Labor and delivery can be a very unexpected experience. Many of us spend hours reading books, attending classes, and creating a birth plan… knowing all the while that everything can change in a moment. Not to say that we shouldn’t plan ahead and be prepared, but we should also be ready in the event that things don’t go as planned. Your labor may move too slowly, or your provider may notice concerns with you or your baby. Decisions have to be made quickly. Even if things are going well, a procedure or preventive measure, such as starting an IV or medical pain relief might be offered or suggested.
So, what can you do when faced with decisions in the middle of labor?
Before you make any decisions, it helps to think through the acronym B-R-A-I-N. The letters of BRAIN stand for: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and No or Not Now.
Benefits: The benefits of a decision are simple to find; just ask your doctor two questions – “What are the benefits if I do this?” and, “What are the benefits if I don’t do this?”
Risks: Ask, “What are the risks if I do this?” and, “What are the risks if I don’t do this?”
Alternatives: Ask, “What are the alternatives to doing this?” and, “Can this be delayed and done at an alternative time?”
Intuition: Based on the information you’ve gathered from the benefits, risks, and alternatives, use your intuition to make a decision that is best for both you and your baby.
No or not now: If the risks outweigh the benefits, or if there isn’t any urgency to decide now, then you have the ability to say, “No or not now.”
At Options Health, we have a wonderful program to help you as you navigate your pregnancy and this new thing called motherhood and parenting. Earn While You Learn (EWYL) is a free program that provides education, emotional support, and material resources to expectant mothers through the toddler years of their baby’s life. Once enrolled in EWYL, you will be connected with a mentor to guide you through an amazing curriculum of parenting classes where you earn credits to be spent in our Care Closet; where you can get diapers, wipes, baby clothes, baby furniture, and more!
Is the father of the baby involved? If so, we have an awesome program for him too! FIT (Fathers In Training) is a free program that will challenge him to be the best father he can be by walking alongside him through our skill-building classes and mentorship.
If you are interested in either of these free programs, please contact us today!
Options Health is a safe place where you can confidentially come and discuss sexual health, pregnancy, and relationship issues with one of our patient advocates. Feel free to contact us today to take advantage of our free services, including pregnancy testing, ultrasound, pregnancy options consultation, STD testing, and abortion aftercare. Call us or text us to schedule an appointment. We are here for you and ready to listen!