can be daunting though for some to question what they are being told by a medical profession and this great mnemonic can help keep you focussed:

B – benefits
R – risks
A – alternatives
I – instincts
N – nothing
S – smile

What are the benefits of following the course of action suggested?

What are the risks involved?  In particular ask what the IMMEDIATE dangers and specific medical indications are (ie something that is actually happening not something that MIGHT happen).

Ask about the alternatives (and the benefits and risks of these).

Follow your instincts.  This is important because it doesn’t matter what anyone else would do in your situation it is about what feels right for you personally.

Ask what would happen if you did nothing.  Buying time even if it is for 15 minutes intervals can make the difference between intervention or not.

Smile is there to remind you to remain calm and in control.  Everyone is on the same team and that is for you and your baby to be healthy.  Asking questions isn’t about being antagonist but getting consultants to think outside the box and not treat all women the same.  By asking questions and making decisions based on the answers you are given you will maintain control of your baby's births.  As I mentioned previously even if the decision is to hand your birthing over to the medical team you will have maintained your control by ensuring that it is the right thing for you and the baby.

If you do accept intervention at any point ensure that should this lead on to the suggestion of more intervention that you use your BRAINS again.

If conversations around intervention are required prior to labour starting I would strongly recommend that women take their partner with them to any appointments as this can become very emotional for a pregnant woman.  Also, during labour ideally it will be the birth partners role to ask the questions and for the couple to then discuss the answers and make the decisions together.

Use your BRAINS, be informed and make the right decisions for you and your baby.

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